Gut Microflora Linked to Obesity, Diabetes

Our health and weight aren’t just determined by what we put in our stomachs: according to a new Danish study published in peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE, what already exists in our intestinal tract--namely, bacteria--plays an important role as well.

According to Mercola.com, this information corroborates a paper published in Nature, back in 2006, which reported that the microbal populations of healthy people’s guts are significantly different from those of obese people’s.

The new Danish study indicates that type-2 diabetes is linked to compositional changes in intestinal flora, opening up a possibility of improving health by modifying gastrointestinal microflora with probiotics and prebiotics.

According to Mercola:

“The results showed significant differences in intestinal populations of various bacterial groups between diabetics and non-diabetics. In particular, diabetics had fewer Firmicutes and more plentiful amounts of Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria, compared to non-diabetics.

They also found a positive correlation for the ratios of Bacteroidetes to Firmicutes and reduced glucose tolerance.”

Mercola explains that one of the main benefits of a healthy diet is the resulting intestinal flora balance. Furthermore, research has revealed that the root of many diseases can be traced to nutritional imbalances caused by unhealthy intestinal bacteria. With today’s overabundance of processed foods, anti-biotic-medicated meats, and nutritionally insufficient snacks, it’s little wonder that many of our internal ecosystems are suffering.

Mercola recommends a diet of “high quality, minimally processed, and preferably organic, foods.”

The doctor states:

“. . . 70 percent of all antibiotics produced are used on healthy livestock, and consuming these antibiotic-laden meats may be a significant factor underlying many people’s health problems. This is why I constantly stress the importance of eating grass-fed and organically-raised meats of all kinds.”

In addition, to consuming antibiotics in our meats, many of us regularly take prescribed antibiotics, which indiscriminately destroy the beneficial bacteria in our guts along with whatever unhealthy bacteria we’re fighting.

To cultivate a healthy internal ecosystem for weight loss and wellbeing, Mercola recommend reducing sugars, grains and processed foods. In addition, he suggests people avoid these other factors as often as possible:

  • Antibiotics

  • Chlorinated water

  • Antibacterial soap

  • Agricultural chemicals

  • Pollution 

All of these things help to kill off your good bacteria. This is why it’s a wise choice to “reseed” your body with good bacteria from time to time by taking a high-quality probiotic supplement or eating properly fermented foods like natto, healthy sauerkraut, or kim chee.