Obesity is a major risk factor for serious conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, as well as diverse cancers. While obesity is common- nearly 1/3rd of Americans are obese, it’s usually met with the solution of exercise and diet change, but what if those two things aren’t helping you shed the pounds?
It could very well be due to your microbiota (gut flora) being out of balance. Your digestive system has a complex set of bacteria and enzymes that work to digest your food. With trillions of bacteria cells in our gut it’s no wonder it has such a large effect on our health.
We have found 5 ways your gut flora could be affecting your weight management and what you can do to help keep your gut stay healthy and balanced.
- Research has shown that obese people have a less diverse microbiome with a larger count of bacteria called Firmicutes and less of the bacteria group Bacteroidetes which has been linked with obesity. Firmicutes aids in your body digesting complex sugars by storing them in fat cells.
- People with yeast overgrowth often crave more sugary foods often fueling the growth of yeast. Probiotic supplements with digestive enzymes and without added dairy and sugar can help support your body in getting the overgrowth of yeast back into a healthy range.
- Researchers have manipulated gut flora in animals and found it directly affects their weight management. While both subjects were eating the same amount of calories from food a certain manipulation in their gut bacteria was changing their metabolism. This study showed that gut flora has a direct effect on weight management and how your body breaks down and stores nutrients.
- Inflammation has been linked to obesity, but what you might not know is it all involves your gut flora. Researchers from the University of County Cork Ireland used inflammatory markers to test the metabolic health of 2,040 people. Researchers noticed that no matter the subject’s weight, metabolic health was indicated from having low levels of white blood cells and higher levels of adiponectin- an anti-inflammatory hormone. Even lean subjects were expected to gain more weight over the course of the years if their metabolic health was poor.
- Your microbiota influences your appetite. Researchers concluded that gut bacteria can influence your emotional state even to the point of anxiety and stress. With the bacteria in your gut having such an influential effect on your mood, it’s no wonder it can change what you are craving to eat. If you find yourself reaching for sugary foods it might be time to destress and find a probiotic supplement.
Having a healthy gut is so much more than exercising and eating right. It’s important that we are taking the time to keep our delicate gut flora in a healthy and balanced state, after all we are what we eat.