What is your gut bacteria telling you?
The fastest growing and most exciting topic in health research right now is the microbiome, which is the ecosystem of bacteria living in each of our bodies. This bacterial colony is so abundant, it outnumbers the number of cells in our body 10 to 1.
Of course, there’s bad bacteria, which causes disease, but the microbiome is made up of beneficial bacteria which helps us digest food, manufactures vitamins, strengthens our immune system and protects us from disease. Science is also discovering that bacteria plays a big role in our metabolism and weight.
The types and quantities of bacteria in our bodies can predict what diseases we are vulnerable to contracting, from digestive ailments to diabetes to autoimmune issues. Recently though, scientists have been studying the biome to understand one of the biggest health issues facing developed nations, the rise in obesity. They have found that there is a correlation between the biome and body mass index.
A recent book by Sandra Aamodt brings this research to light. Her book “Why Diets Make Us Fat: The Unintended Consequences of Our Obsession with Weight Loss” takes a fresh new look at the connection between bacteria and weight. Aamodt’s assertions are controversial because they negate the effectiveness of the modern diet industry.
She says that weight loss generated by typical diets just prompts the body to regain weight due to a drop in metabolism. Because metabolism drops dramatically after weight loss, most people have to eat much less, then when they were dieting, to keep the weight off.
But there’s a better way to take off weight sustainably. Aamodt’s book explains how by describing the relationship between weight loss and our intestinal bacteria. The relationship is complicated but offers insight into why some people are naturally thin and others struggle to keep weight off.
Gut bacteria fall into three categories: bacteroidetes, firmicutes and actinobacteria. These bacteria break down the part of food that would be otherwise wasted. And bacteroidetes even make vitamin K, a vital nutrient we can’t make by ourselves. Bacteria, in fact, can extract a lot more energy from food than digestive enzymes can do by themselves.
Slimmer people have a higher ratio of bacteroidetes compared to firmicutes. The reason these bacteria affect our weight is because they regulate how much fat and calories we absorb. Firmicutes help us obtain more energy from food, particularly carbohydrates. For people who eat a lot of fruits and veggies, it can add up to an extra 140 to 180 calories per day. Bacteroidetes, on the other hand, can suppress enzymes that lead to increased fat storage.
The diversity of gut bugs also matters, as people with less diverse biomes are more likely to be obese. They can also have issues with metabolic syndrome and higher risk factors for diabetes and heart disease. Antibiotics are the primary reason our biome is less diverse. For this reason, the over use of antibiotics could be making us fat.
Many of the current bacterial experiments have primarily been done on mice. When scientists transferred bacteria from obese mice to slim mice, the lean mice gained weight. But there’s also research being conducted on humans.
For example, researchers have a better success rate predicting if people are fat or thin from their biome (90 percent accuracy) than their genetics (only 58 percent accuracy). This is good news, because while you can’t change your genes, you can change the make up of your biome by eating the right diet with fermented foods, taking the right probiotics and supplements and minimizing medications, antibacterial products and stress.
A healthy digestive system is the best support for cultivating a healthy microbiome. The 21-Day Body Makeover supports the building of bacteroidetes and lowering of firmicutes through a high fiber, low sugar diet, supplementation and liver detox supplements.
DigestionEase is one of the digestive supplements included in the 21-Day Body Makeover plan. It helps the body digest the fibers, proteins and fats that feed the right kind of bacteria in the body. So detoxing correctly and replenishing the right bacteria in your body can not only lead to weight loss but improve overall health.