Probiotics and Body Weight?
CHEAT THE APPETITE Nov 02, 2019
Did you know that our intestinal flora (professional term microbiome) contains an average of 100 trillion bacteria and that their great diversity is partly (40%) dependent on inheritance and another (60%) on lifestyle, diet, and environmental factors?
An important role of the microbiome is the regulation of digestion, hunger, and feeling satisfied, which together affect the intake, consumption, and storage of energy in the body, and indirectly affect our body weight (BW).
The most recent research indicates that there is a difference in the make-up of the intestinal flora of obese and lean people and that many people who carefully follow a diet cannot lose weight precisely because of the specificity of their intestinal flora and the enzymes it creates.
Specifically, it is proven that bacterium called Dialister is found to be more abundant in obese individuals who do not lose weight despite dieting because this bacterium compensates for the lack of calories in their food by better utilization. By switching to a restrictive diet, the bacteria in this group become not only more widespread but also more efficient in generating energy, primarily making better use of carbohydrates, thus neutralizing the effect of diets.
A group of Danish scientists has also shown that obese people who have less diverse intestinal flora than lean people add much more to BW than obese people with diverse flora. Although the reason for the reduced “diversity” of bacteria has not been found, what has been clearly shown is that multiple courses of antibiotic therapy can lead to this phenomenon and the complete and permanent loss of certain normal strains of the microbiome.
It is a good thing that we can all increase the diversity of flora by increasing our intake of vegetable fibers because they contain long-chain carbohydrates that our body cannot “digest,” and are therefore the most delicious food for our microbiome. Under the influence of the intestinal flora, they break down into short-chain fatty acids including butyrate, an anti-inflammatory substance linked to leanness and reduced inflammation in the body.
It is also interesting to note that those who have a much more diverse microbiome and eat a lot of fibrous foods have much higher energy output and a lower risk of getting diabetes. So, if you have type-2 diabetes and are overweight, you can help yourself a lot by eating enough fibrous foods.
One of the latest medical findings linking weight and microbiome is that associated with the Christensenellaceae bacteria. In almost 97% of us, this bacterium is barely present, but it is much more common for lean people. Christensenellaceae have been found to be among the earliest bacteria present, leading us to believe that the hereditary microbiome is crucial for maintaining body weight. Animal studies have shown that Christensenellaceae added to the microbiome of obese mice results in weight loss. The origin of this bacterium is currently being researched as well as ways to stimulate its growth.
One general conclusion would be that while there is still no clear answer as to which bacteria, under normal nutritional conditions, lead to obesity, it is important to know that we have a much better chance of fighting against being overweight if our intestinal flora (microbiome) is more diverse.
So, think about probiotics. Some of these may come in handy when you need them most.