Today I have some information that we always factor into our weight loss plans, but many people are not even aware of.
Do you have weight loss issues?
How about belly bloating, flatulence, low moods or regular loose bowels motions?
A study of mice with the rodent equivalent of metabolic syndrome has added to evidence that the intestinal microbiome — a ‘garden’ of bacterial, viral and fungal genes — plays a substantial role in the development of obesity and insulin resistance in mammals, including humans.
This John Hopkins study looked at the role of bacteria in the gut. In one part of the complex study the mice were given antibiotic therapy to dramatically reduce the number of bacteria in the digestive tract – essentially giving the gut a clean slate. The mice with existing metabolic syndrome had a significant reduction in symptoms, proving that bacteria in the gut play a big role in weight gain and metabolic syndrome.
In a different mouse study – I know – poor mice!!! – it was discovered that total body and fat mass, as well as obesity-associated metabolic phenotypes, were transmissible with uncultured fecal samples. In layman’s terms, they put the feces of a fat mouse into a skinny mouse, and that mouse became obese. No change in diet etc. On the flip side, they transplanted the skinny mouse’s feces into the obese mouse, and the obese mouse stopped gaining weight.
What these studies highlight is something that naturopaths have always known… the gut is responsible for many, many health issues, and healing digestion is imperative in all people, regardless what their symptoms are.
How to improve our microbiota and lose weight
Balancing gut is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Each persons microbiome is unique – just like your fingerprint. So an imbalance in your gut can present in many ways, all needing different treatment approaches.
Some pathogens that live in our gut are very stubborn and even anti-biotic resistant. They create safe spots in your body to hide away called ‘biofilms’. Biofilms can be very hard to break down, and you can’t kill off the pathogen until you get rid of the biofilm. A good example of one type of biofilm is dental plaque. The bacteria that make it is mutans streptococci and lactobacilli, but there are other species as well.
Luckily herbal medicine can destroy most pathogens and tear down biofilms – but treatment can take a long time for certain pathogen species. If you have persistent gut symptoms, your naturopath may run pathology to see exactly what pathogens you have so treatment can be specific for your body.
Diet changes to make now
Here are some tips to help maintain a healthy microbiome. They won’t correct an out of balance system, but if you haven’t got gut symptoms, then these will ensure you stay that way!
- Eat probiotic foods daily. Be sure to have a good mix of choices – don’t use one type/brand of yogurt daily. You need to aim at diversity, so have several options in the cupboard/fridge and enjoy them regularly. Examples are; sauerkraut, Kimchi, Beet Kvass, Kefir, Yogurts.
- Eat prebiotic foods daily – pre-biotics feed the bacteria, keeping numbers healthy and strong. Good examples of these are; asparagus, onions, Jerusalem artichokes, bananas, oatmeal, honey, maple syrup, and legumes.
- Use fresh herbs and spices in your cooking. Herbs and spices have many therapeutic qualities, including being able to kill pathogens. Top choices; basil, coriander, garlic, garlic, garlic, clove, turmeric, curry, oregano, cinnamon, cardamom.
How to know you need a gut cleanse
If you struggle with the following symptoms, book in a call! You need a good naturopathic gut detox and microbiome remodeling. If it hasn’t fixed itself by now, it needs some specialist TLC.
- Flatulence – particularly if it is smelly
- Bloating in the belly. Especially if you notice it after carbs and sugar
- Gripping pains
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Passing undigested foods
- Feel bloated after a meal for more than 30 minutes
- Any gut signs coupled with depression, anxiety, and low mood
We’d love to help you get your gut right – because your energy, hormones, mood, and health depend on it – Just CLICK HERE to book your free introductory call.