CAN THE BACTERIA IN YOUR GUT EXPLAIN YOUR WEIGHT?
Obesity rates have rocketed in the UK and physical activity alone does not explain the dramatic change. I know we are becoming more and more sedentary using our cars to go everywhere and watching countless series on television, but still, the fact that we move less does not explain the dramatic figures.
So, what is going on? what has changed?
Researchers have suggested different explanations:
- Environmental chemicals, from the plastics used in food production to flame retardants, could be changing our hormones!
- The explosion in antidepressants, oral contraceptives and antibiotic use, all associated with weight gain.
- And the third suggestion is the one that increasing numbers of scientists are focusing on: the destructive transformation of our gut bacteria due to our Western diet.
Evidence is growing that the destruction or our gut bacteria by processed food is the real enemy! Our gut bacteria determines how we respond to food. Mind blowing concept!
This explains why counting the calories if eating a typical western diet won’t make you thin.
In 2013, the genetic epidemiologist Tim Spector, from King’s College London, took intestinal microbes from pairs of twins where one sister was obese and one lean, and transferred them into mice. All mice were fed the same food. Yet the mice given the “obese” bacteria grew fat. The mice with the lean sister’s bacteria stayed lean. Then, just to prove the point, the scientists gave the fat mice bacterial transplants from the lean ones and the fat mice lost their excess weight. Professor Spector is now as he puts it “obsessed with bugs” and has written extensively about it.
What are the problem foods then that disrupt our bacteria?
- processed foods
- artificial sweeteners
- GMO soya
They devastate the huge variety of good bacteria that live in our guts and replace them with strains that create inflammation and weight gain.
The solution? replace processed food with the natural foods we used to eat and include spices, herbs, fermented foods and fibre-rich plants. Variety is key.
We have ditched the butter, full fat milk, eggs, red meat and three meals a day in favour of frequent snacks, sugary drinks, ready made meals and low-fat high-carbohydrate foods.