The Microbiome & Weight Loss
The microbiome: The GI tract is an ecosystem. The right kind of bacteria will help remove toxins, produce vitamins, nourish the intestinal lining, and keep pathogens (bad bacteria and yeast) in check. If the wrong kind of bacteria grow, they produce toxins and irritate the GI lining. A recent article1 gave an overview of the role of the microbiome in weight control. The authors concluded, “While diet and behavioral modification programs aiming to reduce weight gain and promote weight loss are effective in the short term, they remain insufficient over the long haul as compliance is often low and weight regain is very common. As a result, novel dietary strategies targeting the gut microbiota have been successful in decreasing obesity and metabolic disorders via different molecular mechanisms.” Other research supports this idea2,3. Diet affects the microbiome—polyphenols are the key: A diet that is 75% (by volume) fruits and vegetables will help grow a healthy microbiome. Vegetables are high in polyphenols. Polyphenols are micronutrients that are obtained from plants. They are rich in antioxidants and research has demonstrated their many health benefits. They are produced by the plant to protect itself from ultraviolet radiation and pathogens, and are powerful antioxidants. More than 8,000 polyphenols have been identified in various plant species. Studies have shown that diets rich in plant polyphenols may help protect from cancer4 , cardiovascular disease5 , diabetes6 , and neurodegenerative diseases7 . The most important thing polyphenols do is affect the microbiome in a way that assists in weight loss. Resveratrol (a polyphenol you may have heard of), for example, helps reduce insulin resistance8 . Other studies have shown polyphenols to help alter the gut microbiome in a way that improves health9,10,11,12. Consider using a good probiotic.
1. Curr Nutr Rep 2019 Dec;8(4):307-316 Targeting Carbohydrates and Polyphenols for a Healthy Microbiome and Healthy Weight 2. Nat Med. 2017 Jul;23(7):859-868 Gut microbiome and serum metabolome alterations in obesity and after weight-loss intervention 3. Front Nutr 2016 Jun 8;3:15 Independent and Combined Effects of Lactitol, Polydextrose, and Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron on Postprandial Metabolism and Body Weight in Rats Fed a High-Fat Diet 4. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jan;81(1 Suppl):317S-325S Polyphenols and disease risk in epidemiologic studies 5. J Med Food. 2005 Fall;8(3):281-90 Flavonols, flavones, flavanones, and human health: epidemiological evidence 6. J Physiol Pharmacol. 2001 Sep;52(3):483-8 Intracellular reduced glutathione content in normal and type 2 diabetic erythrocytes: effect of insulin and (- )epicatechin 7. Neurology. 2007 Sep 11;69(11):1084-93 Mediterranean diet and Alzheimer disease mortality 8. Cell Cycle. 2008 Apr 15;7(8):1020-35 Resveratrol: a multitargeted agent for age-associated chronic diseases 9. Curr Nutr Rep. 2019 Jun 3 Diet and Inflammation in Cognitive Ageing and Alzheimer's Disease 10. Nutrients. 2019 Mar 8;11(3). pii: E578 Serum Concentration of Genistein, Luteolin and Colorectal Cancer Prognosis 11. Nutrients. 2019 Mar 31;11(4):758 Extract from Aronia melanocarpa L. Berries Protects Against Cadmiuminduced Lipid Peroxidation and Oxidative Damage to Proteins and DNA in the Liver: A Study using a Rat Model of Environmental Human Exposure to this Xenobiotic 12. Sci Rep. 2019 Mar 6;9(1):3671) New insights into the relationship between taste perception and oral microbiota composition
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