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.

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