Category Archives: Eric Hunter
by Eric Hunter
(NaturalNews) Obese and lean individuals have different gut flora composition. The gut microbiota of mice and humans are similar, with Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes dominating. At this point it’s not clear exactly which species are important in weight management. Some studies show reduced numbers of Bacteroidetes in obese subjects, while others point to lower levels of beneficial bacteria like Lactobacillus.
Even though diet will affect gut flora composition, most studies conclude that gut flora on it’s own has an effect on weight. Alteration of the gut microbiota can be an important part of a weight loss program.
Several mechanisms have been proposed as to how gut flora regulates weight. Inflammation, energy from polysaccharides, insulin sensitivity and energy expenditure and storage are all affected by gut flora.
What you eat affects the gut flora composition, but it can also be hypothesized that it can happen the other way around; that gut flora partly determines what you eat. People with gut dysbiosis and especially yeast overgrowth often feel sugar cravings. Gut flora can probably influence food cravings and thereby play a part in determining dietary choices.
Obesity is hereditary, and the importance of gut flora shouldn’t be underestimated. Flora is passed on from mother to child during birth, breastfeeding and early years. The child also comes in contact with microorganisms from other family members. “Obese gut flora” is passed on to the child.
Children born via caesarean have double the risk of becoming overweight, according to research by Harvard scientists. The obesity increase has been linked to a lack of exposure to good bacteria which may be found in the vaginal wall.
Differences in intestinal microflora during the first year of life have been associated with higher risk of obesity later in life. Especially low levels of Bifidobacteria make children more susceptible to weight gain.
Obese individuals usually have a dysfunctional gut flora with higher numbers of LPS-containing microbiota and methane-producing bacteria. LPS, Lipopolysaccharide, is linked to obesity, leaky gut and low-level chronic inflammation.
Colonization of germ-free mice with gut flora from either obese or lean mice, leads to significantly greater increase in total body fat in those colonized with “obese microbiota.” Animal studies further show that probiotic supplements with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species help maintain a healthy bodyweight and promote weight-loss. Cattle treated with antibiotics store a lot of fat, and this is one of the reasons why these drugs are used so frequently in feedlots.
How to incorporate this info into your weight loss program
A healthy diet with reduced consumption of sugar, processed carbohydrates, most vegetable oils, anti-nutrients, etc. will on it’s own promote weight loss and a healthier gut flora.
Additional gut flora modifications can also be an important part of a weight-loss plan. Simply eating yoghurt will not make any substantial difference in most people. Minimally washed organic plants and plant products, fermented foods and probiotic supplements are all good sources of beneficial bacteria. Prebiotics, soluble fiber that feed good bacteria, can be found in leeks, onions, apples etc.
Sources for this article include
Obesity alters gut microbial ecology.Ley, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2005 Aug 2; 102(31):11070-11075.
Vael C, Verhulst SL, Nelen V, et al. Intestinal microflora and body mass index during the first three years of life: an observational study.
Gut Pathog. 2011 May 23;3(1):8.
Kalliomaki M., Collado M.C, Salminen S., et al. Early differences in fecal microbiota composition in children may predict overweight
Am J Clin Nutr March 2008 vol. 87 no. 3 534-538
Kondo S, Xiao JZ, Satoh T, et al. Antiobesity effects of Bifidobacterium breve strain B-3 supplementation in a mouse model with high-fat diet-induced obesity.
Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2010;74(8):1656-61. Epub 2010 Aug 7.
Takemura N, Okubo T, Sonoyama K. Lactobacillus plantarum strain No. 14 reduces adipocyte size in mice fed high-fat diet.
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2010 Jul;235(7):849-56.
Chen JJ, Wang R, Li XF, et al. Bifidobacterium longum supplementation improved high-fat-fed-induced metabolic syndrome and promoted intestinal Reg I gene expression.
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2011 Jul 1;236(7):823-31. Epub 2011 Jun 17.
