How the Bacteria in Your Gut Affect Your Body Weight – And How to Get the Balance Right
Do you limit your food intake and still find that you gain weight? Have you tried dieting, only to gain back more weight than you lost? Maybe you’re worried about the “inevitable” middle-age bulge?
If you struggle with your weight, you are not alone.
In 2005, 60.5% of adults were overweight.1
While the “diet establishment” would like us to believe that losing weight is as easy as exercising more and eating less, new research indicates that factors like bacteria and viruses play an integral role in how our bodies metabolize and store fat.
Researchers have discovered that viruses cause obesity in chickens AND in people!
Bacteria and Obesity
Doctors and researchers are hard at work trying to identify biological reasons why some people gain weight more easily than others, even when they eat similar food. The answer may be in your gut!
Your gut is full of good bacteria (microflora) as well as bad bacteria and pathogens. Trillions of these organisms contribute to the proper functioning of your body, help you metabolize food, and protect you against illness.
In today’s world the bad bacteria often are out of control. Poor diet, stress, lack of sleep, or even antibiotics and other drugs can create an environment that encourages the growth of bad bacteria- leaving you susceptible to disease, weight gain and obesity.
A recent study showed that normal weight people have more Bacteroidetes bacteria in their stomach and intestines, while obese people have more Firmicutes bacteria.2
Researchers don’t know if Firmicutes bacteria cause obesity or if obesity causes Firmicutes to grow, but the implications are huge: change the bacteria in your gut to change your body!3
In fact, the same researchers have found that everyone’s bodies actually extract different calorie amounts from the same exact food, depending on your own particular combination of intestinal microflora.
For example, you and your friend could eat the same steak dinner, but depending on your gut flora, you could extract more calories from the same meal.3
Seems unfair, right? Well read on — turns out viruses may cause obesity too…
The Fat Virus?
Another biological link to obesity may be the viruses and pathogens that make you sick. A new field of research, called infectobesity, theorizes that certain common viruses actually make you fat.
Researchers first noticed this phenomenon in animals. They found that chickens infected by a virus were obese and most of their fat was concentrated around the stomach!
Doctors hypothesized that humans might react to viral infections the same way — by storing excess fat.
To test this theory, scientists screened human subjects for the existence of antibodies to a common virus. Your body produces antibodies in response to a specific foreign substance, like a virus or bacteria. If antibodies are present, they indicate that you have been infected with the virus at some time, and the antibodies never go away.
Doctors tested a random group of both obese and normal weight people. The resulting data showed that 30% of the obese subjects had antibodies to the virus, while only 11% of the normal weight subjects had the antibodies.4 This significant difference indicates that certain viral infections may directly contribute to obesity!
The Obesity Solution, Whether or Not You Are Overweight Right Now
The Body Ecology Dietleads the way in healing viral, fungal and bacterial infections so that you can be healthy and naturally slim.
These findings are both reassuring and scary: it may shed light on why dieting doesn’t automatically result in weight loss, but now you might be seriously concerned (and rightfully so) that a past or future viral infection could lead to uncontrollable weight gain. Clearly having healthy bacteria in your gut is crucial.
So how can you both improve your digestive health and prevent a viral infection that will make you fat?
Body Ecology teaches that to conquer weight gain and disease, you must also conquer infections. Your body has the power to heal itself, and nutrition is the most fundamental part of that process.
Based on ancient wisdom and cutting edge technology, The Body Ecology Diet is a delicious and very nutrition program for wellness that will help you control those infections that can lead to weight gain and obesity.
Next week, we will cover part 2 of this article: a specific protocol for healing that can rid your body of the bacteria and viruses that cause obesity and weight gain.
For an outline of Body Ecology principles, read An Overview of the 7 Key Healthy Eating Principles.
1 “State Specific Prevalence of Obesity Among Adults-United States, 2005.” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 15 September 2006. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5536a1.htm?s_cid=mm5536a1_e
2 “Overweight? Blame the bacteria in your gut.” Associated Press 20 December 2006. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16296772/from/ET/#storyContinued
3 Henig, Robin Marantz. “Fat Factors” NYTimes.com 13 August 2006.
4 Henig, Robin Marantz. “Fat Factors” NYTimes.com 13 August 2006.