Losing Weight with Helpful Gut Bacteria

In the not too distant future, losing those pesky extra pounds may be made easier with the help of certain bacteria found in our gut.  There is a growing body of evidence which suggests that gut microflora may have an effect on our weight.  The reasons are not entirely clear at this time, though.  There are various suggestions as to why this is so.

The study of gut bacteria is a new and growing field.  Scientists are just beginning to uncover how this bacteria affects the different systems in our bodies, such as our immune  and nervous systems for example.  One thing that is becoming increasingly evident, is the importance of gut health and balance.  Not only does gut bacteria play a role in weight loss or gain, it is a factor in chronic illnesses such as autism, cancer, diabetes, and allergies, among many others.  These illnesses have all been linked to an unhealthy gut microbiome.

Obesity is a significant problem in the United States, of which there has been no easy solution.  Modern diets often include convenient foods lacking in nutritional value.  Compounding this problem is the way our food is raised-quickly and inexpensively-and the adaptation of a more sedentary life style.

The kind of food we eat has been shown to influence the variety of gut bugs present in our digestive system.  This is especially true of fats.  Refined omega-6 vegetable oils such as soybean oil, as well as polyunsaturated fats from soybean, canola, and other seed oils, are believed to be “bad fats.”  These types of fats promote inflammation and bad gut bugs, which hinder weight loss.

Omega-3 and monounsaturated fats on the other hand, have been shown to promote optimal gut flora.  These fats are found in foods such as extra-virgin olive oil, avocados, and almonds.  Eating the right types of food encourages the production of the good types of bacteria, and promote their dominance.

Scientists already know which types of bacteria aid in weight loss.  However, they are still finding out if there may be more contributing factors which may influence it.  Nevertheless, popping a pill full of bacteria may soon be the next weight loss fad, but one which may have more benefits than just shaving off the extra pounds.



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