Detectable Methane and Hydrogen On Breath Testing Tied To Obesity

New research is finds links between gut flora, the breath and obesity.

 

Man Exhaling Red Cloud Overweight Woman Sitting On Rock

Elevated levels of hydrogen and methane on the breath are clues to microorganisms that colonize the digestive tract.

Given the right conditions, ph, temperature, other bacteria, certain bacteria proliferate.  In the case of  hydrogen and methane breath, the culprit is M.smithil.  M. smithii colonization occurs in the small bowel as well as in the colon. The level and extent of M. smithii colonization is predictive of weight gain.

A person whose exhaled breath contains large amounts of methane and hydrogen is likely to have gut colonization withMethanobrevibacter smithii, which scavenges hydrogen and, during its metabolism, releases methane.

The presence of both methane and hydrogen on breath testing is associated with increased BMI and percent body fat in humans. The hypothesis is that this is due to colonization with the hydrogen-requiring M smithii, which affects nutrient availability for the host and may contribute to weight gain.

Intestinal flora have been implicated in many mechanisms that may contribute to weight gain, including:

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism jc.2012-3144

The Smell Of Gut Bugs

Intestinal flora methane imbalance and obesityPeople with elevated levels of hydrogen and methane on their breath tend to be more overweight than others according to new research.  The culprit is M.smithil and points to a connection between obesity and gut bugs.

Researchers tested 792 people and discovered that those with lots of methane and hydrogen had a higher body mass index (BMI) and a higher proportion of body fat.

Results seems to support the hypothesis that M.smithil, a leading intestinal methane producer absent in some people and elevated in others, enables cohabiting digestive microorganisms to operate more efficiently, boosting calorie availability to the host.

Can Enzymes Make the Meal?

That’s a question that was never asked when our food supply was more natural and unprocessed. With the explosion of  genetically modified organisms in America’s food supply, digestive disorders have risen to new heights. It’s not surprising our bodies don’t handle the digestive process as well as they once did when we have foods registered as pesticides and the evidence they escape the intestines. Can’t imagine what they’re doing to our native intestinal flora.

Structured Weight Loss Program Helps Kids from Low-Income Families Lower BMI

According to New Study in Academic Pediatrics

Overweight and obese children in low-income households can meet or exceed the Expert Committee Recommendations Regarding the Prevention, Assessment, and Treatment of Childhood and Adolescent Overweight and Obesity when given access to a structured weight management program, according to a new study published in Academic Pediatrics.

Healthy Weight_coverThe epidemic of overweight and obesity in the United States affects children, particularly those in low-income families, where they are at higher risk due to unhealthy diets and consumption of higher calorie, high-fat foods and sweetened drinks with limited opportunities for daily physical activity. If left untreated, these conditions are likely to extend into adulthood, placing the child at higher risk for obesity-related diseases, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

The state of Tennessee has struggled with this issue and ranked fifth highest for child obesity in the 2007 National Children’s Health Survey. The year before, Tennessee Medicaid (TennCare) partnered with the international commercial weight loss program, Weight Watchers, to help treat obesity. Through the TennCare Weight Watchers Partnership Program overweight and obese TennCare recipients under the age of 21 were able to participate with no out-of-pocket cost.

A group of researchers led by the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, CO evaluated the weight change of 280 qualified participants aged 10 to 17 years old, who were referred by their health care providers to participate in the program.

“We hypothesized that individuals who participated in the program would have a reduction in body mass index (BMI) z score significantly greater than zero and that there would be no difference in the reduction in BMI z score between boys and girls,” says Nia S. Mitchell, MD, MPH, lead investigator and assistant professor of general internal medicine at CU School of Medicine and CU’s Anschutz Health and Wellness Center and Colorado Health Outcomes. “As secondary analyses, we also determined if there was a threshold of participation, in duration or number of meetings, which might be associated with clinically significant weight loss.” Use of a BMI z score is the optimal way to measure weight change in children.

The team also compared weight change to the Expert Committee Recommendations Regarding the Prevention, Assessment, and Treatment of Childhood and Adolescent Overweight and Obesity.

By the end of their participation in the program, the weight change in 53 percent of the children either met or exceeded the recommendations of the Expert Committee. Participants who attended the program for more than 12 weeks and those who attended ten or more meetings saw a five percent decrease in BMI z score. More than half the participants attended eight or fewer weekly meetings, while nearly 30 percent attended ten or more.

While it is difficult to define significant weight loss in children because they are still growing, the study demonstrated that a clinically significant change in BMI z score was achieved by the 25 percent of those who participated in the program for more than 12 weeks.

Says Dr. Mitchell, “Our analysis suggests that the TennCare Weight Watchers Partnership Program was associated with a majority of participants meeting the recommendations of the Expert Committee. Providers should, therefore, consider referring their patients to similar structured programs.” The study team also points out that this type of partnership can give low-income families the opportunity to give their children a good chance for weight management success.

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