A Healthier Wisconsin

Relationship Between Gut Microbiome and Obesity in African-Americans

Exploring the impact of the gut microbiome on resting metablic rate in African-Americans in Wisconsin

Full Project Name:Relationship Between Resting Metabolic Rate, Body Weight, and Gut Microbiome in African-AmericansPrincipal Investigator:Srividya Kidambi, MD, MS, MedicineCo-Investigator:Justin L. Grobe, PhD, Physiology; John R. Kirby, PhD, Microbiology and Immunology; Joni Williams, MD, MPH, MedicineAward Amount:$250,000
Award Date
Project Duration:24 months

Project Description Narrative:

In Wisconsin, obesity rates have more than doubled since 1990 and are disproportionately high among African-American women. High prevalence of obesity can result in higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors that contribute to stroke, heart failure, and peripheral vascular disease.

A potential contributor to weight problems in African-American women may be related to a lower resting metabolic rate. Because the resting metabolic rate accounts for about 60 to 70 percent of the total daily energy needs of a person, any lowering of the resting metabolic rate can contribute significantly to weight gain. Recent studies have shown that changes to the gastrointestinal (gut) microbiome can contribute to the control of body weight by modifying the resting metabolic rate in animals. However, it is not yet known whether the resting metabolic rate is affected by gut microbiota in humans.

Through this project, investigators will explore whether gut microbiota differ between African-American and Caucasian women, and if these differences contribute to lower resting metabolic rates. Understanding these factors may provide novel avenues to formulate therapeutics and preventive measures for obesity and cardiovascular disease, particularly among underserved minority populations.

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