The gut microbiome is the collection of bacteria and other microorganisms carried naturally in the intestines, which are normal contributors to healthy immune activity and metabolism. The composition of these microbes can vary greatly among individuals, and it has been shown in humans to influence personalized responses to diet (such as glucose tolerance and blood lipid levels). Researchers will determine whether this type of gut microbial personalization also helps to explain why some overweight cats lose weight successfully when put on a lower-calorie or restricted diet, while others do not. Findings will inform further studies on gut microbiome modifications, possibly through targeted probiotics or antibiotics, to help improve weight management in cats.
Grant amount awarded
Curtis Huttenhower, PhD, MD