“How healthy is your gut?”
By Jennifer Britto
The health of your gastrointestinal system is extremely important to your overall well-being. It all starts in your gut, the system in your body accountable for digestion. Accurate digestion is imperative to your health and probiotics are crucial to your gut. When bacteria are out of balance, it can cause problems. So remember “Support bacteria, it’s the only culture some people have.”
Probiotics are the good bacteria that are beneficial to the body and gut flora. Probiotics are within the gut flora and help with the body’s immune system and nutrient absorption. Research indicates there are about 500 diverse bacterial species that add to an adult’s colonic microflora. According to the research by Gregory Tannock, 99% of the microflora is accounted for by 30 to 40 species. The gastro-intestinal tract is the best place for the probiotic bacteria to live because of the microflora. The majority of probiotic bacteria are located in the colon. The most common types of “good” bacteria are Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria.
The most popular effects from probiotics are the balance of the intestine, immunomodulation and metabolic effects.
Probiotics have been a big craze in helping boost the body’s metabolism and weight loss. The following discusses on how it is beneficial in doing so.
Homeostasis: Intake of probiotics can keep the body in homeostasis and assist with the regulation of body weight. This can help to not gain weight.
Energy metabolism: The good bacteria in the probiotics help to digests foods better which improve the metabolism. An increase in metabolism produces energy which leads to more physical activity.
Glucose modulation: probiotics can control and lower blood glucose levels, thus helps so your lover isn’t working so hard and prevent that energy to be stored as body fat.
Reduced inflammation: Inflammation is a reaction to the body when it is compromised. Since probiotics help strengthen the immune system it is natural that it will help to decrease the inflammation in the body. This also helps to reduce gas and bloating.
Reduce body fat: probiotics increase levels of the protein ANGPTL4 which lowers fat storage in the body.
Satiety: the appetite suppressing hormone, GLP-1is in a lot of probiotics which can aid in burning calories and fat.
Lactobacillus gasseri is creating a buzz for its effects on the gut and weight loss. The bacteria Lactobacillus is the most commonly used for fermentation. The majority of fermented foods have lactobacillus gasseri bacteria and considered natural probiotics. Yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, pickles and miso are all rich sources of a range of the lactobacillus strains.
There is definitely a major link with our gut bacteria, probiotics and weight loss. The gut is where all of the body’s nutrients, micronutrients and minerals are absorbed. Thus, if there is insufficiency in the gut, the body will likely be deficient in key nutrients that are needed for an ideal metabolism. In theory being able to help your microbiome thrive can aid metabolism and weight loss. Probiotics help to repair and preserve the steadiness of bacteria in the gut. They not only boost the functioning of the immune system, they naturally aid in fighting bad bacteria by supplying the body with enough good to keep the body in balance.
Gorbach, S. (2000). Probiotics and gastrointestinal health. The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 95(1), S2–S4. doi:10.1016/s0002-9270(99)00806-0
Collins, M. D., & Gibson, G. R. (1999). Probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics: Approaches for modulating the microbial ecology of the gut. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 69(5). doi:10.1093/ajcn/69.5.1052s
Guinane, C. M., & Cotter, P. D. (2013). Role of the gut microbiota in health and chronic gastrointestinal disease: Understanding a hidden metabolic organ. Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology, 6(4), 295-308. doi:10.1177/1756283×13482996
Salminen, S., Ouwehand, A., Benno, Y., & Lee, Y. (1999). Probiotics: How should they be defined? Trends in Food Science & Technology, 10(3), 107-110. doi:10.1016/s0924-2244(99)00027-8
Tremaroli, V., & Bäckhed, F. (2012). Functional interactions between the gut microbiota and host metabolism. Nature, 489(7415), 242-249. doi:10.1038/nature11552
FAO/WHO Working Group. (2002). Guidelines for the Evaluation of Probiotics in Food.