Check this out, you got to love science. Who hasn’t been on a diet and who has lost weight within a certain amount of time only to find that when they resume “normal eating” their weight returns 2 fold. It has now been found that higher amounts of certain types of gut microbes may contribute to your ability to either increase or decrease weight. No doubt, as many studies have shown there is a correlation between gut microbes and their strong effect on various aspects of our health ranging from neurological disorders, immune dysfunction, mental health to weight gain and obesity. One study conducted over 9 years has found that those that spend time yo-you dieting decreased their gut microbiome diversity, leading them to believe that altered microbes were probably the cause of weight regain.
The study revealed that lean people have more diversity within the Gut microbiome. The study conducted in Israel involved 1,632 female twins concluded also that only 41% of weight gain may be attributed to genetic factors and the remaining 51% due to filtered environmental factors including diet. With this information, we can focus therefore on microbiome targeting approaches to reduce the metabolic aberrations in promoting weight stability. The microbiome is the community of microbes that outnumber our cells and have 100-fold more genes and enzymes capable of digesting food, regulating metabolism and immune system. Today it may be recognized by specialists in this field (gastroenterologists) as another organ.
Meanwhile faecal transplants done in mice duplicated this finding. Microbes from fat mice were placed into normal mice that ate a substantially higher amount of fat, resulting in a weight gain and vice versa. The disproportionate microbiome is part there of the full story. One explanation of weight gain is how they digested plant fibre. After on and off dieting altered microbes under produce healthy compounds generated from plant foods containing polyphenols (flavonoids in the GUT). These compounds are found in high amounts in brightly coloured fruit and vegetables. No surprises here that eating celery parsley will assist weight loss as they contain the flavonoid apigenin. Celery is also a natural diuretic whilst grapefruit will lead to weight loss containing another compound called Naringenin. Naringenin found in other fruits such as, oranges, and tomatoes have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Gaining popularity in this modern day and age it has a variety of uses including “curing” obesity, preventing or treating metabolic syndrome, reducing oxidative damage to DNA, and more.(2)
All in all, to go on a “restrictive diet” may be more harmful to your body long-term. Once again women who ate a balanced primarily plant based diet are less likely to have weight gain issues proving that non-genetic factors are largely responsible for your weight. You are what you eat and an increase in the proportionate number of healthy bacteria and in diversity should hold you in good stead to maintain your set point weight. All up the best approach to achieving this set point is to avoid calorie counting and crash dieting, eat a diverse range of foods that are full of colour plenty of natural fibre and let your microbes help you !
1.Persistent microbiome alterations modulate the rate of post dieting weight regain. Christoph A. Thaiss, shlomik itav, Daphna Rothschild, mariskaT Meijer,Maayam Levy.
Caroline is a clinical Nutritionist practicing on a consultation basis. Caroline's experience encompasses research and writing on disease prevention with natural herbs, spices, foods and supplementation. Caroline practices holistic nutritional medicine that combines the three elements of being human. Those being, the physical , emotional and the mental components that make us who we are. All of these criterior is fueled by the fundamental of all health, food .