WEIGHTLINE 051: 87Kg
Leah put on 2 stone but didn't know why. After taking a new gut test, she discovered the bizarre reason for her weight gain. She had the wrong kind - calorie-conserving - of bacteria in her gut. The article was published, on Valentine's Day of all days!, in the Daily Mail & Leah, the subject, was the author.
I've touched on bacteria in the gut before, but this is a look at the whole ecosystem of microbes in our gut, known as the microbiome. It is now thought that this community acts like an organ, performing various vital functions. A healthy, balanced microbiome helps us break down foods, protects us from infection, trains our immune system & manufactures vitamins. It also plays a role in regulating blood sugar & metabolism and sends signals to our brains that can affect mood, anxiety and appetite. A bad diet, stress, alcohol and lack of sleep can upset it & create imbalances that are apparently being linked to a range of conditions, from irritable bowel syndrome to diabetes, high blood pressure, depression and , of course, obesity.
Read the article to understand the range & effect of different bacteria & the test to discover it, but leaping ahead to the important, and non-too-surprising conclusions… You can improve your microbiome diversity in weeks, by altering your diet and lifestyle. The answer for Leah and, I suspect for most of us, was to shun sugar and processed carbs and adopt a high-fibre, fairly low-fat diet. Leah was told to avoid fatty foods, except for extra-virgin olive oil - the darker the better as it's rich in polyphenols, compounds on which the gut bacteria thrive. Two portions of fruit a day, ideally berries, which also contain polyphenols, and red grapes, as research suggests these help boost levels of (obesity-fighting) akkermansia & at least five portions of veg a day.
It is an interesting read, but call me an old sceptic, it seems just another way to get money out of you to then tell you to eat all the good stuff you know you should be eating anyway (& I am now!).