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Study Finds Evidence That Managing Intestinal Microbes May Help Control Weight

January 12, 2011: 04:03 AM EST

U.S. research in mice has found that the absence of the toll-like receptor 2 (Tlr2) in the intestine affects gut bacteria, suggesting a new way to manage weight and intestinal problems. Tlr2 plays a key role in bacterial recognition, intestinal inflammation, and obesity-related metabolic changes. A deficiency of Tlr2 leads to changes in gut bacteria that resemble those of lean animals and humans. Previous research showed that a deficiency of Tlr2 protects against obesity, but also promotes gastrointestinal problems like excessive inflammation. “This research linking gut bacteria to Tlr2 expression opens entirely new doors for weight control solutions, first by cementing TLR2 as a drug target for obesity, and second by providing further evidence that managing gut bacteria may be an important and effective way to control weight,” the researchers wrote.

Richard Kellermayer, et al. , "Colonic mucosal DNA methylation, immune response, and microbiome patterns in Toll-like receptor 2-knockout mice", The FASEB Journal, January 12, 2011, © Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
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