How can probiotics help people lose weight? Research has proven that antibiotics used to fatten livestock and treat infection are the number one reason Americans have an unhealthy decrease of good bacteria in their gut. What that means is that people are gaining weight despite efforts to maintain a healthy diet. According to Dr. Cho at the New York University Medical Center, antibiotics are not only making livestock fatter, they are impacting those who consume their meat. The best way to increase good bacteria in the body is to add probiotics.
Antibiotics destroy the ecosystem in the intestines; a system paramount to overall health. It has been proven that children with a higher amount of bifidobacteria are more likely to maintain a healthy weight than children who have lower amounts. There are several factors that support the need for having a healthy balance of good bacteria in the gut. Science has further identified important weight factors that rely on a healthy gut.
A healthy metabolism relies on the intestines to convert food that has been consumed into usable energy. Approximately four to ten percent of the energy obtained from food comes from the bacteria in the gut. If this food is not converted to energy, it turns to fat.
Hormones, which control blood sugar and signal the brain when a person has satiated their need for food, come from the gut. If there is not a sufficient amount of bacteria to create these hormones, one may tend to over-eat, or crave foods that cause an imbalance in blood sugar levels. If the bacteria in the gut is insufficient, a person could develop leaky gut syndrome, which causes bacterial toxins to enter the bloodstream, which in turn causes weight gain and blood sugar levels to drop or spike. When this happens, the body releases chemicals that cause it to store fat. Adding probiotics can reverse this process and help the body to lose weight.
When unhealthy gut bacteria produces toxins, a systemic inflammatory response is triggered that causes pain. This also creates a friendly environment for an auto-immune condition. In a sense, the body starts to attack itself and the immune system is compromised. Again, to protect itself, the body will store fat.
An unhealthy gut can also cause many other health-related issues, such as:
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Blood Sugar Management
- Weight Gain
- Auto-Immune Disorders
- Acid Reflux
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Once the intestinal ecosystem is restored, weight loss happens naturally, and there will be a vast improvement in overall health. Balancing the ecosystem is as easy as adding probiotics to one’s diet.
How to restore intestinal health:
- Replenish the good bacteria and ensure it is ingested regularly to maintain systemic health.
- Avoid taking antibiotics, eating processed food, and eating meat that comes from antibiotic-treated livestock.
- Each meal should contain fermented food, such as sauerkraut, kefir, and greek yogurt, as well as foods high in antioxidants.
- Fresh fruits and veggies are great choices for ensuring gut bacteria stays healthy and happy. It is highly recommended that people take probiotics each and every day to keep the good bacteria thriving.
If it becomes necessary to take antibiotics, be sure to add a dose of probiotics two hours afterward. Continue to do so until the prescribed antibiotic is finished. After that, continue to add probiotics every day. Do not take the probiotics at the same time as the antibiotics or it will kill the healthy bacteria before it reaches the gut. Losing weight can be as simple as adding probiotics to one’s diet.
Opinion by Rowena Portch
Oxford Journals: http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/46/Supplement_2/S96.long
Union of Concerned Scientists: Prescription for Trouble: Using Antibiotics to Fatten Livestock
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