Updated: Dec 3, 2018
One of the buzz health words around at the moment is ‘microbiome’. Most of us understand that there are a whole colony of bacteria living in our digestive tracts, and if we have antibiotics they get wiped out and if we eat some bad take-away new ones take up residence that make us really sick. BUT, did you know that the type of bacteria you have in your intestines can actually influence your ability to gain or lose weight?
Scientists have found that the type of bacteria in lean people is different to those who are obese, and the reason for this is thought to start with increased low-grade inflammation. Chronic inflammation causes changes to the hormones that regulate appetite as well as increasing the release of the stress hormone, Cortisol.. The type of bacteria in the intestine also have an effect on how energy is generated from your food and of course this also impacts fat mass with excess energy being stored as fat.
So now that you know that your microbiome could be slowing your weight loss, what can you do?
The best place to start is your diet. Foods that are processed, high in sugar and saturated fats are associated with inflammation as well as excessive energy intake. Whole foods such as wholegrains, fresh fruit and vegetables contain fibre that encourages the colonisation of beneficial strains of bacteria and this results in reduced inflammation. These foods also regulate energy intake because they take longer to digest, and this makes you feel fuller for longer.
Along with the effect that the microbiome has on the way that we digest our food and take energy from it, there are also changes to our brain function; particularly around what foods we crave especially the combination of high sugar and high fat foods.
Natural medicine can help with weight loss. Its wholistic approach will support you to make positive dietary and lifestyle modifications and also treat the underlying cause of your condition with herbal and nutritional medicine. Functional pathology is utilised to assess contributing factors such as thyroid and adrenal dysfunction.
So, if you’re interested in what impact your microbiome is having on your ability to lose weight and what steps you can take to improve it, make an appointment for an individualised health assessment with Larissa Jane Naturopathy.