Losing inches around the waist is one of the people’s constant struggles. Some tried everything from exercise to plastic surgery. However, scientists have recently discovered that the intestinal flora also plays a role in defining the measurements of that area of the body, as hard to believe as it may sound.
We would like to share with you some scientific discoveries that connect the environment of bacteria in our intestines with the appearance of our abdomen.
Gut Flora 101
This is how experts refer to the set of bacteria that live in our gut. Each of us is home to about 100 billion, almost all of them inhabit the colon.
They develop from birth and are generally harmless when balanced. However, they can cause problems by losing their fragile balance if they undergo some change that causes them to multiply or disappear.
They make up a kind of second DNA, as each of us carries around 40 trillion bacterial cells, while our bodies are made up of only 30 trillion other types of cells.
The Role They Play In The Human Body
Because they are so plentiful, gut bacteria contribute significantly to human health, as their main function is to absorb all the nutrients found in food.
And your work doesn’t end there. They are connected to our bodily functions in several other ways:
- They promote the production of vitamins such as vitamin B, complex K, and different amino acids.
- They capture the necessary minerals, such as magnesium and iron.
- They help our body defend itself against viruses and other dangerous bacteria, “teaching” gut bacteria to identify which strains belong to the body and which are invasive.
- They metabolize certain carbohydrates, making them digestible for humans. In addition, they ferment those that cannot metabolize and coordinate a correct bowel transit.
- They are associated with human longevity.
This Is How Gut Bacteria Influence Our Waist Size
The main task of bacteria is to protect human health. However, being overweight has many negative health effects. So how can they help us develop obesity as well?
Some studies seem to have found the answer, although it is still too early to reach definitive conclusions, according to their authors.
Gut bacteria are responsible for extracting energy from food. According to research, the absorption capacity of nutrients can vary from one person to another, since the composition of the intestinal flora grows differently in each of us.
Another study was carried out to decipher the connection between the different gut microbiota from humans, obesity, and which agents influence the composition of bacteria.
The feces of 393 pairs of twins were compared to determine if genetics played a role. They used this type of sample because fecal matter carries cells that expose the gut microbiota.
They concluded that genes influence only 1/5 of gut transit, while environmental causes are responsible for 68% of changes in the bacterial ecosystem.
These analyses also concluded that the intestinal flora participates in the body’s fat storage process, so a more efficient type of gut microbiota, which absorbs nutrients better, can also lead to weight gain and height gain.
In addition, it was determined that a high-fat diet can alter the microbiome and make it more prone to developing obesity. These bacteria also have a 6% influence on the variation of triglycerides and 4% on the variation of cholesterol.
However, although high levels of fat in the body are one of the main risk factors for heart problems, another study suggests that there is a closer association between intestinal flora and the behavior of the cardiovascular system.
How To Prevent These Health Problems
The effects of the imbalance of the gut flora in the human body are still subject to study and many questions remain to be answered. The good news is that, unlike age and genetics, risk factors related to gut bacteria can be corrected.
Doctors essentially recommend adopting a healthy lifestyle in every way, keeping the focus on a healthy diet.
Reduce the consumption of sugar and fat by avoiding processed foods, as they promote the growth of colonies of harmful bacteria. Opt for fruits and vegetables (5 servings a day), as well as foods high in fiber, as they contain complex carbohydrates that help beneficial bacteria to flourish.
Drink plenty of water to keep your body free of impurities.
Eat small amounts of food several times a day. The intestines are cleaned every 2 hours and it is better not to overload them.
Eat prebiotics, nutrient-dense foods that feed beneficial bacteria. Among them, you can include bananas, garlic, artichokes, and many more.
Take probiotics, which are foods or supplements that contain live microorganisms that improve your health if ingested in adequate amounts. Yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, and other fermented products are on this list.
In rare cases, such as the total loss of beneficial bacteria with the use of antibiotics, doctors can transplant the fecal microbiota from a healthy person to a patient in need.
Did you know that bacteria have a lot of influence on your body? What other benefits would you add to the list? Tell us in the comments section and share this article with your friends!