Can Gut Bacteria Make You Fat?

Can Gut Bacteria Make You Fat?

It has been found that a diet that is high in energy and low in fiber and other nutrients, promotes the overgrowth of certain bacteria that can actually cause us to gain fat pounds as well promote diabetes, and in some cases, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

An overgrowth of certain bacteria will actually increase calorie intake of the food that we eat. So that 100 calorie apple, now becomes a 120 calorie or more; some cases have shown an increase of 500 calories in one day.   It increases the calorie absorption from the food that we eat by extracting calories from non-food components that are normally eliminated from our bodies.

Not only have researchers found that an overgrowth of certain bacteria extracts more calories, they have found that our microbiome which is made up of trillions of microscopic, nonhuman organisms that flourish within our gut, does so much more.  Our microbiome:

  • Helps to digest our food.
  • Govern your appetite.
  • Control your metabolism!
  • Orchestrate your immune system.
  • Influence your mood by the production of neurotransmitters.
  • Helps to determine which genes are expressed.(1)
  • Provides us with vitamins like vitamin K, Biotin.

What are researchers are discovering is that this imbalance in our microbiome is one the reason people start a diet program, lose 15-20 pounds and then the weight loss stops.  I see this all of the time in my practice.  It is one the reason I like to start my clients who are seeking to lose weight to start their program with a detox/cleanse program that removes the foods that known to cause imbalances in gut flora.  From there a targeted probiotic program usually keeps them losing weight.

It is not uncommon for me to see clients taking broad spectrum probiotics with no results and that is because research is now showing it is specific strains need to used to properly balance the gut flora depending on the imbalances that are occurring in YOUR gut.  Research is skyrocketing in this arena – 90% of the 4000 articles published in PubMed in the last 5 years as been on probiotics and with that the discovery over 5000 strains and what bacteria works for what conditions.

So how do you know what strains to use?  Start with a nutritional/health assessment and get the right probiotic for you.  Many of your symptoms are indicative of gut imbalance.  For instance yeast overgrowth is easily identified through symptoms and you need to use the right probiotic.  In some cases you can make your gut flora imbalance WORSE taking the wrong probiotic strain.  Make your appointment today.  Evaluations start at $85.00 and includes a health history/profile, food journal anaylsis, labwork anaylsis (from your primary physician), medication/nutritional supplement analysis.

Contact me today for an appointment to get your gut healthy!

1. The Microbiome Diet, Raphael Kellman, MD