Gut Bacteria and Your Weight

Bloated21

I’ve read some interesting articles lately in the NY Times and More Magazine about the relationship between your gut health and your weight.  Basically the gist is that the amount of bacteria in your gut (intestines, etc) may determine whether you’re lean or obese and may be passed on when you’re born (oh great, one more thing kid’s can blame on their parents!)

The common perception is that the secret to being leaner…or naturally thin…is “eat less, move more,” (which, in general, is definitely a good idea & works!) but science is now discovering that there may be other factors in play.  It seems that everybody’s gut microbes are different and determined from an early age…even as early as birth.  There have been studies done with identical twins, one thin & one obese, comparing their gut bacteria.  The thin twin had a more diverse bacterial makeup in his/her gut compared with the obese twin.  So…what to do?

One suggestion is to transfer some of the good gut bacteria from one subject (thin person) into the gut of the other heavier person.  This has successfully been done on mice with amazing results.  In Amsterdam they are investigating whether transferring the feces from lean people to overweight people will lead to weight loss…known as Fecal Microbiota Transplant or FMT (the visual on that is just icky.)  They’ve already done this procedure for other health reasons and are have done studies on mice, concluding that it might be beneficial for weight loss.  Diet is also an obvious factor in shaping how your gut health looks….less processed foods leads to better gut health…and probiotics and fermented drinks, such as kombucha (although controversial), seem to help balance our intestinal health….hence the surge in probiotic products on the market.  I can see the Activia commercial in my head right now!  So, it’s worth a try to get your gut health in order, which could increase your overall health and help you lose weight in the process.  For more information read the articles referenced at the beginning of this post…or read a book on the subject…. The Skinny Gut Diet by Brenda Watson.   My personal take on it is that it’s quite a strict diet to have to stick to, but if you’re up for it, your gut will thank you!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

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