Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Why Smokers Gain Weight When They Quit Smoking

Most smokers put on a couple of kilos when they quit smoking.

Eighty per cent of quiters put on seven kilos on average. Their weight increases even if their calorie intake remains the same or even falls compared to the level before quitting smoking.

Changes in Intestinal Flora

Researchers attribute the cause to a changed composition of the bacterial diversity in the intestine. The bacterial strains that also prevail in the intestinal flora of obese persons take the upper hand in people giving up smoking.

While the bacterial diversity in the faeces of smokers and non-smokers changed only little over time, giving up smoking resulted in the biggest shift in the composition of the microbial inhabitants of the intestines. The Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes fractions increased at the expense of representatives of the Firmicutes and Actinobacteria phyla. 

The new gut flora apparently used the energy contained in the nutrition more efficiently.


The above story is based on the August 29, 2013 news release by the Swiss NationalScience Foundation.

The research has been published in PLOS ONE, an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE:

Biedermann L et al. Smoking Cessation Induces Profound Changes in the Composition of the Intestinal Microbiota in Humans. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (3): e59260

Click HERE for the full text.

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