The reason: chlorinated water and antibiotics.
That’s the first hypothesis of Dr Cecil Lewis. According to Lewis — who is leading a team of scientist hunting for bacterial DNA samples in mummies’ guts and caves’ soil across the whole American continent — these two factors “fundamentally changed human microbiomes”.
Lewis believes that “the association between antibiotics and obesity is important to explore.” Indeed, there’s already research that indicates a link between the use of these medicines and obesity.
So the secret to fight obesity may go through the recuperation of these 3000-year-old bacteria. We don’t know yet, however. According to Lewis “it’s too early to tell if it’s a good idea to repopulate our guts with bacteria. But it’s certainly an important idea that requires investigation.”
Another idea that may require investigation by normal people: not eating like pigs and move a bit. Unless you want to start getting mummie’s poo injected in your body, that is. [New Scientist via NineMSN via MNN]
Image: Klafubra/Creative Commons.