There are billions of species of bacteria in the intestines. Without all of this bacteria, we would be unable to survive because the bacteria plays an integral role in the digestion of food. Since the intestinal bacteria are vital for the digestion process, we must be certain that we have the proper balance of “good” versus “bad” bacteria.

The balance of this bacteria is strongly influenced by the foods we eat and our exposure or lack thereof to antibiotics. Junk foods, bad food combinations and antibiotics facilitate the prevalence of “bad” bacteria, whereas whole foods and probiotics facilitate the prevalence of “good” bacteria.

How The Bacteria In Your Gut Can Make You Fat

Dr. Mercola | Mercola.com

Two new studies show that obese people have different intestinal bacteria than slim people. What’s more, the microbes in an overweight body are much more efficient at extracting calories from food.One study looked at mice, the other looked at humans. In both, a family of bacteria known as firmicutes were more plentiful in the obese (20 percent more). Bacteria called bacteroidetes were also much more abundant in those of normal weight (the obese had almost 90 percent fewer bacteroidetes).

Most likely because of the firmicutes, the obese mice were more efficient at taking calories out of complex sugars and depositing those calories in fat. When these microbes were transplanted into the normal-weight mice, those mice started to gain twice as much fat.

As obese people lost weight, their bacteroidetes increased, while the numbers of firmicutes decreased.

Nature.com December 20, 2006

USA Today December 20, 2006

Dr. Mercola’s Comment:

Having the right bacteria in your gut has an enormous influence on your health. In fact it is likely that one of the main benefits of eating healthy is that it will nurture the right types of bacteria growing in your colon.

There is a wealth of evidence demonstrating that the nutritional cause of many diseases is related to an imbalance of bacteria in your gut, a problem easily rectified by eating a diet that has minimal processed high quality, preferably organic foods.

This is one of the reasons why taking antibiotics can be so dangerous as they kill beneficial bacteria in your gut and can lead to overgrowth of yeast that the late Dr. William Crook helped to bring to consciousness.

This new report gives more credence to infectobesity, the study of microbes and viruses in your gut that may be responsible for some cases of obesity.

Influencing the bacteria growing in your body for the positive is easy by making better food choices, starting with reducing, with the plan of eliminating, sugars and most grains from your daily diet. Ideally, your gut should contain a ratio of 85 percent “good” bacteria to 15 percent non-beneficial bacteria, but the high-sugar Western diet has caused this ratio to actually reverse in many people.

You can also use a high quality probiotic as an “insurance policy” to make sure you colon is balanced with good strains. Many of you may know that I recommend supplements very sparingly but for the patients that are seen in my Chicago area clinic nearly everyone is given an omega-3 supplement and a high quality probiotic.

On Vital Votes, Dr. Jason Lauer from Waukehsa, Wisconsin, says:

“Much can be said about lifestyle and the biochemical environment our choices create inside the body. Recall the work of Bruce Lipton, PhD (in the archives on this site) showing how the environment we create through lifestyle influences genetic expression.

“Along with proper lifestyle, supplementing with a probiotic and a pure and potent source of omega 3 fat are a scientific no brainer.”

Other responses to this article can be viewed at Vital Votes, and you can add your own thoughts or vote on comments by first registering at Vital Votes.

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