Weight loss – your gut microbiome could help
The gut microbiome – all of the microorganisms that dwell in your digestive tract – is incredibly complex and affects multiple aspects of your health.
Now new research suggests that altering the microbiome could help or hinder your efforts to lose weight.
The research, from the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, Washington, looked at a group of people who were involved in a weight loss program. The program involved coaching and advice from a dietician and nurse coach.
The researchers focused on two groups. The first group lost 1% of their body weight per month over a 6-12 month period, while the second group lost no weight over the same period while involved with the weight loss program.
Using genetic material from blood and stool samples, the researchers found a variety of bacterial genes associated with weight loss responses. One key finding was that the microbiomes of people who did not lose weight were better able to break down starches.
Another discovery was that the genes that help bacteria grow and replicate more quickly were increased in people who lost more weight.
Crucially, the genes involved in the success of the weight loss program are not the same as those associated with whether a person is obese or not.
The researchers suggest that dietary changes could help shift the composition of the microbiome in a way that could help people to lose weight.
At PIM we have a particular interest in the role of diet and nutrition in our health and wellbeing. Contact us to learn more.