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How the Bacteria in Your Gut is Linked to the Size of Your Waistline...

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Donnay
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« on: July 06, 2010, 05:18:11 pm »

How the Bacteria in Your Gut is Linked to the Size of Your Waistline...
Posted By Dr. Mercola | July 06 2010


probiotics, kefirDaily supplements with the probiotic Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 may help weight loss in people with obese tendencies, according to new research.

After twelve weeks of consuming a fermented milk product containing the Lactobacillus strain, study subjects averaged a 4.6 percent reduction in abdominal fat and a 3.3 percent reduction in subcutaneous fat.

NutraIngredients reports:

    "Furthermore, body weight dropped by 1.4 percent and waist size decreased by 1.8 percent ... The study extends previous findings ... which showed LG2055 may reduce fat levels (adiposity) and fat cells in animals".

Sources:
  NutraIngredients June 11, 2010
  European Journal of Clinical Nutrition June 2010; 64(6):636-43
 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:
   


    What does the bacteria in your gut have to do with your waistline? A lot more than you might think!

    Multiple studies have shown that obese people have different intestinal bacteria than slim people, and regardless of weight most people do not have the optimal balance of good and bad bacteria in their intestines. This imbalance can wreak havoc on your health in many ways, and yes, it may even contribute to overweight and/or difficulty in shedding excess weight.

    In the latest study, obese people were able to reduce their abdominal fat by nearly 5 percent, and their subcutaneous fat by over 3 percent, just be drinking a probiotic-rich fermented milk beverage for 12 weeks.

    Given that the control group experienced no significant fat reductions at all during the study period, this is one more gold star for probiotics.

Why is Your Gut Bacteria so Important?

    Your body contains about 100 trillion bacteria -- more than 10 TIMES the number of cells you have in your entire body. Ideally, the ratio between the bacteria in your gut is 85 percent "good" and 15 percent "bad."

    Ensuring that you're getting a regular supply of good bacteria in your digestive system is so important because an estimated 80 percent of your immune system is located there. So supporting your digestive health is essential to also supporting your immune system, which is your number one defense system against ALL disease.

    A healthy ratio of good to bad gut bacteria is also essential for:

        * Proper development and function of your immune system
        * Protection against over-growth of other microorganisms that could cause disease
        * Digestion of food and absorption of nutrients

    The probiotics in your gut also play a role in helping numerous bodily functions, such as:

        * Digesting and absorbing certain carbohydrates
        * Producing vitamins, absorbing minerals and eliminating toxins
        * Keeping bad bacteria under control
        * Preventing allergies

    If you have an excess of unhealthy bacteria in your gut, it can manifest in many ways, such as gas and bloating, fatigue, sugar cravings, nausea, headaches, constipation or diarrhea. You may also find that, despite a healthy diet and exercise, you have difficulty shedding weight.

Healthy Gut Bacteria Can Help You Lose Weight

    Certain bacteria may cause low-grade inflammation in your body, contributing to obesity and difficulty in losing weight.

    One such study found that the bifidobacteria counts taken from infants at the age of 6 months and 12 months were twice as high in healthy weight children as in those who became overweight, while S. Aureus levels were lower. (Interestingly, this finding may explain why breast-fed babies are at a lower risk of obesity, as bifidobacteria flourish in the guts of breast-fed babies.)

    Two other studies found that obese people had about 20 percent more of a family of bacteria known as firmicutes, and almost 90 percent less of a bacteria called bacteroidetes than lean people.

    Firmicutes help your body to extract calories from complex sugars and deposit those calories in fat.

    When these microbes were transplanted into normal-weight mice, those mice started to gain twice as much fat. So this is one explanation for how the microflora in your gut may play a key role in weight management.

    Probiotics have also been found to benefit metabolic syndrome, which often goes hand-in-hand with obesity. This makes sense since both are caused by a diet high in sugars and unhealthy fats, which leads to insulin resistance, fuels the growth of unhealthy bacteria, and packs on excess weight.

    Interestingly, probiotics even appear beneficial in helping women lose weight after childbirth when taken from the first trimester through breastfeeding.

What Interferes With Healthy Gut Bacteria?

    Your gut bacteria do not live in a bubble; instead, they are an active and integrated part of your body, and as such are vulnerable to your lifestyle. If you eat a lot of processed foods, for instance, your gut bacteria are going to be compromised because processed foods in general will destroy healthy microflora and feed bad bacteria and yeast.

    Your gut bacteria is also very sensitive to:

        * Antibiotics
        * Chlorinated water
        * Antibacterial soap
        * Agricultural chemicals
        * Pollution

    Because of these latter items, to which virtually all of us are exposed at least occasionally, it's generally a good idea to "reseed" the good bacteria in your gut by taking a high-quality probiotic supplement or eating fermented foods.

Tips for Optimizing Your Gut Bacteria

    In the past, people used fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut to support their digestive health, as these foods are rich in naturally beneficial bacteria.

    This is still the best route to optimal digestive health, as long as you eat the traditionally made, unpasteurized versions.

