Obesity Is on Your Breath
Microrganisms in gut give off faint scent, says study
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2013 5:34 AM CDT

(Newser) – Obesity may have a scent—and it isn't Chicken McNuggets. A new study has found that people with higher levels of methane and hydrogen on their breath tend to be fatter, thanks to gas-emitting microorganisms that live in our gut and may contribute to weight gain, reports Time.

One of the researchers says that the M. smithii microbes scavenge energy and nutrients from food, extracting more calories from each meal for their hosts. So people with elevated levels of these pesky critters in their insides may have them to thank for packing on the pounds. If that's the case, the issue may be detectable with just a breath test. “Our hope is that this is one piece of the complex puzzle that is obesity,” she says, “and that by identifying people who are obese because they have this microorganism, we can manipulate and work with the gut microbiome to lead to benefits in weight loss in that subgroup.”

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Obesity Is on Your Breath is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 26 comments
Mar 31, 2013 12:43 PM CDT
And in your belly!
Mar 31, 2013 2:53 AM CDT
Mmm, fattening
Mar 31, 2013 12:42 AM CDT
There is more non-human DNA (microflora) in a human body then there is actual human DNA. Do we host the microflora or do they host us?