Beneficial Bacteria Stimulate Youthful Thyroid Gland Activity | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2165-7904

Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy
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Research Article

Beneficial Bacteria Stimulate Youthful Thyroid Gland Activity

Bernard J Varian1, Theofilos Poutahidis1,2, Tatiana Levkovich1, Yassin M Ibrahim1, Jessica R Lakritz1, Antonis Chatzigiagkos2, Abigail Scherer-Hoock1, Eric J Alm3,4 and Susan E Erdman1*
1 Division of Comparative Medicine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
2 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Laboratory of Pathology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
3 Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
4 Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, USA
Corresponding Author : Susan E Erdman
Assistant Director
Division of Comparative Medicine Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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Received April 21, 2014; Accepted June 18, 2014; Published June 20, 2014
Citation: Varian BJ, Poutahidis T, Levkovich T, Ibrahim YM, Lakritz JR, et al. (2014) Beneficial Bacteria Stimulate Youthful Thyroid Gland Activity. J Obes Weight Loss Ther 4:220. doi:10.4172/2165-7904.1000220
Copyright: © 2014 Varian BJ, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Healthful aging with active participation in society are global public health priorities. Sender physique and high productivity levels absent clinical disease are widely recognized features of healthful aging. During studies of obesity in mice, we found that feeding of a purified probiotic microbe, Lactobacillus reuteri, forestalled typical old age-associated weight gain and lethargy, and instead conveyed physical features of much younger mice. We hypothesized that these retained features of youth may be related to increased thyroid gland activity. We subsequently discovered elevated levels of serum T4 and larger thyroid glands in slender one-year-old recipients of probiotic microbes, when compared with their age-matched obese control subjects. Oral L. reuteri treatment also preserved thyroid follicle epithelial height, a key histologic feature of thyroid gland activity, which relied mechanistically upon bacteria-triggered anti-inflammatory CD25+ regulatory T cells. These data from animal models suggest that probiotic microbe supplementation may be used to stimulate beneficial host immune interactions with improved thyroid function and more healthful aging.


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