Why Your Microbiome Can Slow Fat Loss
words by Helaina Lungu

There is nothing more frustrating than putting loads of effort into losing weight and your gut still hangs out of your pants. You may even start believing that there is no hope of reaching your body goals! Let us show you how the health of your gut microbiome may be the missing piece of the puzzle that needs addressing.

To help you catch up on the science, scientists have been researching for years the link between the gut microbiome in weight regulation by fattening mice using microbes taken from ‘obese’ humans [i],[ii]. Scientists then moved onto human trials using fecal microbial transplants (FMT) from healthy lean donors to correct obesity [iii]. Although these patients didn’t experience a miracle weight loss, they did notice an improvement in their microbial diversity which showed promise in all aspects of their health.

Did you know that the human gut contains a community of around 37 trillion microbes?

The microbes that live in your gut become your unique genetic fingerprint! We now know that there is a core set of bacterial species that are essential for influencing all areas of health, including body composition. Any imbalance of these species is called ‘dysbiosis’ and can negatively impact many areas of your health. Ongoing dysbiosis often leads to a defensive inflammatory response that triggers instability of the mucosal layer, this is referred to as ‘leaky gut’. In terms of fat loss, this low-grade inflammation and dysbiosis in the gut can impact blood glucose balance, your mood, healthy hormonal clearance, and much more. Throw stress into the mix and you got yourself a very resistant body fat composition!

Your gut microbiome is a dynamic ecosystem that communicates far beyond the bowels to influence body composition, appetite, and satiety.

 

an unhappy gut = an unhappy mind

Just like us humans, the bacterial species that inhabit your microbiome get vulnerable to stress. This includes stress put onto the gut through your diet. Regularly eating refined, processed and ‘hyper-palatable’ foods (i.e. that you often crave) are filled with excessive carbohydrates, fats, and salt that easily disrupts these sensitive guys. They have even found in studies that inflammation created from a dysbiotic gut can light a fire in the brain (this is called ‘neuroinflammation’) that is linked to multiple mood disorders [i]. Unfortunately, mood disorders are often experienced by up to 90% of patients that carry too much body fat, compared to 60% of patients who have a healthy body fat composition [ii].

Ever heard the hilarious saying “I eat because I’m unhappy, and I’m unhappy because I eat?” Well, it’s not far from the truth! A vicious cycle can occur when you regularly choose unhealthy diet and lifestyle choices, as they eventually lead to excessive fat gain and dysbiosis [iii]. This then leads to mood disorders like depression, anxiety, and a heightened sensitivity to stress [iv]. Emotional eating then triggers more dysbiosis and more inflammation; a situation that can alter hunger signals and increase cravings [v], and it continues to circle. This behavior, if it continues to go unresolved, pushes your metabolic body weight set point higher and higher, making it harder and harder to lose weight.

 

good news, gut microbiomes love lifestyle medicine

The great thing to know is that the microbiome responds positively when we eat more whole foods, get good quality sleep, and have regular physical activity. Eating a whole-food diet delivers a wide variety of prebiotic fibers that feeds healthy bacterial species, keeping them alive longer [v]. These fibers also have shown to be beneficial in weight management as they help promote healthy hunger levels, so you don’t overeat [vi].

Gut microbes also love rest and routine. Studies found that your eating schedule and sleep patterns can also influence the health of the microbiome. All the more reason to make sure you have regular sleep at night and eating patterns during the day to maintain a healthy waistline.

 

let your microbiome weigh in

Now that you know that your gut health can affect your weight, do you now wonder what the health of your microbiome is like? Well, make sure you ask about our microbiome testing in the clinic today!

 

If you are ready to get your health under control and need some personalized professional guidance make sure you Book Your Complimentary Consult in our online clinic today. Our wide selection of high-quality professional products is available as part of your FREE consultation and we express post products Australia-wide.

Not ready to ask your Naturopath yet? Check out our do-it-yourself educational and supportive health programs, like our Detox or our Gut Repair program/s, instead.

 

Click here for research sources

[i] 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 Dec 21;444(7122):1027-31. PubMed PMID: 17183312.

[ii] Ridaura VK, Faith JJ, Rey FE, Cheng J, Duncan AE, Kau AL, et al. Gut microbiota from twins discordant for obesity modulate metabolism in mice. Science. 2013 Sep 6;341(6150):1241214. doi: 10.1126/science.1241214.

[iii] van Nood E, Vrieze A, Nieuwdorp M, Fuentes S, Zoetendal EG, de Vos WM, et al. Duodenal infusion of donor feces for recurrent Clostridium difficile. N Engl J Med. 2013;368(5):407-15. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1205037

[iv] Marotz CA, Zarrinpar A. Treating obesity and metabolic syndrome with fecal microbiota transplantation. Yale J Biol Med. 2016 Sep 30;89(3):383-388. eCollection 2016 Sep. Review. PubMed PMID: 27698622

[v] Sanmiguel C, Gupta A, Mayer EA. Gut Microbiome and obesity: A plausible explanation for obesity. Curr Obes Rep. 2015 Jun;4(2):250-61. doi: 10.1007/s13679-015-0152-0.

