Losing weight - with a healthy intestinal flora and the right bacteria

The concept that you are what you eat is based not only on how many calories we consume but also on the composition of our intestinal flora, which has a significant impact on how we utilize our food.
The bacteria that live in our intestines are responsible for how we digest our food. They determine which vitamins we produce, how we tolerate cabbage-type vegetables, how we digest fat and how well we can utilize carbohydrates. In this way, they regulate how many calories we get from our food. For example, even people who exercise a lot and reduce their calorie intake may not lose weight.

Why our intestinal bacteria may affect our weight

Without the billions of bacteria in our intestine, we would not be able to digest our food as they perform the most diverse tasks in our metabolism. As with the human hosts, some bacteria are particularly hardworking. And what was once an advantage is now a disadvantage for many people:

Firmicutes, these days the most common bacterial strain in Western Europe, is an especially diligent helper in the utilization of fat. However, this does not mean - much to the chagrin of many people - that Firmicutes bacteria simply help with the excretion of fat from our intestine but rather that they absorb it efficiently. This often leads to the "storage" of fat, as in unwelcome love handles, for example. This used to be a valuable survival strategy for the early settlers of Europe, who had to survive the harsh winter even when they did not have an insulating mammoth fur, or to bridge a long lean period until they could catch their next meal.

Nowadays, however, we prefer to absorb as few calories from our food as possible because we like to eat a lot and/or lose weight at the same time. We would therefore like to have less of the hardworking Firmicutes bacteria. Studies have shown that people who have more Firmicutes than Bacteroidetes are more likely to be overweight.

What are the Bacteroidetes bacteria and how can I get more of them?

In many parts of the world, Bacteroidetes is the most common intestinal bacterial strain, but not in our latitudes - we are dominated by Firmicutes. In contrast to Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes bacteria are not very good at utilizing fat. As a consequence, people who have fewer Bacteroidetes and more fat-digesting Firmicutes are at an advantage when food is scarce. However, today’s environment poses fewer challenges and people in the western world are more likely to live with a surplus of food.

Europeans and North Americans often have only a relatively low number of Bacteroidetes bacteria in their intestine. It is an interesting question whether this is genetically determined, which would mean that nothing can be done about it. However, studies have shown that the composition of the intestinal bacteria of African Americans is more similar to that of other North Americans than to that of native Africans. Fortunately, this means that we can increase the number of our Bacteroidetes bacteria by changing our lifestyle and eating habits.

In addition, there are indications that the diversity of our intestinal bacteria also has an impact on our weight. People with a wide range of bacteria have fewer problems with obesity. The reason is that the more diverse the bacteria are, the more diverse are their functions and the better our metabolism functions.

How do I change my intestinal flora in order to lose weight?

Firmicutes bacteria love sugar and fat. Unfortunately, that also means that if we have more Firmicutes, we also have a greater craving for fattening food. An important first step is therefore to break this vicious circle. This can often be achieved with the help of food that is low in carbohydrates and preferred by Bacteroidetes bacteria, such as chicory, leeks, endives, millet, oats or fruit with peel. However, there are also probiotic products, such as z.B. DIET.pro from BIOMES, which provide millions of Bacteroidetes bacteria that will then colonize the intestine.

In order to increase the diversity of intestinal bacteria, probiotics such as DEFENSE.pro from BIOMES can also be taken.