No one has to be told these days that obesity is on the increase and so are the degenerative diseases that relate to it. The list of diseases associated with obesity includes the main killers including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. The causes of obesity are multiple and as such often require that many things need to be addressed in order to tackle a weight problem. Some of these factors might include working on the emotional side of overeating or being educated about good foods and bad foods.
Some of the lesser known reasons for obesity include:
- Stress – as a result of gluco-corticoid hormones being produced (gluco meaning sugar);
- Hormones – including sexual hormones and thyroid hormones;
- Gut toxicity – abnormal bacteria in the gut.
Gut toxicity is emerging as a leading cause of obesity and being overweight. Hippocrates, the leader of modern medicine, once stated “All diseases begin in the gut”. Unfortunately this very wise statement seems to have been forgotten by most mainstream practitioners however you will find that most naturopaths or complementary practitioners will routinely treat the gut.
New research is revealing that correcting gut problems and ensuring adequate levels of probiotics plays a major role in the prevention and treatment of obesity and metabolic syndrome.
In particular the research has found that:
- Energy regulation is affected by the probiotic colonies found in the gut;
- Because probiotics improve inflammation of the liver, fat conversion into energy (metabolism) is improved. A healthy liver function is very important to prevent insulin resistance and, type 2 Diabetes as well as the regulation of appetite;
- Appetite and metabolism may be regulated by prebiotics – these are the short chain fatty acids that feed the bowel and help increase probiotic numbers;
- Certain types of lactobacillus species have been found to decrease abdominal obesity;
- Other species have been found helpful in controlling insulin resistance;
- A species of bifidobacterium has proved useful in improving glucose metabolism;
- Another species, lactobacillus rhamnosus has proven useful in reducing fat storage and inflammation. By avoiding inflammation – “the fire within” our health is substantially improved and risks of heart disease and other degenerative disease are reduced.
So if you have been struggling to lose weight despite following a proven low carbohydrate weight loss program, despite exercise and good thyroid function, this might be the next avenue to investigate. Before you go out and buy 10 containers of yoghurt however, do be aware that you must be using the correct species and the correct dose to make a difference. One probiotic capsule would probably contain the equivalent amount of probiotics to 20 containers of yoghurt, so obviously this isn’t the way to go.
Two of the most important species to take to help with weight loss are bifidobacterium lactis and lactobacillus rhamnosus. You can probably attain these from a health food store, however for additional guidance it is probably worthwhile getting advice from a skilled natural health practitioner who can monitor your progress and advise you of what else you might need to do.
To get more help take a look at How to Stop Metabolic Syndrome, Naturally
Cani. PD, Delenna, NM. Interplay between obesity and associated metabolic disorders: new insights into the gut microbiota. Curr Opin Pharmacol 2009. Dec:9(6):737-43.
Tsia F, Coyle WJ, The microbiome and obesity: Is obesity linked to our gut flora? Curr Gastroenterol Rep 2009 Aug:11 (4):307-313.
Grazt SW. Mykkanen H, El-Nezami HS. Probiotics and gut health: a special focus on liver diseases. World J Gastroentrol 2010 Jan:16(4):403-410.