As time passes we have found out that there is more to weight gain and loss then JUST calories. As a trainer I’ve grown to understand that the body is a very fine tuned machine. Everything from food allergies, hormones, minerals, vitamins, and sleep have an impact on weight and fat storage. To simply think that the body only gains based on numbers is pulling a blind eye to complexity of the human body and what an amazing creation it really is. I was taught (14 year ago) that it’s all about the “Law of Thermodynamics,” meaning calories in verses calories out. If you burn more calories then you consume then you lose. However, the body is not always that simple. Other factors can get in the way and in many cases DO! This article centers around bacteria. Which, in my mind, mean probiotics. I believe in them 100% and I have all my clients on them! This new research has linked “bacteria to weight loss.”
The Research Behind Bacteria and weight loss
Volunteers in this study lost a stone (roughly 14 pounds) every three weeks just by altering the bacteria in their gut. This went on for a total of 6 months. Researchers in China are also looking into this. They believe that changing the bacteria in the gut can help people lose weight more so then even diet. However, in conduction with a healthy diet works the best.
The latest World Health Organization figures show there were more than 1.4 billion adults aged 20 or older who were overweight in 2008. Of these, 200 million men and nearly 300 million women were obese.
Those numbers are rising – they have doubled since 1980.
Lab tests in mice found an association between bacteria and obesity, but trials with people are only just getting started. In a clinical trial, published in the journal Microbiology Ecology, scientists in Shanghai studied 93 obese people who started with an average Body Mass Index (BMI) of 32. They fed the volunteers supplements that promoted the growth of certain types of bacteria and reduced the levels of other bacteria in the gut, alongside a balanced diet.
At 30-day, nine-week and 23-week intervals, participants filled in a questionnaire about what they had eaten in the last 24 hours and were physically examined after overnight fasting. They were also weighed and measured.
People in the trial lost on average 5kg over nine weeks, and the 45% who carried on for 23 weeks lost on average 6kg. Their average BMI fell to 29.3.
One morbidly obese patient who was studied as a precursor to the trial lost 51kg, in six months – or about a stone every three weeks.
The paper says patients’ levels of the C-reactive protein, linked to clogged arteries and damage to blood vessels in the heart, was also reduced during the trial.
But the study notes: “Admittedly, the self-controlled nature of this study does not allow to infer that all described effects are due to manipulation of gut microbiota.”
The diet included prebiotics, such as artichokes.
SO why does this bacteria cause weight gain?? What makes it so horrible that it is slowing changing our bodies?? A bacteria known as enterobacteria, changes our insulin resistance and is seen as a toxin by the human body. This means people could eat carbs and NOT feel full. This of course would lead to weight gain.
“The study built on earlier research in mice, which found a link between one specific type of bacteria, B29, and obesity
Prof Zhao says changing the bacteria could switch on a gene which makes the body burn fat. He says if a person is fed a calorie-restricted diet alone, their ability to lose weight could be impaired if their gut still contains high levels of the type of bacteria, which deactivates the gene that, he says, switches on fat-burning.
He adds: “It is about time to make the public see the kind of scientific evidence we have that really shows we can be confident that gut bacteria have a pivotal role in obesity (source).”
While bacteria can play a role in weight gain and weight loss, it’s important to stay focused on eating a healthy diet also. Taking a GOOD probitoitc is also important in my opinion. We sell the Jigsaw brand in our store because I believe that it’s a high quality probiotic. If you don’t have one already then you might want to look into it. Click here to see it! If you know someone who may be suffering with an imbalance in belly bacteria, then forward them this article.