Currently about seven out of 10 of us are overweight or obese…so naturally, the medical and scientific communities are scrambling to figure out why and studying practically everything from food to environmental factors to whether someone scratches their backside when they wake up.
There are the obvious reasons glaring at all of us—the abundance of processed, packaged and fast foods that provide few nutrients but boatloads of calories, our love affair with soda and sports drinks, our sedentary lifestyles, and our ever-increasing reliance on medications (many of which have weight gain as a side effect).
But another more subtle factor has emerged that could be the best predictor yet as to whether you will be thin for life or spend the rest of your days struggling to lose weight.
Your gut bacteria!
Here’s the scoop:
Gut bacteria—better than the BMI
Researchers at Kings College have found that healthier, more robust communities of gut bacteria are linked to having a normal weight, while a less diverse gut environment was connected to overweight and obesity.
In addition, gut bacteria appear to be a better indicator than the BMI of whether someone’s weight is comprised mainly of lean body mass versus fat.
The researchers analyzed stool samples from more than 1,300 twins, as well as examined X-ray- measurements of their body fat. The x-rays were able to distinguish between visceral fat (which accumulates in the organs and can raise your risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes) from subcutaneous fat, which lies just underneath your skin (what you grab when you “pinch an inch”).
They found that the more healthy and diverse the gut microbiomes, the less likely the study subjects were to be obese. But even more importantly, the researchers found that the less varied the microbiomes were, the more likely the people were to have higher amounts of dangerous visceral fat.
Why in the world?
You may be wondering, “What does my gut bacteria population have to do with the fat on my body?”
Quite a bit actually.
First of all, a strong gut microbiome helps support smooth digestion, proper elimination of wastes and nutrient absorption—all of which are crucial to attaining and maintaining a healthy body weight.
Plus here’s something you probably don’t realize— serotonin is the neurotransmitter that signals satiety when you are full, and having a low level of serotonin can bring on food cravings and ultimately weight gain (plus depression too).
Well, 90 percent of your body’s serotonin in manufactured in your GUT! So if it’s not too healthy down there, you can be running low in serotonin, overeating and packing on the pounds.
In addition, each species of bacteria in your gut has their own “dietary preference.” Depending on which species has the “upper hand” in your gut at any particular time, the microbes can influence your food choices and cravings by releasing signaling molecules into your gut.
And the preferred food of harmful bacteria and yeasts is sugar! So if you are craving sweets and gaining weight, that’s a sign your friendly gut flora population isn’t as strong as it should be.
Give it the pampering it needs!
To help take care of your precious gut, encourage a strong, diverse population of helpful microbes and achieve your weight loss goals, here are some very important steps you can take:
1- Remove harmful factors
All of the following can harm your friendly flora, so the more you can eliminate or avoid them, the better:
- Cigarette smoke
- Excessive alcohol (especially beer)
- Refined carbs (bread, sweets, pasta, crackers, etc.)
- Acid reducing medications
- Regularly lacking sleep
2- Supplement with a top-quality probiotic
There is nothing like probiotic supplementation to help repopulate and rebuild your army of healthy bacteria, and Super Shield multi-strain probiotic formula is as good as it gets. Super Shield contains a helpful variety of bacterial strains from both the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria species, plus the prebiotic FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides) to help nourish the probiotics!
3- Engage the power of your diet
You can help nourish your friendly flora with gut-loving foods like fresh vegetables and fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut.
See what a difference it can make in your health and your weight when you take proper care of your gut microbiome!
To your health,