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Vanderbilt Researchers Turn to Bacteria to Fight Obesity -- Eric Alvarez

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The fight against the obesity epidemic is getting help from an unexpected ally, researchers say.

A team of Vanderbilt researchers says they found a way to reduce obesity in lab mice by giving them "helpful" bacteria.

Researchers say they trained pro-biotics to keep mice thinner, even those that ate the same fatty foods as mice who were not given the bacteria.

"It may have enormous implications concerning our well-being, our ability to remain slim and not gain unwanted weight," said Dr. William Schaffner, infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt.  "Other investigators are looking at its implications for heart disease also."

The bacteria still needs more regulation before researchers can begin testing them on humans, Schaffner said.

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