The Important Balace of Good and Bad Bacteria

The balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut is very sensitive to diet, stress, medications, and other lifestyle factors.

When the bacteria in the gut are out of balance and you are in a state of dysbiosis, such as candida overgrowth, you may suffer all kinds of uncomfortable symptoms. These include bloating, gas, pain, indigestion, weakened immunity, fatigue, headaches, and low mood.

The many species of bacteria in your gut responsible for much more than just digestion. Studies suggest that gut bacteria also affects your ability to gain or lose weight. Among other things, your gut bacteria affect:
• How your body stores fat
• How your body balances the levels of glucose in the blood
• How you respond to hormones that make you feel hungry or full

How Does Gut Health Affect Weight Loss?

THE FEWER SPECIES YOU HAVE, THE FATTER YOU MIGHT BE

It appears that gut microbes have an influence on whether you grow up to be obese or slim. Studies comparing lean people with obese people found significant levels of different gut bacteria.

Lean people were found to have vast numbers of different species of bacteria, particularly the types that help to break down bulky plant fibres and starches. This provides the body with an extra source of energy. Obese people, however, had fewer species of bacteria, which could suggest that they keep eating in order to boost their energy.

BAD BACTERIA MESS WITH YOUR HORMONES

Certain types of bacteria have been shown to play a part in how hungry or full you are. These bacteria can modulate the levels of ‘hunger-stimulating’ hormones in the body – otherwise known as ghrelin.

Bad bacteria in your gut tend to produce more acetate, which in turns increases the production of insulin. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that promotes the storage of calories. It also promotes the production of ghrelin. Studies in rats have shown that higher levels of acetate results in the rodents eating more and becoming obese. The rats also developed insulin resistance, which is the precursor to diabetes.

BAD BACTERIA MAKES YOU HUNGRIER

In a study involving mice that were fed a high-fat diet, researchers found that those mice who lacked a protein in the gut called TLR5 made them prone to gaining excessive weight. This was because the levels of ‘bad’ bacteria in their gut were out of balance and causing low-grade inflammation. This led them to eat more and more – in fact, ten percent more than their ‘healthy’ relatives. The mice then developed insulin resistance.

Upon further investigation, researchers found that the metabolism of the mice was damaged, reducing their ability to burn calories.

Better Bacteria Means Better Weight Loss!

Supporting your gut with a good diet and probiotics can not only fast-track your weight loss, but improve your overall health and well-being. Get your bacteria in balance and you’ll enjoy better digestion and a faster metabolism!

Image Source: Human Microbiome: How It Works

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