Now that we’ve discussed the impact of genetics and hormones on the ability to effectively lose and maintain weight, let’s move deeper…literally…to the microbiome, or the balance of types of bacteria within our intestinal tract.
Our bodies contain 10X more single-celled bacteria than the number of our own cells…and we need to cultivate these properly! Extremely detailed double-blind studies have consistently shown that the content and types of bacteria residing in our gut has a direct effect on weight gain, and the ability to burn fat.
Some of these actually involve fecal transplants between identical twins, whereby the implantation of bacteria actually causes one twin to become fat, while the other stays lean. Do you think this might be powerful as a piece of weight loss knowledge?
Individuals with higher concentrations of a bacteria called Firmicutes are more likely to be obese, while those with more Bacteroidetes show a propensity to be leaner. Why? Some strains of bacteria actually break down foods which our own systems cannot digest, thereby supplying a higher amount of true caloric availability, while other strains do not.
In addition, the presence of certain bacteria cause a proliferation of capillaries in the gut, which enhances macronutrient absorption. Finally, breakdown of certain species of bacteria leave end-products which increase the possibility of “leaky-gut syndrome” where molecules normally too big to cross the gut wall now are able to, causing all kinds of systemic inflammatory responses.
How do we optimize the makeup of the microbiome to best support weight loss and systemic health as well. In two ways…first healing and repopulating the gut with the proper balance of bacterial species, and second, supplying the raw materials (prebiotics) to feed the good bacteria, while starving the bad ones.
This does not mean simply getting a supplement with the most billions of organisms, but the right species. In addition, certain fibers and resistant starches serve to feed the good guys without being digested by our bodies and providing excessive calories and consequent blood sugar swings.
Compass Fat Loss utilizes these principles and many other science-based tools daily to assist our patients with maximizing their weight loss while optimizing their health profiles.
Stay tuned for our next installment, which will explore the effects age and gender have on your weight loss efforts!
Dr. Eric M. Kusher