Latest in weight loss: Shift your gut bacteria

  • Article by: DENISE GRADY , New York Times
  • Updated: March 27, 2013 - 9:33 PM

The bacterial makeup of the intestines may help determine whether people gain weight or lose it, according to two new studies, one in humans and one in mice.

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swmnguyMar. 27, 13 9:50 PM

Well, that's kinda weird. And gross. Kids, don't try this at home.

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tomtom02Mar. 27, 1310:15 PM

or...you could eat from the McDonald's trough one less time per week.

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marsbonfireMar. 27, 1310:52 PM

tomtom02Mar. 27, 1310:15 PM or...you could eat from the McDonald's trough one less time per week._____________Best advice of all. Put the fork down for awhile.

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danderson60Mar. 27, 1311:56 PM

Eat healthy...a balance of non processed vegetables, meats, fruits, and nut will keep then Intestinal flora where it should be. Between the healthy diet and the healthy Intestinal flora the digestive system then can process food correctly and you will loose weight over time. Eating processed food puts the Intestinal flora into a tail spin.

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minneg56Mar. 28, 13 4:11 AM

Interesting theory and I hope it helps people gain better health. There is one proven way to lose weight for most people - eat less; exercise more. My story with this formula- 40 lbs permanent weight loss over 3 years. It doesn't appear over night- doesn't disappear over night either. Good luck to all battling the bulge!

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drewdocMar. 28, 13 5:00 AM

I think the point of this article is that it's not always the old calories in should equal calories out mantra. If the intestinal flora become deranged because of medications or other, non-food reasons, it's possible that fiber could actually be broken down by some people and used for calories. So a veggie salad might be a high calorie diet for some, while not so high for most others.

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jimmywestoneMar. 28, 13 6:44 AM

Eat plain non-fat yogurt before bed every night.

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segavinMar. 28, 13 7:28 AM

As a person who has traveled extensively and had many infections - it is not something you want to play around with. Permanent intestinal damage easily follows.

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mnmaidMar. 28, 13 8:22 AM

Yeah...because ALL fat people eat too much. Always said by a thin person that's never had to deal with weight issues. The truth is, many fat people eat less than thin people. There are many contributing factors when it comes to overweight and obesity. A surprisingly large number of people have undiagnosed thyroid issues because thyroid hormone levels in the blood change as rapidly as blood pressure, so it's hit or miss when taking blood samples. Then it can take years of replacement thyroid hormone therapy to get the levels to stabilize. It means that a person with low thyroid function isn't burning the calories they ingest efficiently, so the excess calories contribute to weight gain (it's also why a thyroid patient is always cold, has dry skin and loses hair). There are also myriad medications that cause weight gain, such as some anti-depressants or arthritis medications. This article sounds reasonable to me. After all, it's our gastric bacteria that actually digest our food for us (and also are responsible for decomposition of the dead). If you removed all of the bacteria, the food you ate would just sit there in your gut, while the bacteria in the food would cause it to decompose in your gut, and would kill you. Another option for weight loss is to turn that stupid Food Pyramid upside-down. Humans should be eating predominantly meat, followed by leafy vegetables (no root vegetables), minimal fruits (if it has seeds, it's a fruit), and absolutely, unequivocally no grains whatsoever. Grains are animal feed. Don't believe me? Look at a corn fed cow vs. a grass fed cow. (Corn is a grain and not the natural diet of a cow.) The grass fed cow will be significantly leaner. It sounds counter-intuitive because we've been socially-engineered to believe the opposite, but you can't argue with the science of the Atkins or South Beach or any low-carb, high protein/fat diet. Our prehistoric ancestors were called hunter-gatherers, not gatherer-hunters, for a reason. They instinctively ate what they were supposed to. We've lost that instinct.

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u4775Mar. 28, 13 8:24 AM

What this article fails to mention is that this concept has been proven in a double blind Chinese study. It is not smoke and eating less at McDonalds is not the answer. Gut bacteria are living things and as such produce waste. Those waste products have been proven in the Chinese study to disrupt fat metabolism. It took 5 months on a special grain based diet for the Chinese man to get rid of this bacterial strain and he lost 1/3 of his body weight in the process. He was forbidden to exercise. The accumulating evidence is that this is the base of the real health problems in this country in my opinion.

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