Scientists may have found one of the keys to weight loss hiding in the poop of 3,000-year-old mummies. The bacterial DNA found in their guts is very different from our modern intestinal flora.

The reason: chlorinated water and antibiotics.

That's the first hypothesis of Dr. Cecil Lewis. According to Lewis — who is leading a team of scientist hunting for bacterial DNA samples in mummy guts and cave soil across North and South America — these two factors "fundamentally changed human microbiomes."

Lewis believes that "the association between antibiotics and obesity is important to explore." Indeed, there's already research that indicates a link between the use of these medicines and obesity.

So the secret to fighting obesity may be through the recuperation of these 3,000-year-old bacteria. We don't know yet, however. According to Lewis "it's too early to tell if it's a good idea to repopulate our guts with bacteria. But it's certainly an important idea that requires investigation."

Another idea that may require investigation by normal people: not eating like pigs and move a bit. Unless you want to start getting mummy poop injected in your body, that is. [New Scientist via NineMSN via MNN]

Image credit: Klafubra