At first, farmers gave antibiotics to their livestock to keep them healthy. But then they noticed something strange—their cows, pigs, sheep, and chickens were not only free of infection. They were fatter.
Since the 1950s, antibiotics have been given to livestock to control infection and boost their weight on the scale. (1)
Research supports cultured vegetables like kimchi to reduce body weight. The Veggie Culture Starter can help you jumpstart weight loss by fermenting cultured vegetables at home.
But Dr. Cho at New York University Medical Center argues that antibiotic overuse is not only making animals fatter, it’s making us fatter too. (2)
Indeed, conventionally farmed meat is loaded with antibiotics that can be traced back to the farmer who raised the animal. But that’s not all. Chances are that you’ve also taken antibiotics at some point during your life.
The problem with antibiotics is that they wipe out your inner ecosystem and destroy key species of healthy bacteria. (3) Sometimes, the damage is permanent. (4)
The good bacteria that you kill with antibiotics are the same bacteria that keep you lean.
This helps to explain the growing obesity epidemic that researchers now believe is linked to gut health and gut bacteria.
5 Ways a Wounded Gut Increases Weight Gain
Stubborn weight gain and obesity are becoming more common.
With obesity, you encounter other problems, like:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Trouble managing blood sugar
Otherwise known as metabolic syndrome, this constellation of health problems now affects one out of three Americans. (5) Worse—it doesn’t end there. Many of those who have been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome go on to develop a fatty liver, type 2 diabetes, or heart disease.
So what is really going on?
For starters, diversity matters. Diversity describes the number of different species of bacteria living in the gut. In a nutshell—the more, the merrier.
Changes in your inner ecosystem may also help to predict obesity. For example, the numbers of Bifidobacteria are higher in children who maintain a normal weight than in those who later become overweight. (6)
Scientists have been able to identify five ways that gut health influences weight: (7)
- Metabolism: Gut bacteria harvest energy from the food that you eat. Some harvest more energy than others. The bacteria living in your gut provide roughly 4-10% of your daily calories. (8)
- Hormonal Balance: Gut bacteria regulate the release of gut hormones. These hormones control blood sugar, encourage satiety (the feeling of being “full”), and reduce leaky gut. (9)(10)
- Genetics: Your genome helps shape your inner ecosystem. For example, genetic mutations that affect levels of the “satiety” hormone leptin are associated with more fat-forming bacteria and less good-for-you Bifidobacteria. (11)
- Inflammation: Unhealthy gut bacteria produce toxins that trigger a systemic inflammatory response. Research shows that levels of bacterial toxin are higher in those who struggle with obesity or type 2 diabetes. (12) In animal studies, high levels of bacterial toxin will cause weight gain—without any shift in diet. (13)
- Leaky Gut: Intestinal inflammation—or leaky gut—drives obesity and problems with blood sugar. When the gut barrier is “leaky,” bacterial toxins make their way into the bloodstream. A dose of probiotics (like Bifidobacteria) has been shown to reduce leakiness and improve blood sugar. (14)
Lose Weight with Probiotics
Antibiotics destroy a healthy inner ecosystem. But probiotics restore it. Once the inner ecosystem is healthy, the body naturally drops excess weight. Probiotic foods include kefir and cultured vegetables, which literally seed your inner landscape with helpful bacteria that fight inflammation and control the growth of harmful microbes.
For example, cultured vegetables like kimchi have been found to reduce body weight and improve markers of inflammation in those who struggle with weight loss. (15) Other studies show that kefir fights inflammation, lowers cholesterol, and supports weight loss. (16)
The Body Ecology Diet has been designed with your gut in mind.
The Diet features only those foods that feed good bacteria, while excluding foods that irritate the lining of the gut or feed Candida yeast and bacterial overgrowth.
If you want to lose weight, begin by healing your gut. This is often the one obstacle that stands in the way between stubborn fat and a leaner, healthier you.
What To Remember Most About This Article:
Weight loss is a complicated subject, but it doesn't have to be. Most of us have a wounded gut, triggered by antibiotic overuse and antibiotics in food, that contributes to stubborn weight gain and obesity.
Researchers have discovered five important ways that your gut health influences your weight:
- Metabolism: Gut bacteria harvest energy and can provide from 4-10% of your daily calories.
- Hormonal Balance: Gut bacteria regulate gut hormones needed to control blood sugar, reduce leaky gut, and help you feel full.
