Research has found that the human microbiota of the digestive system in lean individuals is different than that of overweight individuals. Research also suggests that people with obesity have fewer and less diverse microbes in their gut than lean people. The role diet plays in determining the human microbiome has been focus of extensively researched in both disease and obesity.
Increasing or changing the gut bacteria
It helps to know what type of bacteria you have in your gut and if they need to be increased or changed before trying to change them. A simple breath test could reveal the presence of bacteria that would normally be in the gut but for some reason are in a disproportionate number to other bacteria. Neither bacteria need be "bad" and each may serve its own purpose. The Bacteroidetes bacteria found to be more common in lean people and the Firmicutes bacteria more common in the obese people each have a specific function, they simply may be in a disproportionate number.
The breath test could also be used as a diagnostic tool to discover if there are any bacteria that shouldn't be there (unwanted) and should be removed. Click here to learn more about the breath test.
To rid the body of unwanted bacteria often requires an antibiotic. Unfortunately, as described in an article on the use of Vancomycin being linked to obesity, physician and author, Michael Greger M.D, states that the use of antibiotics` may actually "trigger obesity because you are mucking around down there."
Other more natural cleansing remedies may include a cleansing diet. In some cases a change in diet is sufficient enough to correct any imbalance in gut bacteria.
Having healthy or friendly bacteria in the gut does not mean the all healthy bacteria will lead to weight loss. Friendly gut bacteria performs many beneficial functions including protesting against "bad" bacteria that can cause disease.
An imbalance of bacteria can be adjusted with supplements or a diet high in prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotics are not bacteria, they are a food source healthy bacteria need to survive and thrive. These are the soluble fiber found in some foods or supplements and include fructooligosaccharides (FOS), a carbohydrate found in some fruits and vegetables and other foods like inulin which is added to many probiotic supplements and Chicory root, Raw Jerusalem artichoke, Raw Dandelion greens, Raw Garlic, Raw Leeks, Raw and cooked Onion, Raw Asparagus, Raw Wheat bran, Wheat flour and Raw Banana.
Probiotics include the healthy bacteria and yeast desired. Probiotics include foods like yogurt, kefir and fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi. The growth of the most common Lactobacillus species of bacteria, Lactobacillusacidophilus (L. acidophilus) is encouraged by both dairy and non-dairy probiotic foods, and this can lead to increased body weight. This may be desirable if a someone has experienced an unexpected weight loss, or who has been taking antibiotics resulting in diarrhea.
Other probiotics mentioned in an article from the University of Maryland, Medical Center contain other Lactobacillus species such as; " L. bulgaricus, L. casei, and L. reuteri, Lactobacillus GG,Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Streptococcus thermophilus, and Saccharaomyces boulardii (a kind of yeast). "
So what changes the proportion of Bacteroidetes ("thinning bacteria" ) and Firmicutes (fattening bacteria). As pointed out by Michael Greger M.D., in his video on the Balance of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, the key components in plant diets seen in thinner individuals are phytonutrients, mainly polyphenols. "They feed the Bacteroidetes and suppress the growth of Firmicutes."
The University of Maryland, Medical Center article identifies a "daily intake of some fruits and drinks such as three apples or three pears or grapefruit, or green tea, which all are rich in polyphenols, can significantly reduce body weight in obese people." When there is a higher ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroides, a "polyphenol-rich foodstuffs and/or polyphenol-rich syrups, and including low amounts of probiotic-rich foodstuffs like yogurt, soy yogurt, or as probiotic supplements."
"Every weight loss diet works of someone but not every weight loss diet works for everyone." Everyone has their own unique microbiome and to change it for the better may require a unique and customized "recipe" of select microbes. As more research is published in peer review journals, the knowledge base we acquire in understanding the complexity of the human microbiome and its relation to body weight will offer opportunity for additional theories and advancement in weight management.
This information is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical/nutritional/fitness advice. Information presented is subject to change as additional discoveries are made or additional research is published.
http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/lactobacillus-acidophilus, http://www.sciencedaily.com/, http://www.examiner.com/article/weight-loss-bacteria-gut-and-gastric-by-pass-surgery, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/, http://www.nutritionaction.com/, http://www.nutritionaction.com/, http://www.examiner.com/article/changing-your-gut-bacteria-to-lose-weight?no_cache=1387042581, http://www.examiner.com/article/simple-test-to-determine-if-you-gut-contains-fattening-bacteria, http://www.plosone.org/, http://www.webmd.com/, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/, http://www.mayoclinic.com/