Do you pay attention to your gut health when you are on a weight loss program? Studies have shown that the balance between good and bad bacterial can affect weight gain and obesity. So, it is important to ensure that your gut is healthy to achieve weight loss objective.

In 2004, Jeffrey Gordon, professor in Washington University published the first evidence to show that the effect of bacterial flora in the intestine on weight gain.

The particular bacteria identified are the ratio between Firmicutes : Bacteroidetes. He observed that obese mice have Firmicutes: Bacteroidetes ratio at 100:1 compared to lean mice at ratio of 10:1. Obese mice have intestinal bacteria flora that extract more energy from food residue and easily absorb them. There is also an increase in fat synthesis and storage of triglyceride in fat cells.

Jeffrey Gordon then studied on obese patients. He tracked them on a low fat and low sugar weight loss diet for one year. He observed a 20% weight reduction in the low fat diet and 10% weight loss in the low sugar diet and the bacterial flora ratio changes over the year of the weight loss program. Firmicutes : Bacteriodetes ratio changed from ratio of 95:5 to 70:30 after one year of dieting.

How does changes in the bacterial flora balance affect weight gain?

When good bacteria are prevented from growing in the intestine, more harmful bacteria flourish. Harmful bacteria increase inflammation in the body and make the cells less sensitive to insulin. This leads to Metabolic Syndrome, which eventually cause weight gain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, increasing the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.

What cause changes in the bacterial flora balance?

  • Long term intake of antibiotics and steroid drugs
  • Inflammatory intestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease, Irritable Bowel syndrome, and many related intestinal illness.

How to restore and maintain good bacteria flora balance?

As you can see, there will always be good and bad bacteria in the intestine. The key question is maintaining the right balance.

1) Increase good bacteria

Take probiotic such as Lactobacillus Acidophilus. These can help to maintain ecological balance in the intestine.

2) Drink enough water

Healthy bacteria thrive in the environment where there is room to move about. Not drinking enough water leads to constipation, which makes the stool hard and compact, creating an environment that is difficult for healthy bacteria to thrive.

3) Colon cleanse

Regular cleansing of the digestive system can remove bad bacteria. You can do this with natural herbs instead of medication. See my previous post on Cleanse Your Digestive System Naturally.

4) Reduce Stress

Researchers in Ohio State University discovered that bodily stress changes the composition, diversity and number of gut bacteria. More harmful bacteria displace the good bacteria. When a person is under stress, the bowel habit is affected.

5) Food quality

Taking food with proper nutrients and food hygiene can help with gut health. Sufficient fruits and vegetables give fiber and antioxidants. Taking hygienic food prevents  bad bacteria from being introduced into the digestive system.

The state of your intestinal health may be the reason for your weight gain. While managing your calorie intake is important. Find out 7 Tips To Manage Chronic Digestive Tract Problems and your weight loss program will be more effective in achieving the desired results.

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