Your Gut Bacteria May Be Key in Weight Loss

Your Gut Bacteria May Be Key in Weight Loss

Posted by Lori Shemek; September 26, 2013

Did you ever think that your gut bacteria could be a cause, not just for a bad case of heartburn, but for weight gain as well?

Apparently, this is true.

Recent research has shown that gut bacteria may in fact influence our weight – who knew? Researchers have found that obese people have less diverse gut flora than lean people. So, why does gut flora have such a potential impact? Gut flora’s main benefits are the harvesting of energy from the fermentation of undigested carbs and the absorption of fatty acids.

What we know so far is that people who put on the most weight lack specific (or have them at extremely low levels) species of bacteria in their digestive tract as opposed to thin individuals.

In one study reported in the journal Science, mice that were raised without any gut flora at all, were planted with gut bacteria from…are you ready for this…the gut bacteria from a thin and an obese person, who just happened to be twins. The mice that were transplanted with the bacteria from the obese twin gained more weight than those mice that received the bacteria from the lean twin. When the researchers fed the mice our Standard American Diet (SAD), a diet full of carbs and fat, the obesity protection gave way for the lean mice, meaning, what they ate determined whether the good germs could move in and do their job.

Our gut houses 70% of our immune system (and the way we feel!) and that means the more populated our digestive is with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria, the better we may feel and the less weight we may carry. So the use of antibiotics or perhaps eating certain foods such as sugar will have an effect on our entire system.

It’s not completely clear the connection and interaction between bacteria and obesity and how they are related, but research does show that the bacteria themselves are implicated in the overall metabolism of humans and may explain why some people have a more challenging time losing weight than others. The possibility of personalized weight loss therapies with targeted strains of bacteria in our future?

Until we know exactly which strains of probiotics will confer weight loss benefits, start now by paying attention to your diet, adding high fiber foods, healthy fats, reducing sugar and supplementing with a high quality multi-strain probiotic. Remember, nutrition is 80% of your weight loss success. In doing this, you will help create optimal health and weight loss.

~Lori Shemek