How you can lose weight with the help of intestinal bacteria

The composition of our intestinal flora is as unique as our fingerprint. Intestinal bacteria support our digestion, help to absorb nutrients and strengthen the immune system. However, some of our intestinal bacteria extract more calories from our food than we would like. So can we lose weight more easily with the "right" intestinal bacteria?

Species-rich intestinal flora: There's a lot going on in the intestine

Our very personal intestinal flora develops at birth. As we pass through the birth canal, we absorb the bacteria of our mother – this is the starting signal for the bacterial colonisation of our intestines. First, the bifidus and lactic acid bacteria grow. They strengthen the intestinal mucosa and ward off pathogens. Under the influence of the environment and with the growing variety of food we consume, our intestinal flora eventually differentiates further and further – until a fully developed, completely individual microbiome has developed. On average, it is home to 160 different species of microorganisms – and these can really do something.

Among other things, they break down food components into various elements that our body can absorb: This extracts nutrients that would otherwise be lost. The bacteria in our intestines promote the absorption of vitamins, enzymes, fatty acids and amino acids – each species in its own way. A particularly species-rich intestine can therefore work best for our body and our health.

Which intestinal bacteria make you slim?

A species-rich intestine not only supports general health: some intestinal bacteria also help you lose weight. Studies have shown that slim people in particular have a particularly species-rich intestinal flora – while the intestines of overweight people have relatively few different bacterial strains. They are often dominated by a certain species: Firmicutes bacteria. They are particularly happy to break down fat and sugar thoroughly - and thus provide your body with a great deal of energy. This also means: If there is an imbalance in your intestine in favour of Firmicutes, then the hungry for sweetness and fatty will not be long in coming. It's a vicious circle, because the busy Firmicutes continue to spread and displace other species, such as the Bacteroidetes bacteria.

Bacteroidetes split fat and sugar less thoroughly. They also extract fewer calories from your food – and help you lose weight. Intestinal bacteria from the Bacteroidetes strain are best multiplied with a diet rich in fibre, because fibre serves Bacteroidetes bacteria as a source of energy. They are mainly found in unprocessed foods such as nuts, vegetables, raw fruit, pulses or whole grain products. In foods that are less able to break down the Firmicutes bacteria.

Losing weight through intestinal bacteria: Many little helpers

Your test result will not only show you how Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes are in your intestinal flora: you will also get a comprehensive overview of your individual microbiota profile. Finally, there are many other useful helpers in your gut who will be happy to receive your attention.
Another list
  • Lactobacilli produce lactic acid – thus they provide an acid environment in the intestine which makes it particularly difficult for pathogens. Some lactobacilli are also intestinal bacteria that help you lose weight: They have a positive effect on insulin sensitivity and fat metabolism. Lactobacilli can be treated with fermented foods such as Kefir, sour pickled vegetables or olives and vegetable fibre.
  • Bifidobacteria are also among the most important components of the intestinal flora. Similar to lactobacilli, they make the growth of harmful intestinal bacteria more difficult. They also stimulate certain immune cells and stimulate antibody production. Bifido bacteria like probiotic foods such as kefir or fermented vegetables as well as garlic, onions and asparagus.
  • The bacterium Clostridium ramosum,on the other hand, is suspected of causing overweight: It stimulates the absorption of fat in the small intestine. Clostridium ramosum reproduces particularly well under a high-fat diet.
A closer look at your current intestinal flora is therefore worthwhile. This allows you to specifically support the bacteria that just need a little care – and even lose weight with the help of intestinal bacteria. With the right nutrition, you can help the little inhabitants of your intestines – who can then help you all the better. With so much mutual support, losing weight is also much easier.

1. Cho I, Blaser M J. The human microbiome: at the interface of health and disease. Nature Reviews Genetics 2012:13, 260-270.