Two years ago, we mentioned the weird stuff that goes on when bears hibernate. Here’s another article along those lines . . .
Each year, bears hibernate for the winter. They gorge themselves on food to pack on fat, but somehow avoid health consequences. Now, scientists have found that the bears’ shifting metabolic status is associated with significant changes in their gut microbes.
“The restructuring of the microbiota into a more avid energy harvester during summer, which potentially contributes to the increased adiposity gain without impairing glucose metabolism, is quite striking,” said Fredrik Backhed, one of the researchers, in a news release.
The composition of gut microbiota can influence the amount of energy harvested from the diet. In fact, microbiota shifts in people who are obese and in those with type 2 diabetes.
In this latest study, the researchers collected fecal samples from wild bears during hibernation and in the active period. Then, the researchers analyzed the microbes living within these sample. The scientists found reduced diversity in the hibernation microbiota…