[i] Agustí A, García-Pardo MP, López-Almela I, Campillo I, Maes M, Romaní-Pérez M, et al. Interplay between the gut-brain axis, obesity and cognitive function. Front Neurosci. 2018 Mar 16;12:155. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2018.00155.

[ii] De Gara CJ, Karmali S. The anatomy of a weight recidivism and revision bariatric surgical clinic. Gastroenterol Res Pract. 2014;2014:721095. doi:10.1155/2014/721095.

[iii] Morris MC, Gilliam EA, Li L. Innate immune programing by endotoxin and its pathological consequences. Front Immunol. 2015 Jan 6;5:680. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2014.00680.

[iv] Agustí A, García-Pardo MP, López-Almela I, Campillo I, Maes M, Romaní-Pérez M, et al. Interplay between the gut-brain axis, obesity and cognitive function. Front Neurosci. 2018 Mar 16;12:155. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2018.00155.

[v] Valdearcos M, Douglass JD, Robblee MM, Dorfman MD, Stifler DR, Bennett ML, et al. Microglial inflammatory signaling orchestrates the hypothalamic immune response to dietary excess and mediates obesity susceptibility. Cell Metab. 2018 Jun 5;27(6):1356. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2018.04.019.

[1] Colony forming units [i] Stenman LK, Waget A, Garret C, Klopp P, Burcelin R, Lahtinen S. Potential probiotic Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis 420 prevents weight gain and glucose intolerance in diet-induced obese mice. Benef Microbes. 2014 Dec;5(4):437-45. doi: 10.3920/BM2014.0014. PubMed PMID: 25062610.

[ii] Cani PD, Osto M, Geurts L, Everard A. Involvement of gut microbiota in the development of low-grade inflammation and type 2 diabetes associated with obesity. Gut Microbes. 2012 Jul-Aug;3(4):279-88. PMID: 22572877.

[iii] Stenman LK, Lehtinen MJ, Meland N, Christensen JE, Yeung N, Saarinen MT, et al. Probiotic With or Without Fiber Controls Body Fat Mass, Associated With Serum Zonulin, in Overweight and Obese Adults-Randomized Controlled Trial. EBioMedicine. 2016 Nov;13:190-200. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2016.10.036.

[i] Stenman LK, Lehtinen MJ, Meland N, Christensen JE, Yeung N, Saarinen MT, et al. Probiotic With or Without Fiber Controls Body Fat Mass, Associated With Serum Zonulin, in Overweight and Obese Adults-Randomized Controlled Trial. EBioMedicine. 2016 Nov;13:190-200. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2016.10.036.

[ii] Australian Government. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Risk factors to health [Internet]. 2017 [updated 2017 Aug 7; cited 2017 Sept 21]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/biomedical-risk-factors/risk-factors-to-health/contents/risk-factors-and-disease-burden

[iii] Zhao L, Zhang F, Ding X, Wu G, Lam YY, Wang X, et al. Gut bacteria selectively promoted by dietary fibers alleviate type 2 diabetes. Science. 2018 Mar 9;359(6380):1151-6.

[iv] Bernini LJ, Simão AN, Alfieri DF, Lozovoy MA, Mari NL, de Souza CH, et al. Beneficial effects of Bifidobacterium lactis on lipid profile and cytokines in patients with metabolic syndrome: A randomized trial. Effects of probiotics on metabolic syndrome. Nutrition. 2016 Jun;32(6):716-9. doi:10.1016/j.nut.2015.11.001.

[v] Gibson G.R., Roberfroid M.B. Dietary modulation of the human colonic microbiota: Introducing the concept of prebiotics. J. Nutr. 1995;125:1401–1412. PubMed PMID: 7782892.

[vi] Cani P.D., Delzenne N.M. Interplay between obesity and associated metabolic disorders: New insights into the gut microbiota. Curr. Opin. Pharmacol. 2009;9:737–743. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2009.06.016.

[vii] Zhao L, Zhang F, Ding X, Wu G, Lam YY, Wang X, et al. Gut bacteria selectively promoted by dietary fibers alleviate type 2 diabetes. Science. 2018 Mar 9;359(6380):1151-6. doi: 10.1126/science.aao5774.

[viii] Thaiss CA, Zeevi D, Levy M, Zilberman-Schapira G, Suez J, Tengeler AC, et al. Transkingdom control of microbiota diurnal oscillations promotes metabolic homeostasis. Cell. 2014 Oct 23;159(3):514-29. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.09.048.

Words by Helaina Lungu

Words by Helaina Lungu

Helaina is a passionate and experienced practitioner who has qualifications in naturopathy, weight loss consulting, and personal training. Her experience includes educating the community and practitioners alike about the benefits of and the latest trends in the natural medicine industry. In the past Helaina has represented some of the biggest natural health brands in Australia, like Bioceuticals and Metagenics, before founding The Botaniq in 2020. Her particular fields of interest include weight management, digestive, and mental health. In her spare time, she loves to listen to music, go for long drives, head to the beach, and go for a walk with her beautiful pug.
0 Comments
Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *