Obesity is an epidemic on the planet and vegetarians lead the way in diabetes. Lifestyle plays a key role. What we eat, the percentage of carbohydrates versus protein, not just calories contributes to whether we train our bodies to develop insulin resistance and later diabetes.
We are not a victim of our genes. However, our genes do determine how much and for how long we can:
1. Abuse our bodies by lack of exercise (this is more than burning calories, it’s about stimulating proper hormones that affect circulation, our ability to detox and remove toxins and manage our metabolic furnace)
2. Take in toxins which become stored in fat cells because our liver cannot efficiently process and eliminate the toxins due to metabolic malnutrition of key nutrients missing in our diet essential for the processing of toxins
3. Eat food that trigger inflammatory genes that alter our fat cell hormones signaling system and causing cellulite, tissue inflammation and whole body reactions to those foods we do not digest well (cow dairy proteins and glutenin from gluten based foods)
Probiotics are beyond what you find in the grocery store!
The field of probiotics is ever changing and in some remarkable ways. Probiotics are now seen as more than the proper communion of micro-organisms that help us make B vitamins. The field of probiotics is so diverse in its function that some probiotics directly affect our respiratory and even our reproductive health. Probiotics are beyond what you find in the grocery store when you reach for yogurt!
Research reported in Nature (2006;444:1027-31 by Turnbaugh Pl, et al) found that intestinal microorganisms transplanted from normal mice to germ-free mice lead to the germ free mice gaining body fat and insulin resistance! This led to studies on obese humans to examine their gut micro flora with inconsistent results but found differences in the type of micro flora from lean humans. Further studies on rats found that high fat diets altered gut micro flora to increase the very microbes found in obese humans (Firmicutes) and lower the good micro flora (Bacteroides) found in lean mice and humans in good quantity. (Gasteroenterology.2009;137:1716-24, Hildebrandt MA, et al) At the very least it is suggested that one’s gut micro flora can predispose one to obesity and weight gain and be made worse by the American high fat, high carbohydrate diet!
Aside from finding insufficient quantities of the good flora, Bacteroides, Lactobacillus was also found to assist in weight loss by improving sugar metabolism in both animal and human studies. Thus the link between obesity, insulin resistance and intestinal dysbiosis cannot be ignored.
One mechanism of why some good flora assist us is the link with their helping us make CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) well known for its positive effects on blood pressure, cholesterol, inflammation and weight management benefits. Both lactobacillus and bifidobacterium help us make CLA!
There has also been talk of how obesity is an inflammatory condition. It’s not a cosmetic issue where we need to be OK about being fat because we have no choice in the matter. It’s a multi-factor condition that can spiral if not managed and trigger imbalances in our ability to:
1. Process and excrete toxins
2. Manage blood sugar
3. Manage processing of lipids
4. Manage hormonal imbalances that trigger hunger and satiety
5. Manage inflammation that triggers all the above imbalances to get worse
6. Absorb and manufacture nutrients
7. Manage metabolism with feedback to neurotransmitters that affect metabolism
Studies are now showing that Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria also have an effect upon improving gut barrier function. A good gut barrier helps to fight infection in the body that rains down upon our circulation from our gums. A good gut barrier helps us to keep our inflammation in check, preventing the cascade of increasing immune sensitivities to foods and environmental allergies. I tell my patients that by the time one is aware of having immune sensitivities to perfume, weeds and environmental chemicals, they already have marked imbalances in their gut flora and nutrient absorption and have hidden immune sensitivities to foods.
Finally a good gut barrier also helps to prevent the proliferation of dysbiotic flora that leads to bloating, cravings, constipation, joint pain, headaches, body pain and the like.
I cannot stress enough the importance of knowing the state of your own gut flora and strongly urge everyone to run the Microbiology Stool Basic from Doctor’s Data. This test identifies the strains of probiotics and quantifies how much you have. It also identifies the strains of bacteria, yeast, candida and dysbiotic flora you have in your gut. I have made this lab test available for you to do at home as a mail in test. You can order it on our blog at http://www.ChronicFatigueAndNutrition.com. You work too hard on managing your diet and lifestyle to ignore the probiotics that are your ally to reducing inflammation, cholesterol, blood pressure and weight!