Western diets

Real Sugar Disrupts Your Gut Health

We’ve warned you in the past about the growing number of ways too-sweet-for-their-own-good artificial sweeteners can harm your gut health.

These outcomes may have been surprising to some in the scientific community not so long ago based on an incorrect belief that sugar was absorbed into the intestine and never made it the gut.

Considering the amount of artificial and refined sugars many people eat in the typical Western diet full of processed foods, however, it’s hard to imagine human health, not to mention the gut, not being harmed in some way.

Now, we’re learning consuming refined sugar can be a problem for your gut too, especially if your goal is to stay lean and fit, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Based on their research with mice, scientists at the Yale School of Medicine discovered how large amounts of fructose and glucose (the main components of table sugar) immediately blocked the production of an important protein (Roc).

This protein allows a specific species of gut bacteria — Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron — to process vegetables and other fiber-rich foods efficiently and help your body maintain a healthy weight.

Maintaining and protecting the various species of Bacteroides in your gut is critical to good health and keeping those extra pounds off, as this bacteria can be pretty scarce in people who are obese or overweight.

“The role of diet in the gut microbiome goes farther than just providing nutrients. It appears that carbohydrates like sugar can act as signaling molecules as well,” says Dr. Eduardo Groisman, senior author of the study and professor of microbial pathogenesis, according to Yale News.

For this study, scientists tested several sugars, both simple and complex ones, but only mixtures with fructose or glucose triggered the blockage of proteins in the gut.

The good news here is that you have plenty of reliable resources at hand to help you lose weight, starting with eating a better diet focused on fewer carbs and more whole foods.

You can also give your weight-loss journey a gut-healthy boost with EndoMune Metabolic Rescue’s unique blend of Bifidobacteria lactis and the prebiotic XOS that protects your gut health and promotes natural, effective weight loss.

gut brain

What you eat may harm your gut-brain axis

There may be a problem with your gut-brain axis — the biological connection linking the gut, emotions and brain as one — when eating a diet rich in fats and sugars. These chemicals may cause shifts in mood and cognitive behaviors.

A recent study by Oregon State University (OSU) featured in the medical journal Neuroscience, linking gut health changes caused by following poor diets to serious problems related to cognitive flexibility, the ability to adapt quickly to new and unexpected situations.

“The impairment of cognitive flexibility in this study was pretty strong,” says Dr. Kathy Magnusson of the Linus Pauling Institute at OSU in a press release. “Think about driving home on a route that’s very familiar to you, something you’re used to doing. Then one day that road is closed and you suddenly have to find a new way home.”

Researchers came to that conclusion after feeding mice either high-fat or high-sugar diets, then monitoring their physical and mental performances with an array of physical tests alongside their gut health.

Compared to mice that ate a normal diet, animals that were prescribed high-fat or high-sugar diets began to perform poorly on physical tests after only four weeks. The lack of cognitive flexibility stood out to researchers as one of the most obvious problems.

Young mice with physically stronger and healthier bodies were used in the study because they had more dynamic biological systems. In theory, the stronger mice could better resist the effects of a poor diet, Magnusson says.

On its own merit, the study provided more evidence of how Western diets — high in saturated fats, carbohydrates, refined sugars, processed foods and red meat — forced the gut to adapt by reducing the diversity of bacteria, leaving our bodies vulnerable to many diseases, most of which are preventable.

“We’ve known for a while, too much fat and sugar are not good for you,” Magnusson says. “This work suggests fat and sugar are altering your healthy bacterial systems, and it is one of the reasons those foods aren’t good for you. It’s not just the food that could be influencing your brain, but an interaction between the food and microbial changes.”

One easy way to give your gut microbiota a healthy, natural boost and assist in preventing damage to your gut-brain axis is to take a probiotic with multiple species of beneficial bacteria. These bacteria can treat a variety of conditions related to your gut health.

Unlike many probiotics you’ll find at your health food shop or grocery store, EndoMune Advanced Probiotic contains 10 strains of beneficial bacteria, plus the prebiotic fructooligosaccharide that feeds the good gut bacteria already living in your gut.

Scroll to Top