NEW STUDY IN MEC: "OBESITY, BODY FAT DISTRIBUTION AND CANCER RISK"
In the Multiethnic Cohort (MEC) Study, we have observed that Japanese Americans and Native Hawaiians are at higher risk of obesityârelated diseases, such as diabetes and certain cancers, compared to whites, for a given body size. We believe that these risk differences may be due in part to differences in where we accumulate fat within our body. In order to better understand body fat distribution and its relationship to disease, we are recruiting 2,000 MEC volunteers to look at this question in depth. In addition to evaluating body fat distribution through imaging, we are also studying gut bacterial populations to determine if these influence body fat patterns and risk of disease. This project has two substudies: the Body Fat Imaging Study and the Gut Microbiome Study.
BODY FAT IMAGING STUDY
In this part of the study, we are using surveys, blood measurements and DXA and MRI scans to find out how and why body fat distribution differs among men and women of Japanese, Hawaiian, European, African or Hispanic ancestry. Such a detailed study of multiple ethnic groups has never been done before, and this project can be best conducted in the Multiethnic Cohort. As always, we thank you for your participation in our research.
To read more about Obesity Rates in the Multiethnic Cohort
GUT BACTERIA (or GUT MICROBIOME) Study
One of the risk factors leading to obesity and increased abdominal fat may be certain profiles of bacterial populations that live in the gut. Recent studies found that intestinal bacteria are essential for the metabolism of energy and nutrients in the human hosts and that certain bacterial populations can extract up to an additional 15% of calories from the diet for their human hosts. In this part of the study, our goal is to determine how the types of intestinal bacteria found in stool are related to ethnicity, body weight, diet, lifestyle and genetics. The Multiethnic Cohort provides an ideal setting to conduct this type of innovative research. As always, we thank you for your participation.
To read more about Gut Bacteria and Human Health
NEW STUDY IN MEC: "BRAIN-GUT MICROBIOME-VISCERAL ADIPOSITY RELATIONSHIPS IN MULTIETHNIC ADULTS"
The gut is referred to as the second brain for their close connection. The brain regulates the body's overall metabolism and affects the environment of intestinal bacteria. The gut microbes, in turn, have an effect on the brain by generating neuroactive compounds that are able to modify our mood and appetite. As part of the MEC Body Imaging Study above, this new project is investigating the structure, chemistry and neural connections within the brain using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These measurements will be related to gut microbes of individuals with low or high levels of intra-abdominal fat to see how certain bacteria and excess internal fat act together to affect the brain.