In recent years, more and more emphasis has been placed on maintaining a healthy gut.

And according to a new study, your gut bacteria could affect your ability to lose or gain weight.

New research by the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at the University of Copenhagen has shown that differing proportions of gut bacteria can determine how much weight a person is able to lose.

A Short History of Gut Health: Good Bacteria vs Bad Bacteria

Ilya Mechnikov won the Nobel Prize in 1908 for his observations about gut immunity which were in part founded on the fermented milk he drank daily. He wrote The Prolongation of Life: Optimistic Studies,and attributed the longevity of Bulgarian peasants to their consumption of fermented milk and yogurt. His observations and writings gave birth to the modern era of the gut microbiome.

We now understand that the gut plays a pivotal role in health and disease has deep roots in ancient tradition. Trailblazing functional medicine and naturopathic practitioners have lead this revolution in understanding the importance of the gut in health. We now know the gut has an influence on cardiovascular health, brain health, and chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes.

One of the fringe benefits we are just beginning to understand is how restoring gut microbial balance resets the body’s metabolism.

Exciting research shows that the types of bacteria that dominate your gut can determine how likely you are to hold onto excess body weight or have a slim figure.

That means diversifying your gut flora give you the power to turn your gut into a fat-burning machine.

Let’s take a look at some of the most recent research in this area.

Burn Fat Naturally

What Science is Telling Us about Gut Bugs and Fat Loss

Overweight people tend to have an imbalanced gut flora. Most experience reduced biodiversity and oftentimes have an overabundance of fat-forming bacteria called firmicutes while thin people tend to have higher amounts of microbes called bacteriodetes. To keep it simple, you can think of these two species as a kind of Yin and Yang of gut microbes. However, the real story is far more complex than a good vs bad bug scenario involving just these 2 types of bacteria.

The main takeaway here is that a disruption in the balance of the gut ecosystem wreaks metabolic havoc leading to illness and weight gain.

There are many ways in which gut microbes can cause physiological mischief leading to weight gain.

Energy Hoarding by Bad Bugs. The firmicutes class of bacteria is known to be extremely efficient at extracting short chain fatty acids from fibrous material. When there is an overabundance of these critters they can be responsible for you retaining an extra 150 calories daily. And this adds up!

Inflammation is one of the pathways to disease pathology and weight gain. Your gut microbes can set off a noxious chain reaction of runaway inflammation throughout the body that disrupts your body’s metabolism and leads to weight gain. Inflammation results in insulin resistance which directly leads to fat accumulation. When the hypothalamus of the brain becomes inflamed, resistance develops to the gut-derived hormone leptin that makes you feel full so appetite goes up.

Leaky Gut. Intestinal inflammation often leads to breaches in the cells of your gut lining. Tiny holes are ripped in this lining—and these holes allow bacterial-derived toxins to enter your blood stream.[i] When your immune system senses this, it cranks up the inflammatory response even more. Systemic inflammation from gut bacteria toxins has been implicated as an early driver of obesity and insulin resistance.

Suffice it to say, your gut microbes control many critical functions that regulate appetite, integrity, immunity, motility, and much more that govern your body’s metabolism. So it’s essential to pay attention to our gut and treat our symbiotic inner helpers with care.

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