In Part 1 of this article, we looked at 3 different studies done which had the same conclusion: Your gut microbes have a huge influence on your health and weight.
Our microbiome begins to build up from birth, and increases as we are exposed to more things like breast milk, food, water, animals, soil and other people, to the point where we are basically a vessel for microbes. In numbers, we are something like 10 percent human and 90% microbe.
Most of these microbiobes live in our colon, where they help break down fiber, process calories, and protect against infection, being a hub and foundation for our immune system.
As evidenced by many studies, including the ones in part 1 of this article, scientists are just now starting to see the undeniable, major connection between our microbe population and our overall health.
In the case of the experiment by microbiologist Zhao mentioned in part 1, the study was expanded even further. Zhao brought in a 385 lb man who was inflamed, diabetic, had high bad cholesterol and high blood sugar. When analyzing this man’s microbes, it was found that 35% of them belonged to the species “Enterobacter cloacae”. He put the man on the same diet he was on, and not only did the man lose 113 pounds in 23 weeks, but the Enterobacter clocae numbers went down, as did the endotoxin and inflammation markers.
Zhao then introduced Enterobacter into mice. Astonishingly, they developed endotoxemia, diabetes and became obese – but only when eating a high fat diet. Different mice introduced to bifidobacteria or kept microbe free, remained lean on the same high fat diet.
The implication of Zhao’s findings as well as the other research out there is that there is a huge area of knowledge to be explored on radical medical treatment via microbe manipulation and treatment.
In the meantime, what kinds of foods should we eat to promote healthy microbes?
Ideally, foods containing high amounts of oligosaccharides – prebiotic fibers that allow the bacteria in our gut to feed and thrive, producing byproducts that are essential for our bodies such as vitamin K and B vitamins. The food list: plant foods, especially raw plant foods where possible – fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. Potatoes, bananas, yams, apples and oranges – these all provide healthy servings of good starches and prebiotics that will help your micro flora thrive.
On the other hand, refined and fatty processed foods will change your gut permeability and alter your entire microbial system, turning it against you by leaking toxic byproducts into your bloodstream.