What if the U.S. obesity epidemic is due not only to overeating and sedentary lifestyles, but also to a fat-boosting stomach bacteria? That’s the intriguing conclusion of a new study by Chinese scientists who found certain gut bacteria can cause obesity — suggesting that diets which alter the mix of microbes in the digestive tract can help shed extra pounds.
Researchers from Shanghai's Jiaotong University found that mice bred to be resistant to obesity, even when fed high-fat foods, became overweight when injected with a kind of human bacteria and subjected to a rich diet. The bacterium — known as enterobacter — had been linked with obesity after being found in high quantities in the gut of a morbidly obese human volunteer, according to the study, published in the journal of the International Society for Microbial Ecology.
Renowned wellness physician Russell Blaylock, M.D., says the findings are the latest evidence that microscopic gut bacteria play a key role in human health. They also make clear that changes in diet — adding yogurt and other foods that contain healthy “probiotics” — can alter bacterial cultures in the human digestive tract and reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, and other health conditions.
“Certain types of bacteria can trigger obesity,” says Dr. Blaylock, author of The Blaylock Wellness Report. “The reason is because these bacteria, particularly when you eat a high-fat diet and high-carbohydrate diet, leave the colon and enter the blood where they deposit in the fat cell themselves, particularly inside the abdomen. And this triggers a chronic state of inflammation.
“This leads to glucose metabolism abnormalities like insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, both of which are associated with gross obesity.”
Dr. Blaylock explains that the human digestive tract is home to billions of bacteria — some of which are helpful and some harmful to our health. Consequently, eating foods or taking supplements that contain healthy bacteria known as “probiotics” can boost your health and, according to the new Chinese study, may also help aid weight loss.
“The probiotics are normal bacteria that exist in your colon that have to do with aiding digesting, and creating certain vitamins we need, and they’re very important in regulating the immune system,” he adds. “But if you have the wrong kind [of bacteria in your gut] it can worsen things.”
Dr. Blaylock notes that one healthy type of bacteria, bifidobacterium — contained in some yogurt products — has been shown to reduce inflammation and obesity. He says research has also shown that bitter melon can kill off bad bacteria and preserve the good bacteria.
“Drinking green tea and white tea also helps preserve the good bacteria in the colon and helps you lose weight.”
Other food products, such as the flavonoids curcumin and quercetin, also protect good bacteria. But diets high in fat, MSG, and other additives produce chronic inflammation that causes obesity. "It's not just the bacteria," he said.SPECIAL: These 5 Things Flush 40 lbs. of Fat Our of Your Body — Read More.