The bacteria in your gut helps you digest food and enables you to absorb vital nutrients. One study observed that the gut microbes in genetically obese mice have a greater capacity to harvest and store energy (calories) from the diet. (1) When researchers transplanted the microbes from the gut of obese mice into the gut of slender (and germ-free) mice, the slender mice experienced significant weight gain.
Long-term dietary habits have a direct impact on the gut bacteria composition. A high fat, high sugar diet encourages the growth of gut bacteria with heightened capacity to absorb more calories for their host, compared to the gut bacteria that thrives in a lean, low sugar environment. (2, 3) Your gut environment appears to play an important role in obesity as well as other health conditions such as liver cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, immune system function and our mood. The good news is that you can change your gut environment in a matter of days simply by changing your diet. (4) Encouraging the good gut bacteria while starving out those calorie-hoarding, sugar-loving bacteria improves your ability to keep weight off long-term. Taking a high quality probiotic (good bacteria supplement) like the one we sell in our dispensary may do much more than improve your digestion during your dietary program.
Turnbaugh PJ, Ley RE, Hamady M, Fraser-Liggett CM, Knight R, Gordon JI. The human microbiome project. Nature.
Turnbaugh PJ, Ley RE, Mahowald MA, Magrini V, Mardis ER, Gordon JI. An obesity-associated gut microbiome with increased capacity for energy harvest. Nature. 2006;444:1027-1031.
De Filippo C, Cavalieri D, Di Paola M, et al. Impact of diet in shaping gut microbiota revealed by a comparative study in children from Europe and rural Africa. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010;107:14691-14696.
Microbiome Adapts to Diet Change in a Day — Medscape Medical News, 2013-12-12