Gut Bacteria and Weight Loss: Rebalance your gut bacteria and drop a jeans size. The latest research studies agree.

So far, the reasons for weight gain were an unhealthy lifestyle, junk foods and inheriting faulty genes. Now, there is a twist in the obesity story as gut bacteria enters the scene. If you have been thinking that the role of the gut was just to digest and assimilate food you are in for a surprise. Your gut is your second brain and new pieces of evidence indicate that the gut bacteria known as microbiota can change the way we store fat or respond to hormones that make us feel hungry or full. The wrong mix of microbes in your gut will set the stage for obesity and eventually diabetes right from the birth.

Are you finding it hard to believe? Research scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine led by Dr. Jeffrey Gordon introduced gut microbes from obese and lean human twins to mice raised in a germ-free background. They fed both the groups of mice same diet, but one group grew fatter. And this group had the gut microbes from the obese twin which fairly indicates the role of gut microbes in weight gain.

If you are wondering this happens with mice and not with human beings, reserve your comments till you read this.

A 32-year-old woman was suffering from a recurrent C.difficile infection. This bacterium commonly affects those treated with antibiotics and causes symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal cramps. It can even cause severe bowel swelling, a life-threatening condition.r such patients fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is a promising treatment. The patient was successfully treated with FMT from a healthy but obese donor (her daughter).

While the patient’s condition improved considerably after FMT, she started to gain weight  Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is a promising treatment for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection.

At the time of transplant, the woman weighed 136 pounds and a healthy BMI of 26.6. However, 16 months later her weight was 177 pounds with a BMI of 34.5, despite a medically supervised liquid protein diet and exercise program.

This lends weight to the hypothesis that FMT transferred an obese microbiota and now as a matter of policy doctors during FMT use non-obese donors to circumvent the obese microbiota.

How your gut bacteria influence your metabolism and weight?

Like Amazon rain forest, leaner individuals have a diverse ecosystem of bacteria in their gut, whereas the obese people have fewer bacteria in their gut. These missing microbes are responsible for the weight gain, scientists have found.

  1. A new study in the Journal Cell reports that Christensenellaceae – a type of bacteria in your gut can help you stay thin and less of it is linked to obesity. While genes decide how much of these bacteria are present in your digestive system, the good news is most of us have these bacteria and can lifestyle changes help tweak its level.
  2. Bacteroidetes, another tribe of microbes that goes missing in obese individuals may be causing the weight gain. Bacteroidetes specialize in breaking down bulky plant starches and fibers into shorter molecules which the body could utilize as energy.
  3. Stomach bacterium Helicobacter pylori regulate appetite by modulating the secretion of ghrelin, the hunger hormone. H. pylori bacterium is absent from the digestive tracts of people due to indiscriminate use of antibiotics.  

We are what we eat. Our diet determines our gut ecosystem. A healthy gut has millions of good bacteria. If you eat highly processed foods, your gut bacteria will suffer. By introducing prebiotics and probiotics in your diet you can help achieve a healthy gut.

Probiotics are live bacteria. They are present in foods like homemade curd (Ayurveda considers buttermilk even better than curd), pickles, and fermented vegetables and foods. They are sensitive to heat and inside the gut, they have to compete with the thousands of strands of bacteria that are already residing in the gut.

Prebiotics are plant fiber. When they enter the digestive tract, particularly the large intestine they act like a fertilizer to the colonies of good bacteria present in the colon.  Unlike probiotics, prebiotics is not sensitive to heat. Good sources of prebiotics are raw or cooked onions, garlic, apples, bananas, and beans.  

For a healthy gut, you need approximately 25 grams of prebiotic fiber daily. Fix your lifestyle and eat prebiotic enriched whole grains, beans and fruits daily. Additionally, you should consume fermented foods and dairy items like homemade curd and buttermilk. 

 You would realize that healthy gut bacteria and weight loss goes together. Take care of your gut and the benefits will spill beyond a slimmer waistline. Your immunity and well being are going to thank you.