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Gastric bacteria may aid weight loss

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NEW YORK — Bacteria that live in the gut change after gastric-bypass surgery, and may aid in weight loss, according to a Harvard University study.

Researchers gave mice the stomach-shrinking surgery and monitored changes in the gut’s bacterial inhabitants, according to a study in the journal Science Translational Medicine. When bacteria from the mice that got surgery were transferred into mice with no gut germs, those mice also lost weight, about a fifth of what they would have lost with surgery. Gastric surgery helps people lose weight by shrinking the stomach. Now scientists think it may also adjust gastrointestinal bacteria, contributing to weight loss and raising the possibility for less-drastic obesity treatments, according to the authors.

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