How Your Gut Microbiome Can Affect Your Weight
Our gut microbiome is comprised of the collective of microbes inhabiting our bellies including bacteria and fungi - so how does it affect our weight?
While the mechanisms that link the gut microbiome and obesity are not fully understood, studies have observed some distinct microbial profiles between non-obese and obese individuals. With specific bacteria linked to maintaining a healthy body weight in the long term, which one should you get yourself up to speed on?
Gut Microbiome And Good Bacteria For Weight Loss
Akkermansia muciniphila and Christensenella minuta are considered to be the “good” gut bacteria for weight loss. While there are no microbes specifically for weight loss per se, these two microbial clusters are often found in slim or leaner individuals and are linked with a strong metabolism.
Unfortunately for some, Christensenella minuta is associated with your genetic makeup, meaning that you have higher chances of finding this bacterium in your gut if your relatives have passed this gene down to you.
In terms of functionality, Akkermansia muciniphila feeds on the mucus that lines your gut, promoting its production and strengthens your intestinal barrier - a weaker gut lining is detected in people with obesity. These microbes also produce acetate, a short-chain fatty acid that helps regulate body fat stores and appetite. In comparison to Christensenella minuta, the good news is that you can increase your stores of this gut bacteria through the following foods:
- Concord grapes
- Black tea
- Fish oil
- Bamboo shoots
- Rhubarb extract
Ultimately, a healthy gut microbiome controls your gut health by communicating with the intestinal cells, digesting certain foods and preventing disease-causing bacteria from sticking to the intestinal walls. Adding probiotics to your diet such as yogurt, tempeh, kimchi, miso, sauerkraut or kombucha will help to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria and microbes in your gut.
How The Gut Microbiome Affects The Rest Of Your Body
Apart from your weight, what’s going on with your gut microbiome can also influence other parts of your body’s primary functions.
Heart Health - A recent study in 1,500 people found that the gut microbiome played an important role in promoting “good” HDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Lactobacilli in particular has been shown to lower cholesterol levels when consumed via a probiotic.
Brain Health - Did you know that around 90% of serotonin, or the “happy chemical”, is produced in the digestive tract? A healthy gut microbiome produces many brain chemicals and communicates with nerves that connect to the brain. That's why often these days leading health experts are referring to the gut as the second brain.
Blood Sugar - The gut microbiome plays a role in controlling blood sugar and may also affect the onset of Type 1 Diabetes in children. Studies show that the bacterial makeup of the gut shifted dramatically right before the onset of diabetes, so a healthy one can help to ward this off.
Want To Learn More About A Healthy Gut Microbiome?
If you are looking to improve the health of your gut microbiome and are looking for assistance in regards to what to consume, then knowledge is power.
Anita Flego is a Transformational Health Coach, who has over twenty years experience in the health and natural therapies industry. Originally from Switzerland. A firm believer in natural health education and empowerment, these days you’ll find Anita based in Burleigh Heads.Passionate about natural and alternative medicine, Anita and her team at Live Young Clinic offer a wide range of products, treatments and services for those looking to kickstart their wellness journey. To book in your free ten minute phone consultation, get in touch with Anita today.