- Genetics: Your genome influences your inner ecosystem; genetic mutations can affect the hormone leptin that helps you to feel full, or satiated.
- Inflammation: Unhealthy gut bacteria release toxins that trigger systemic inflammation; high levels of bacterial toxin have been found in those with type 2 diabetes and obesity.
- Leaky Gut: An inflamed, leaky gut has been associated with problems with blood sugar and obesity.
Probiotics support your gut health and make natural weight loss possible. Enjoy cultured vegetables that can help to reduce body weight and ease inflammation. A delicious probiotic drink like kefir can help to lower cholesterol, fight inflammation, and support long-term weight loss.
- Jukes, T. H., & Williams, W. L. (1953). Nutritional effects of antibiotics. Pharmacological reviews, 5(4), 381-420.
- Cho, I., Yamanishi, S., Cox, L., Methé, B. A., Zavadil, J., Li, K., ... & Blaser, M. J. (2012). Antibiotics in early life alter the murine colonic microbiome and adiposity. Nature, 488(7413), 621-626.
- Jernberg, C., Löfmark, S., Edlund, C., & Jansson, J. K. (2007). Long-term ecological impacts of antibiotic administration on the human intestinal microbiota. The ISME journal, 1(1), 56-66.
- Dethlefsen, L., & Relman, D. A. (2011). Incomplete recovery and individualized responses of the human distal gut microbiota to repeated antibiotic perturbation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(Supplement 1), 4554-4561.
- Sanchez-Infantes, D., Elks, C. M., & Stephens, J. M. (2014). Pathophysiology of Obesity and the Metabolic Syndrome: Rodent Models. In Integrative Weight Management (pp. 35-46). Springer New York.
- Kalliomäki, M., Collado, M. C., Salminen, S., & Isolauri, E. (2008). Early differences in fecal microbiota composition in children may predict overweight. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 87(3), 534-538.
- Mullin, G. E., & Delzenne, N. M. (2014). The Human Gut Microbiome and Its Role in Obesity and the Metabolic Syndrome. In Integrative Weight Management (pp. 71-105). Springer New York.
- Xu, J., & Gordon, J. I. (2003). Honor thy symbionts. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 100(18), 10452-10459.
- Holst, J. J. (2010). Glucagon and glucagon-like peptides 1 and 2. In Cellular Peptide Hormone Synthesis and Secretory Pathways (pp. 221-234). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
- Cani, P. D., Possemiers, S., Van de Wiele, T., Guiot, Y., Everard, A., Rottier, O., ... & Delzenne, N. M. (2009). Changes in gut microbiota control inflammation in obese mice through a mechanism involving GLP-2-driven improvement of gut permeability. Gut, 58(8), 1091-1103.
- Turnbaugh, P. J., Ley, R. E., Mahowald, M. A., Magrini, V., Mardis, E. R., & Gordon, J. I. (2006). An obesity-associated gut microbiome with increased capacity for energy harvest. Nature, 444(7122), 1027-131.
- Creely, S. J., McTernan, P. G., Kusminski, C. M., Da Silva, N. F., Khanolkar, M., Evans, M., ... & Kumar, S. (2007). Lipopolysaccharide activates an innate immune system response in human adipose tissue in obesity and type 2 diabetes. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology And Metabolism, 292(3), E740-E747.
- Cani, P. D., Neyrinck, A. M., Fava, F., Knauf, C., Burcelin, R. G., Tuohy, K. M., ... & Delzenne, N. M. (2007). Selective increases of bifidobacteria in gut microflora improve high-fat-diet-induced diabetes in mice through a mechanism associated with endotoxaemia. Diabetologia, 50(11), 2374-2383.
- Ma, X., Hua, J., & Li, Z. (2008). Probiotics improve high fat diet-induced hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance by increasing hepatic NKT cells. Journal of hepatology, 49(5), 821-830.
- Kim, E. K., An, S. Y., Lee, M. S., Kim, T. H., Lee, H. K., Hwang, W. S., ... & Lee, K. W. (2011). Fermented kimchi reduces body weight and improves metabolic parameters in overweight and obese patients. Nutrition Research, 31(6), 436-443.
- Guzel-Seydim, Z. B., Kok-Tas, T., Greene, A. K., & Seydim, A. C. (2011). Review: functional properties of kefir. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 51(3), 261-268.
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