Can the bacteria in your bowel be making you fat?
Yes, the bacteria in your bowel may be the reason you can cut your calories in half and work out 5 times a week and still struggle with extra weight. To prove this, scientists did a fascinating experiment. I’m going to simplify this tremendously, but, in essence, they had two groups of mice: a skinny group and a fat group. They removed the feces of the fat mice and injected them into the skinny mice and the skinny mice got fat. Amazing.
So what they discovered was that the fat mice had bacteria and other microbes in their bowels that converted normally indigestible sugars into fatty acids which were absorbed and stored as fat. In other words the fat mice processed carbs into fat while the skinny mice pooped the carbs out—all because of the microbes in their gut.
Does this translate to humans? Absolutely. They found the same thing in twins when one was overweight and the other one lean. The overweight twin had the bad microbes that convert carbs into fat more efficiently.
And that’s just the beginning. These microorganisms have been found to cause other metabolic changes in the body that lead to obesity. They can actually change the metabolism of your liver, your kidneys, and even your brain.
It’s not just weight issues, the composition of our gut flora, as it’s called, is thought to influence whether we get certain diseases such as asthma, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, depression, colitis, fatty liver, and the list goes on and on.
These microorganisms control an enormous number of functions in our bodies. In fact we could not exist without them. They cover us in an invisible living body armor that keeps environmental insults out, they digest our food, they make our vitamins, they produce immune chemicals and they perform many, many other vital functions.
The problem, whether it be extra unwanted pounds, depression or some disease, occurs when there is change in the makeup of your healthy gut flora allowing the bad bacteria to flourish.
Why do the bad bugs grow out of control?
Well there are a lot of reasons. Butt probably the most significant way we damage our gut flora is through the use of antibiotics. Antibiotics are tremendously overprescribed.
Other ways to damage the microflora of your gut include exposure to chlorinated water, antibacterial soap, agricultural chemicals, pollution and most importantly sugar and processed foods like white flour. Sugar feeds the bad bacteria and yeast, slows the transit time keeping more toxins in your body, and changes the composition of flora in your gut.
All of us are exposed to these things all the time. We all eat too much sugar. Our meats are loaded with antibiotics. We drink chlorinated water. So what do we do?
Well, a little over a year ago I put my wife on some supplements. Within a month her weight was dropping effortlessly. She kept asking me what was in those supplements because she wasn’t changing her lifestyle at all. She loves her sweets.
So what did I give her? I gave her 3 supplements. One was zymex. This is a special mold that converts carbohydrates into lactic acid. This acidifies the bowel. Most of you have heard that we are too acid and need to alkalinize our bodies. That’s not true in the bowel. You intestines should be somewhat acidic. The acid kills bad bacteria and yeast, particularly the kind that cause room clearing gas. Zymex is fantastic to take with antibiotics and is a very good detoxifier of the colon
The second supplement was Gut Flora Complex. This is a good formula to help anytime there is the wrong balance of bacteria, yeast and other microbes in the bowel. In vitro testing showed that the combination of herbs and essential oils in Gut Flora Complex completely stopped the growth of bad organisms such as candida, E. Coli, Klebsiella and Salmonella.
The third supplement was prebiotic inulin. Most of you have heard of probiotics. Well this is a prebiotic. A Prebiotic is a soluble fiber that your body can’t digest. Since it isn’t broken down in the body it ferments. It’s that fermentation that gives some amazing benefits. First it feeds primarily good bacteria. So as Gut Flora complex kills the bad bugs, this supports that growth of the best organisms. It has also been shown to reduce appetite and stimulate the immune system.
As a side note, I wasn’t giving these to my wife for weight loss. That was just the side benefit. In this video I’m talking about weight loss but in reality your gut health is critical for all aspects of your health.
These three were the best supplements for my wife. Others may be more important for you. For example, I didn’t give my wife a probiotic. These are tremendously beneficial in some cases. Today we have hundreds if not thousands of different probiotic formulas to consider. We have live organisms as well as very beneficial dead probiotics. We have probiotics that slow the bowels if you have diarrhea, speed up the bowels if you have constipation, those that are specifically for irritable bowel. Some are soil based organisms.
The critical point I’m making is that the balance of organisms in your bowel is extremely important for proper body weight management as well as optimal health. And here is the take home message. The things you can do on your own.
1.Take antibiotics only when they’re absolutely necessary.
2. Filter the chlorine out of your drinking water
3. Eat fermented foods like kefir, sourkraut, kimchi, yoghurt etc.
4. Eat antibiotic free meats
4. Reduce or avoid sugar, sodas and processed foods and too many carbs.
This should help to prevent the overgrowth of bad bugs.
If you think you have a problem already, consider supplements that
1. acidify the gut
2. kill the bad bugs
3. promote growth of good bugs
4. reinnoculate the bowel with beneficial strains of bacteria.
Even if you don’t need to lose weight, making sure your bowel flora is well is one of the most powerful things you can do for your own health. If you would like help with this please give us a call at Health Utah 801.785.9517. You can call even if you would just like to be tested to find the best combination of supplements for your particular needs. If there is any way we can help, just let us know.