February 25, 2019 – Gut Immunity and Obesity


Anchor lead: Can immune cells in your gut affect your weight? Elizabeth Tracey reports

What does your immune response have to do with body weight? Perhaps quite a lot, new research reveals. Michael Blaha, a preventive cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, explains.

Blaha: Very interesting new research has shown that immune cells within the gut may affect our metabolism. It’s these immune cells that may slow down gut motility and increase the body’s ability to lay down new fat cells. That might turn our bodies into more of a fat storage state rather than a burning fat state. This might explain why some people with the same amount of calorie intake might gain a lot of fat and weight and other people might eat the same amount of foods and macronutrients and might not gain weight and might actually burn fat.   :31

Blaha notes that the immune cells along with gut flora may very well interact and have much to do with metabolism of foods. The potential good news is that as we’re learning more about the gut environment, modifying it may be as simple as consuming things like probiotics. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.