Bacteria that live in the gut have been used to reverse obesity and Type-2 diabetes in animal studies. The BBC has reported that research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has shown that a broth containing a single species of bacteria could dramatically alter the health of obese mice. It is thought to change the gut lining and the way food is absorbed.

Similar tests now need to take place in people to see if the same bacteria can be used to shed the pounds. Meanwhile, gastric bypass operations have been shown to change the balance of bacteria in the gut.

It is hoped that this will be a first step towards eventually using these bacteria as prevention or treatment of obesity and Type-2 diabetes and some form of bacteria-based therapy may be used in the near future.

Sophie Bales, a clinical negligence solicitor at Ashton KCJ, comments: “Obesity and type-2 diabetes are serious health concerns facing the NHS. Gastric band surgery is currently used for obesity but as with all surgery, it can result in serious complications which can have devastating consequences for patients.

Of course it is still early days, but this research is positive as it may lead to bacteria based therapies which would prevent the need for surgical procedures such as gastric band surgery.”