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How Gut Bacteria Affects Your Weight


By Columnist Ange Sinclair – Founder of Digestive Detective:


Photo Credit: Argonne National Library, 2013: Clostridia protects Against Food Allergies

We all know what we eat affects our gut bacteria but did you know that an imbalanced gut bacteria can cause weight gain?

When gut bacteria is balanced and we have the right diversity of species, in the correct proportions living happily in our gut. Then, we can chug along merrily. But, when the gut bacteria are imbalanced that is another story altogether.

Gut bacteria alters the way we store fat. Plus, these bacteria affect the hormonal messages that we get to signify that we are full or not, and they also help us keep our blood sugar levels stable. Therefore, it is essential to our health to create a diverse ecosystem as a matter of priority.

Gut Bacteria That Assist Weight Loss

The gut bugs called Bacteroidetes tend to hang out in slimmer people. Bacteroidetes break down starches and fibres into shorter molecules so that the body can use it as energy.

Firmicutes are a more prevalent species in people who are overweight.  Firmicutes help the body extract calories from complex sugars and it then turns those calories into fats.

Researchers on mice showed that if they transplanted Firmicutes into normal weight mice,  the mice would start to gain twice as much fat.

How to Keep Your Bacteroides High

What can you do to keep your level of Bacteroidetes high and encourage diversity in your inner ecosystem?

  • Eat whole, unprocessed foods – as we know diversity is the key to great gut health. Diversity in your gut bacteria can be achieved by consuming many healthy foods. So, eat many different types of fruit and vegetables every week.
  • Avoid high fat diets as they increase inflammation and weight gain.The fat you eat matters, so avoid refined omega 6 fats like sunflower, safflower soybean and canola oil. Include oily fish and free range meats as they have a higher omega 3 content.
  • Avoid chemicals, pesticides and genetically modified organisms. These chemicals, pesticides and GMO’s are becoming harder to avoid within our food chain. They potential damage our nervous, endocrine and reproductive systems and they increase our overall risk of cancer. GMO products are generally engineered to produce pesticides themselves, and they also have a negative impact on the gut bacteria.  Organic foods are great here for reducing your toxic load.  It is also good to change your household and personal care products over to natural ranges.
  • Reduce your stress. Stress changes bacteria levels in the gut which can lead to changes to our immune system and our neurotransmitter production. In addition, stress can also increase our chances of getting a pathogen.
  • Get some sleep. Interrupted sleep prevents your body from properly producing the hormones that regulate your sleep. Research shows that when our circadian rhythm is disrupted, it disrupts the gut bacteria as well.

As you can see, there are many variables that can keep our gut bugs happy and produce the bacteria that keep our weight stable. Therefore, a few simple changes can make a difference to your weight.

About Our Digestive News and Review Columnist – Ange Sinclair

AngeAnge Sinclair, founder of Digestive Detective is a Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist. She has a special interest in Digestive Disorders. She helps you beat the bloat, purge your pain and find the root cause of your problem using nutrition, herbal medicine and supplements.

Visit Ange’s website to take her quiz to see if you are ready to change your health, or connect on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

Disclaimer: The information published in this column are the author’s professional knowledge and opinion. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

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