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Taryn DeCicco, ND, LAc, LDN | Article

How Your Gut Health Affects Body Weight

11/4/2019
This article was originally posted at https://www.apple-a-day-clinic.com/Health_and_Nutrition_Blog?m8:post=how-your-gut-health-affects-body-weight

This is not a trick!



Weight Loss can be a very complex and frustrating situation for the average person. This is because:



· Metabolism is VERY complex and unique to each and every person

· The type of calories you consume matters

· The health of your GI tract matters



For example, those following the ketogenic diet (high fat, low protein, low carbohydrate) tend to lose weight rather quickly as the body is in a state of ketosis, which is its fat-burning mode. The ketogenic diet, which is typically higher in calories, may be helpful for quick weight loss, but it may not be beneficial long-term for supporting the gut microbiome as a high fat diet may negatively affect diversity of microorganisms in the gut.

Research shows that the gut-brain axis can influence metabolism via many different pathways,and microbes are partly responsible. We know that microbes directly influence the following, mainly through communication with the vagus nerve:

· Immune system function via cytokine production

· Short chain fatty acid production (e.g., butyrate)

· Neurotransmitter production (e.g., serotonin)

There are Mice Studies, But Limited Human Studies

Researchers have revealed some pretty interesting connections between gut microbes and weight, but we don’t have many human studies to back up their findings. For instance, if bacteria from obese mice are transplanted into the intestines of germ-free mice (mice bred with a sterile gut, i.e., no gut microbiome), the germ-free mice tend to gain weight. Think about that for a moment.

What we do know from human trials is lean twins tend to have greater diversity of gut microbes compared to obese twins. What this means is that certain bacteria, like Bacteriodetes, may play a role in the breakdown of dietary fibers and utilization and production of energy by the body.

Findings like these do not necessarily suggest that human fecal microbial transplants from lean people into overweight people will lead to weight loss. These types of studies are being conducted right now, though, so this scenario might be a possibility in the future.

What about antibiotics? For example in one animal study, when mice are administered low levels of antibiotics similar to what livestock receive, they can put on 15% more body fat than mice not given low dose antibiotics. Blaser goes on to explain that in certain areas of the USA, particularly the South where antibiotics are heavily used, the obesity rates are higher. This makes a stronger case for buying organic and pastured-raised animal products to minimize exposure to antibiotic residues.

Inflammation in the Gut

If you have ever known anyone that’s suffered with an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, you know keeping weight on can be a problem for them. There are many reasons why IBD can lead to weight loss or the inability to gain weight, but chronic inflammation in the gut is likely the major cause.

When the gut is inflamed, the cells lining the intestine are more likely to be damaged and absorption of nutrients is affected. As the body does not receive an adequate supply of nutrients from food, basic metabolic functions are disrupted, and muscle growth and fat storage are less likely to occur. When IBD sufferers are given steroids and/or supported through personalized medicine treatments, weight usually stabilizes and tends to return over time.

Dysbiosis and Sugar Cravings

Dysbiosis is a term used to describe an imbalance of gut flora. It usually indicates an overgrowth of an organism, like yeast or bacteria or even a parasite. Dysbiosis can develop for many reasons such as frequent antibiotic use or chronic stress or poor diet, and I find that many people with chronic gut issues have dysbiosis.

What I’ve seen clinically, and experienced personally myself, is that overgrowth of yeast can cause sugar cravings. Yeast throw a party when sugar and simple carbohydrates are present; eating these foods keeps the party going.

When patients come in and complain of the following constellation of symptoms, I like to rule out bacterial, fungal and/or yeast or candida overgrowth in the intestines, or even SIBO:

· Sugar and carbohydrate cravings

· Skin rashes, or pruritus (itching of the skin)

· Fatigue

· Brain fog

· Joint pain

· Itchy anus

· Yeast infections

Of course, this presentation of symptoms can be due to other factors, but if I hear all or some of the above symptoms, I’ll investigate further by running a stool test and candida antibodies of blood work. Once I’ve backed up my findings and I’m certain that dysbiosis is present, I’ll treat the dysbiosis with antifungal, antibacterial herbs and major dietary changes to change the intestinal terrain. There will also be a reimplantation of the beneficial bacterial strains the patient is deficient in. Usually within 8 weeks, sugar cravings are down and weight tends to plateau or even decrease as dietary habits improve, as well as many other health markers.

If you have been unsuccessful using conventional methods to achieve weight loss, please give us a call at 847 577 4455. I know you will be glad you did.

PS. Many of our clients love this product for the metabolism.

As always, Best of Health! and Happy Halloween

Dr. Taryn DeCicco

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Dr Taryn DeCicco ND, LAc, LDN of Apple A Day Clinic in Arlington Heights, IL has been practicing Naturopathy, Nutrition, and Acupuncture as a holistic doctor, specializing in acne, skin, digestive disorders, and HPV for over 20 years!