Karine Clément spoke to Mathieu Vidard on La Tête au Carré (Monday and Friday, 14h-15h) on France Inter on 11th September 2013. In this interview she discussed gut microbes, obesity, heart disease and the intriguing link between the lot.

Here is the summary (translated and edited)

"The intestinal flora (or microbiota) is composed of a population of one hundred thousand billion bacteria [Ed's note: assumed to mean 100,000,000,000,000]. It watches over our physical health, improves nutrition and metabolism, and also plays a role in cognitive and mental functions.

"If there is a disruption [to the microbiota], it can contribute to the development of diseases as diverse as diabetes and obesity, allergies, cognitive impairment and even the development of cancer.

"When there is a deficiency of intestinal bacteria (in terms of a loss of diversity), this may contribute to the risk of developing obesity.

"Obesity affected 400 million adults in 2005. By 2015, this number is expected to grow to more than 700 million people - and continue growing after that.

"However, more and more evidence suggests that variations in our other genome, the microbiome (that is to say the overall genome of all the microorganisms in [and on] our body), might have a greater impact on the development of obesity than variations in the human genome."

"With Karine Clément, a physician specialising in nutrition and professor of nutrition at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris. She is also director of the new institute called ICAN, The Institute of Cardiometablism and Nutrition.

Also joined (by telephone) by Gilles Mithieux, biologist and director of INSERM Unit 855 "Nutrition and Brain". He explains the biological mechanisms responsible for the "appetite suppressant" effects of dietary protein. These results, published July 5th 2012 in Cell, envisage better management strategies of obese and overweight patients."

You can listen again here. Find out more here: http://www.franceinter.fr/emission-la-tete-au-carre-la-flore-intestinale-et-les-pathologies-liees

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