Gut Bacteria and Paleo Diet Lead to Weight Loss
We find microorganisms everywhere in our environment. If you leave a piece of produce out on the counter, in just a few days it will have bacteria or fungus on it. This just emphasizes that these “micro-bugs” are a part of our world. We don’t think of bacteria being a good thing, often considering it a forerunner to becoming sick. However, bacteria are an essential part of our environment, especially the microenvironment of the gut. They work to keep us healthy and support the immune system. Their effect is so strong that they are able to alter our body composition, influencing whether or not we are able to stay lean, or if we put on a few extra pounds.
The composition of the bacteria in the gut creates a state that either helps maintain lean body mass or promotes fat deposition. Originating from studies on mice, it was noticed that the makeup of the bacteria in lean mice was different from that of obese mice. Interestingly enough, to drive home the impact of these microorganisms, when the gut bacteria between lean and obese mice populations was interchanged, lean mice became obese and obese mice became lean. From this research, we can clearly see the impact of having different strains of bacteria in the gut.
The idea of having an altered bacterial profile as part of the metabolic syndrome presentation gave rise to the adiposity index, a measure of the different categories of bacteria in relation to each other. Compromised of two groups of bacteria, this ratio is highly influenced by the forms of foods that one consumes. The diet is not only an energy source for the microorganisms of the gut, but also has the ability to shift the balance of bacteria, possibly leading to fat loss.
The Paleo Diet
The Paleo Diet has a significant influence over shifting the bacterial colonies more towards those that promote fat loss and a leaner body composition. At this point, you may be asking yourself how food can have such a significant impact over bacteria. It is not just any food, but the food that makes up the Paleo Diet. A key point to consider is that the Paleo Diet focuses on real, unrefined foods that have the potential to rot or spoil due to their living nature. The part of the Paleo Diet that offers the most direct impact are the colorful constituents of the diet, particularly those from produce. The compounds that provide color are known as polyphenols and they are potent antioxidants and antimicrobials. Fortunately for the person eating a Paleo Diet that concentrates on adequate intake of vibrant colored vegetables and fruits, their balance of bacteria will favor fat and weight loss.
The gastrointestinal tract is the foundational system of the body. It holds influence over every other bodily system. Therefore, why would we expect that it would not have an impact on our body composition? Creating an intestinal environment that makes weight and fat loss easier is all about making the right food selections. A balanced diet like the Paleo Diet centered on the intake of colorful plant based foods is the foundation to not only improving your body composition, but overall good health.