The 100 trillion or so bacteria that reside in the human gastrointestinal tract may offer an unexpected benefit—a means of countering weight gain from use of antipsychotics.
A solution to the problem of antipsychotic-provoked weight gain may lie in the bacteria that make their home in the gut, some researchers believe.
Animal research has suggested that bacteria that reside in the gut play a key role in energy regulation and obesity. A link between obesity and gut bacteria has also been found in humans. Moreover, John Cryan, Ph.D., chair of anatomy and neuroscience at University College Cork in Cork, Ireland, and his colleagues recently found, in rats, that chronic olanzapine treatment altered the composition of bacteria living in the gut.
Cryan and colleagues thus reasoned that if they were able to find a way of reversing olanzapine-induced alterations in gut bacteria in rats, it might counter olanzapine-induced weight gain in the animals.