Gut Health and Weight Loss: What’s the Link?
How often do you eat pickles, kefir, or sauerkraut? Do you ever take probiotic supplements? What does your fiber intake look like? All of these foods contain live microorganisms that balance gut flora. According to the latest research, gut health and weight loss are strongly connected.
The friendly bacteria living in your GI tract influences your metabolism and body weight. Even the slightest imbalance can affect your health, leading to obesity, hormonal dysfunction, heart disease, and even cancer.
Exploring the Role of Gut Bacteria
Gut microbiota is one of the most important yet misunderstood factors that influence health and well-being. It plays a key role in metabolism, immunity, digestion, brain function, and certain pathological disorders. It also impacts your mood and mental health.
Your gut is home to over 1,000 species of bacteria. About 90 percent of them belong to the Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes species. Each individual has different types and amounts of gut microbes. These microorganisms have various functions in the human body, such as:
- Digest and break down dietary nutrients
- Fight disease-causing bacteria
- Keep your immune system strong
- Regulate inflammatory pathways
- Produce enzymes and hormones
- Support metabolism health
Studies have linked microbiome alterations to a host of diseases, from diabetes to colon cancer and obesity. Gut bacteria do more than just regulate digestion. They support your natural defenses, fight inflammation, and break down complex sugars.
Certain lifestyle factors, such as stress, bad eating, traveling, and various health conditions, may cause changes in the microbiota. For instance, many people experience digestive distress when traveling. That’s because these microorganisms react to the environmental changes. Plus, the stress encountered when you’re on the go influences their daily function.
How Does the Microbiome Influence Your Weight?
More and more studies are showing that gut flora influences body weight. In a clinical trial involving 54 subjects, those with a high proportion of Prevotella dropped more pounds than those with low amounts of this bacterium.
Researchers have also found that certain bacteria species promote the onset of metabolic syndrome and diabetes, which in turn, increases obesity risk. Some bacteria may trigger hunger and cravings. Others have the opposite effect.
Moreover, certain bacteria can increase the rate at which you absorb the carbs and fats in food. They also cause your body to store calories as fat rather than using them for fuel.
Some bacteria species stimulate insulin production, which may lead to insulin resistance. Others may cause leptin resistance by triggering inflammatory reactions in the hypothalamus. Leptin, the satiety hormone, signals your brain that you’re full after eating.
Gut flora imbalances can result in weight gain. On top of that, your body may become less efficient at breaking down the nutrients in food. Antibiotics, simple sugars, chronic stress, and dietary toxins are the worst offenders.
Luckily, these issues can be managed through lifestyle changes. Simple things, such as getting more fiber and eating fermented foods, have a positive impact on the microbiota. Probiotic supplements are particularly beneficial. They contain healthy bacteria that balance gut flora and improve digestion. In the long run, they may contribute to weight loss.
NaturalleLife’s Advance Probiotic, for instance, boasts over 40 billion CFUs (colony forming units) per serving. When used regularly, it improves digestive health, wards off fatigue, and boosts immune function. Since it’s made with all natural ingredients, it fits into any diet. Try it yourself – you’ll feel the difference from day one!