Don't look now, but your gut is teeming with microbes - as many as 100 trillion of them. It may unnerve you to know that you're providing a home to a population of bacteria and other tiny organisms but they're not just squatters; some beneficial bacteria help you digest food and can protect against infection.
Despite the accumulating evidence, though, the field is still in its infancy, says John DiBaise, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona and an author of the study. That means it's far too early to try to manipulate your own gut bacteria through probiotics or prebiotics with an eye to losing pounds.
Chicago Daily Herald, 12/28/09