And if 2017 was the right year to stop smoking ?Now it’s time to take good resolutions! But as you know, quitting smoking leads to weight gain in the majority of cases. Because ex-smokers fill their lack with sweets? Not only…  Indeed, tobacco has a direct impact on our gut microbiota.

Scientists have proved that weight gain would be due to a modification of the gut microbiota. Unfortunately, this weight gain tends to restrain smokers in their weaning. So, what really happens when we deprive nicotine to our body ?

Smoking cessation results in a decrease in the basic metabolism (calories burned at rest) as well as a compensation of the cigarette by food, but these are not the main reasons for weight gain. Weight gain is the result of a change in distribution of bacteria in the gut microbiota when the tobacco is stopped. This modification is made quickly and is durable over time.

The metabolic profile becomes similar to obese people, meaning the ex-smokers are able to extract more calories from food, which explains the weight gain. The Firmicutes and Actinobacteria become dominant, while the amount of Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria decrease. Indeed, the gut plays a key role in the absorption and digestion of fats : increased of Firmicutes and regression of Bacteroidetes are markers of weight gain.

These studies suggest a big potential of exploration for the discovery of a probiotic which is able to regulate the composition of the gut microbiota by avoiding weight gain at the time of the cessation of smoking.

Of course, the advantages of stopping cigarettes are much more important than this small inconvenience.



ANGELAKIS E, ARMOUGOM F, MILLION M, RAOULT D. The relationship between gut microbiota and weight gain in humans. Future Microbiol. 2012, 1(4): 91-109. doi: 10.2217/fmb.11.142

BIEDERMANN L, ZEITZ J, MWINYI J, SUTTER-MINDER E, REHMAN A, OTT SJ, STEURER-STEY C, FREI A, FREI P, SCHARL M, LOESSNER MJ, VAVRICKA SR, FRIED M, SCHREIBER S, SCHUPPLER M, ROGLER G. Smoking cessation induces profound changes in the composition of the intestinal microbiota in human. PLoS One. 2013; 8(3): e59260