Karlsson CL, Molin G, Fak F, et al. Effects on weight gain and gut microbiota in rats given bacterial supplements and a high-energy-dense diet from fetal life through to 6 months of age.
Br J Nutr. 2011 Sep;106(6):887-95. Epub 2011 Mar 30.
Human originated bacteria, Lactobacillus rhamonosus PL60, produce conjugated linoleic acid and show anti-obesity effects in diet-induced obese mice.Lee, et al. Biochem Biophys Acta. 2006 Jul;1761(7):736-744
Metabolic endotoxemia initiates obesity and insulin resistance.Cani, et al. Diabetes. 2007 Jul;56(7):1761-1772
by Eric Hunter
(NaturalNews) Children who are breastfed and eat healthy foods during childhood experience better physical development than children who eat poor diets. It has also been speculated that the consumption of quality foods leads to a higher IQ, but few long-term studies have been done until now. Researchers at the University of Adelaide looked at the link between eating habits and IQ.
The study of more than 7,000 children showed that kids who are breastfed and have a healthy diet during the first two years of life, have a slightly better IQ at the age of eight than children who are eating junk foods.
Children who were eating a diet based on legumes, cheese, fruits and vegetables had a two point higher IQ at the age of eight. Kids who ate mostly processed foods and food with a high-carbohydrate density, experienced two points lower IQ.
Although there was only a small difference in IQ, it can be assumed that a more controlled study would have led to significantly better improvements. The healthy children in this study were definitely eating more nutritious foods than the unhealthy group, but they were still consuming a fair amount of typical western foods. Also, the study only looked at the diet at 12 and 24 months, not the remaining six years up until age eight.
It’s well established that children who are breastfed develop a healthier gut flora and better immune system than children who are given formula and ready-prepared baby foods. The research at theUniversity of Adelaide reveals that breastfeeding also can positively affects the IQ of the child.
This study shows that children who consume mostly whole foods during the first years of life have a slightly higher IQ when they grow up. Children who are not eating western foods and base their diet exclusively on organic whole-foods will most likely have an even higher IQ.
Despite our technological advancements and economic expansion; we are getting dumber and dumber because of poor nutrition. Feeding a growing child processed junk foods directly influences the child’s development and should be considered child abuse.
Sources for this article include
Smithers LG, Golley RK, Mittinty MN, et al. Dietary patterns at 6, 15 and 24months of age are associated with IQ at 8years of age.
Eur J Epidemiol. 2012 Jul;27(7):525-35. Epub 2012 Jul 19.
McDade, T.W., Rutherford J. , Adair, L, et al. Early origins of inflammation: microbial exposures in infancy predict lower levels of C-reactive protein in adulthood
Published online before print December 9, 2009, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2009.1795
About the author:
Eric is the editor of OrganicFitness.com and GutFlora.com. He’s an independent writer with a strong interest in personal health and the power of nature to help us heal.
His entire adult life he’s been studying the underlying causes of disease and how to accomplish optimal health. He’s mostly writing about the human microbiome, inflammation, gut permeability and other health subjects.
Eric works as a personal trainer and currently coaches a few dedicated clients on their way to a better physique. He specializes on barbell- , kettlebell- and sprint- training. Subjects like mass building and weight loss are some of his favorites.
Eric believes that lifestyle choices have to be made on an evolutionary basis!
Eric is the editor of OrganicFitness.com and GutFlora.com. He’s an independent writer with a strong interest in personal health and the power of nature to help us heal. His entire adult life he’s been studying the underlying causes of disease and how to accomplish optimal health. He’s mostly writing about the human microbiome, inflammation, gut permeability and other health subjects. Eric works as a personal trainer and currently coaches a few dedicated clients on their way to a better physique. He specializes on barbell- , kettlebell- and sprint- training. Subjects like mass building and weight loss are some of his favorites. Eric believes that lifestyle choices have to be made on an evolutionary basis!