A new study on mice indicates that intestinal bacterial flora may be affected by Yo-yo dieting.

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Yo-yo dieting, also known as weight cycling, is referring to the cyclical weight loss and then regain.

In this new study, researchers studied mice’s intestinal flora after a successful weight loss and noticed a change in the bacterial flora. They then noticed that this change appeared to contribute to the mice rapidly gaining weight again.

The researchers gave the altered intestinal flora to mice that had not been on the diet, which led to that also they rapidly gained weight.

Conversely, it was possible to stem the rapid weight gain in mice by giving them a gut flora from normal mice. Interestingly, the same effect was also seen when feeding the mice a form of so-called flavonoids, found in many plants.

Further studies are needed in order to establish if these results are relevant for humans, but the researchers suggest however that the regulation of intestinal flora could lead to long-lasting and more stable weight management.


Thaiss, C. et al. Persistent microbiome alterations modulate the rate of post-dieting weight regain, Nature, DOI: 10.1038 / nature20796 (2016).