Curious Link between obeisity and intestional flora

How Probiotics Can Keep You From Getting Fat

Dear Reader,

I’m really not much of a gambling woman, but in this case I’m willing to bet that no one ever asked you the following question before.

“Do you have a healthy gut?”

Well, if you’re anything like the average American the honest answer is most likely “No.”
Our modern lifestyle makes maintaining our healthy belly bugs…known as intestinal or gut flora…nearly impossible. Everything from stress, to diet, to prescription drugs can wreak havoc with the delicate balance in our tummies and intestines.

You see, right along beside the good bugs in your digestive tract you’ll find bad ones like E-coli. When your gut flora gets out of balance the bad bugs can flourish, and this leads to inflammation and lowered immunities.

And, boy, do we pay the price! Through infections, bloating, gas, and irregularity, your body let’s you know in no uncertain terms that your gut flora is out of whack.

And now a new study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, has found a surprising connection between healthy gut flora and obesity.

According to Dr. Caroline Karlsson, a researcher at Lund University, regular daily consumption of specific probiotic bacteria called Lactobacillus plantarum can literally prevent obesity and reduce low-level inflammation in the body.

Dr. Karlsson fed a group of rats this bacterium from before birth all the way through to adulthood. Her control group of rats got the same high-calorie food but no supplementary Lactobacillus plantarum.

The results? Well, to start with, the rats that received the supplement put on significantly less weight.

In addition, they had a much richer and better-composed set of healthy gut bacteria than the control group did. That meant that they were much better equipped to fight off infections and maintain healthy digestion. In stark contrast, the control group of rats had higher body weights, more fat in their bodies, and higher levels of inflammation.

More research needs to be done, of course, but why wait? You can start putting these exciting findings to work for you right away. Besides, there are already tons of other great reasons to be taking a probiotic.

But to reap the obesity-fighting benefits of the supplement, just be sure when choosing one to look for the words “Lactobacillus plantarum” on the label. It remains to be determined if other good strains of bacteria will have the same sort of results. You can also increase the Lactobacillus plantarum in your diet naturally by eating more olives, yogurt, and cheese.

Reminding you that a happy and healthy gut could be the key to a leaner and happier you, I am…

Alice Wessendorf

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