    Other healthy choices include:

        * Lassi (an Indian yoghurt drink, traditionally enjoyed before dinner)
        * Fermented milk, such as kefir
        * Various pickled fermentations of cabbage, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, squash and carrots
        * Natto (fermented soy)

    If you regularly eat fermented foods such as these that, again, have not been pasteurized (pasteurization kills the naturally occurring probiotics), your healthy gut bacteria will thrive.

    If these foods do not make a regular appearance in your diet, or you've recently taken antibiotics, a high-quality probiotic supplement will help give your gut bacteria the healthy boost it needs.

    Although I'm not a major proponent of taking many supplements (as I believe the majority of your nutrients need to come from food), probiotics are definitely an exception.

    I have used many different brands over the past 15 years and there are many good ones out there. I also spent a long time researching and developing my own, called Complete Probiotics, in which I incorporated everything I have learned about this important tool over the years.


Related Links:


  The Newfound Link Between Probiotics and Your Weight 

How The Bacteria In Your Gut Can Make You Fat

Probiotics Benefit Metabolic Syndrome Patients 
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Religions do a useful thing: they narrow God to the limits of man. Philosophy replies by doing a necessary thing: it elevates man to the plane of God.  ~Victor Hugo

Because one doesn't like the way things are is no reason to be unjust towards God.  ~Victor Hugo

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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2010, 05:52:07 pm »

Universal healthcare and the waistline police

 By Paul Hsieh / January 7, 2009
Sedalia, Colo.

Imagine a country where the government regularly checks the waistlines of citizens over age 40. Anyone deemed too fat would be required to undergo diet counseling. Those who fail to lose sufficient weight could face further "reeducation" and their communities subject to stiff fines.

Is this some nightmarish dystopia?

No, this is contemporary Japan.

The Japanese government argues that it must regulate citizens' lifestyles because it is paying their health costs. This highlights one of the greatly underappreciated dangers of "universal healthcare." Any government that attempts to guarantee healthcare must also control its costs. The inevitable next step will be to seek to control citizens' health and their behavior. Hence, Americans should beware that if we adopt universal healthcare, we also risk creating a "nanny state on steroids" antithetical to core American principles.

Other countries with universal healthcare are already restricting individual freedoms in the name of controlling health costs. For example, the British government has banned some television ads for eggs on the grounds that they were promoting an unhealthy lifestyle. This is a blatant infringement of egg sellers' rights to advertise their products.

In 2007, New Zealand banned Richie Trezise, a Welsh submarine cable specialist, from entering the country on the grounds that his obesity would "impose significant costs ... on New Zealand's health or special education services." Richie later lost weight and was allowed to immigrate, but his wife had trouble slimming and was kept home. Germany has mounted an aggressive anti-obesity campaign in workplaces and schools to promote dieting and exercise. Citizens who fail to cooperate are branded as "antisocial" for costing the government billions of euros in medical expenses.

Of course healthy diet and exercise are good. But these are issues of personal not government responsibility. So long as they don't harm others, adults should have the right to eat and drink what they wish and the corresponding responsibility to enjoy (or suffer) the consequences of their choices. Anyone who makes poor lifestyle choices should pay the price himself or rely on voluntary charity, not demand that the government pay for his choices.

Government attempts to regulate individual lifestyles are based on the claim that they must limit medical costs that would otherwise be a burden on "society." But this issue can arise only in "universal healthcare" systems where taxpayers must pay for everyone's medical expenses.

Although American healthcare is only under partial government control in the form of programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, American nanny state regulations have exploded in recent years.

Many American cities ban restaurants from selling foods with trans fats. Los Angeles has imposed a moratorium on new fast food restaurants in South L.A. Other California cities ban smoking in some private residences. California has outlawed after-school bake sales as part of a "zero tolerance" ban on selling sugar products on campus. New York Gov. David Paterson has proposed an 18 percent tax on sugary sodas and juice drinks, and state officials have not ruled out additional taxes on cheeseburgers and other foods deemed unhealthy.

These ominous trends will only accelerate if the US adopts universal healthcare.

Just as universal healthcare will further fuel the nanny state, the nanny state mind-set helps fuel the drive toward universal healthcare. Individuals aren't regarded as competent to decide how to manage their lives and their health. So the government provides "cradle to grave" coverage of their healthcare.

Nanny state regulations and universal healthcare thus feed a vicious cycle of increasing government control over individuals. Both undermine individual responsibility and habituate citizens to ever-worsening erosions of their individual rights. Both promote dependence on government. Both undermine the virtues of independence and rationality. Both jeopardize the very foundations of a free society.

The American Founding Fathers who fought and died for our freedoms would be appalled to know their descendants were allowing the government to dictate what they could eat and drink. The Founders correctly understood that the proper role of government is to protect individual rights and otherwise leave men free to live not tell us how many eggs we should eat.

If we still value our freedoms, we must reject both the nanny state and universal healthcare. Otherwise, it won't be long before the "Waistline Police" come knocking on our doors.

Paul Hsieh practices medicine in the south Denver metro area and is a cofounder of Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine (FIRM).
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Religions do a useful thing: they narrow God to the limits of man. Philosophy replies by doing a necessary thing: it elevates man to the plane of God.  ~Victor Hugo

Because one doesn't like the way things are is no reason to be unjust towards God.  ~Victor Hugo
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