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Lose Weight the Healthy Way: Follow Your Gut

We’re well into the new year, and many of us set new goals and resolutions to focus our attention on making lifestyle changes that we (hope) will improve our lives.

At the top of the list for many Americans is weight loss. In an attempt to shed those extra pounds, people do a lot of smart things, like moving more, joining a gym, getting more rest, eating more whole foods (full of fiber, less fat and natural sugars), and spending less time at the fast-food drive-thru grabbing processed foods on the run.

Sadly, however, many people prefer to take the fast lane to better health. We turn to detox diets or the bewildering number of weight-loss products on the market, many of which come with dangerous side effects.

If you’ve tried and failed to lose weight too many times and you’re willing to risk your health on products that could harm you in the process, maybe it’s time to take the word “loss” completely out of the equation.

Gaining instead of losing

Rather than looking at this challenge as a “losing” one, rethink your strategy and replace it with a gain, but not on the scale or your waistline.

Losing weight and keeping it off requires a different lifestyle approach, but not one of deprivation either. Your best and healthiest strategy starts with taking charge of your health.

Maybe you’ve started that process on the right foot by doing those smart things I mentioned earlier, but you’re still unable to lose those stubborn inches, especially if you’re older.

As the human body ages, the amount of beneficial bacteria in our guts decline. So, what does your gut have to do with your weight?

The human microbiome ─ the trillions of microorganisms that live in our intestines ─ plays a significant role in our overall health in so many ways, specifically protecting the integrity of the lining of the gut from intestinal toxins.

The microbiome, when kept in proper balance, can also help regulate metabolism and support weight loss.

Here’s how.

When our body’s healthy balance of gut bacteria becomes compromised by eating a diet full of too many nutrient-poor, highly processed foods, not handling stress as it comes and relying too often on antibiotics, we become more susceptible to metabolic syndrome.

If you’re not familiar with metabolic syndrome, it’s the cluster of symptoms — high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol or triglyceride levels and extra body fat around your waist — that elevate your risks of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Your gut and weight gain

An imbalance of gut flora can actually contribute to weight gain by causing inflammation, stimulating fat production and decreasing brain signaling via the gut-brain axis that controls hunger.

So, it’s very possible you could be doing all of the right things — exercising, destressing and eating your vegetables — and still be struggling with weight loss and metabolic inefficiency.

What now?

In addition to making lifestyle changes, achieving a healthy weight often comes down to listening to our gut. Research continues to unfold about the benefits of probiotics that help us maintain an optimal gut bacteria balance and regulate metabolic function.

Several specific strains of beneficial bacteria are more effective at helping with weight loss. Bifidobacterium lactis, for example, aids in fermenting resistant starches, which results in improving the health of the intestinal lining and lessening the risk of leaky gut.

Leaky gut is a disorder in which a breakdown in the intestinal wall allows unintended substances (toxic bacteria and waste products) to seep through the intestinal barrier and into your bloodstream.

The prebiotic difference

Supplements that combine a prebiotic ─ non-digestible starches that feed the good bacteria already living in your gut ─ with probiotic strains in relevant proportions have shown to be even more effective.

How? Those well-fed bacteria in your gut stimulate the release of hormones that decrease satiety, thus reducing hunger. In addition, this release of hormones slows the emptying of the stomach, which can result eating smaller meals.

More recently, the natural prebiotic Xlylooligosaccharides (XOS) has demonstrated great benefits on the microbiome in small doses, and even helped in avoiding the development of pre-diabetes.

If you follow gut health issues like I do, you’ve probably heard about GLP-1, better known as glucacon-like peptide-1, a hormone produced by the gut that can decrease blood sugar levels by enhancing the secretion of insulin.

Most probiotics don’t contain a prebiotic, which is critical in maintaining intestinal health. Prebiotics create short-term fatty acids, thus releasing butyrate, a critical component in providing nourishment to the colon.

If you want to lessen your risks of metabolic syndrome, improve your cholesterol and hypertension levels and give your weight-loss journey a fresh start, you may want to consider trying EndoMune Metabolic Rescue, which contains 1 billion CFUs of beneficial Bifidobacterium lactis along with 600 mg of XOS.

Combining a nutritious diet, exercise and all-natural probiotic/prebiotic supplementation can help you gain the benefits of losing weight and staying healthy.

Board-certified gastroenterologist Lawrence Hoberman, M.D., is the creator of EndoMune Metabolic Rescue, EndoMune Advanced Probiotic and founder of Medical Care Innovations.

During his 40-plus years practicing internal medicine and gastroenterology, Dr. Hoberman has worked with microbiologists to identify beneficial bacteria, resulting in the development of his own supplements for adults and children.

To learn more about how your gut affects your health in so many ways and how probiotics can help, visit www.endomune.com.

a man holding whole foods standing near a window

Fight Type 2 Diabetes with a Healthy Gut

There’s no disputing the health benefits of eating whole foods — legumes, vegetables, fresh fruits and whole grains – rich in dietary fiber.

For a long time, science has recognized the role good gut health plays with help from dietary fiber in treating diseases like type 2 diabetes without really understanding how both converge to promote better overall health.

The results of a Chinese study that treated type 2 diabetes patients partly with a high-fiber diet may offer a critical clue, based on a tiny group of bacteria in the human gut.

A select group of gut bacteria

Researchers split patients into two groups: A control group who received standard dietary recommendations and patient education and a more active group who was prescribed a high-fiber diet containing many kinds of dietary fiber from whole grains, prebiotics and Chinese medicinal foods, according to the study featured in Science.

After 12 weeks, patients following the fiber-rich diet created by scientists that jump-started the development of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) had done its job.

Those patients in the active group experienced sharply reduced blood glucose levels at faster rates and lost extra weight too.

How did high-fiber diets make such a difference?

Researchers believe diseases like type 2 diabetes may occur as a result of problems in producing SCFAs in the gut. Surprisingly, a tiny number of gut bacteria – 15 out of a possible 141 strains – were affected by eating a high-fiber diet. In fact, this select group became the dominant strains in the guts of patients, after increasing butyrate and acetate levels.

Simply, the presence of higher levels of butyrate and acetate (both are SCFAs) created mildly acidic environments that decreased the amounts of bad bacteria in the gut, leading to a greater production of insulin and improved blood glucose control.

“Our study lays the foundation and open the possibility that fibers targeting this group of gut bacteria could eventually become part of your diet and your treatment,” says Dr. Liping Zhao, lead author of the study and a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology at Rutgers University, according to a press release.

More whole-grain goodness

This select group of gut bacteria may also be at work in the results of a study appearing in Gut, in which 60 Danish adults followed a high whole-grain diet (more than 100 grams per day) and a low refined grain diet (13 grams per day) alternately for eight-week periods.

Compared to the refined grain diet, patients eating a diet rich in whole grains lost weight and lowered the number of markers associated with inflammation that causes metabolic syndrome.

That’s a cluster of conditions ranging from elevated blood sugar levels to extra body fat around the waist that increases your risk of serious cardiovascular problems and diabetes.

Are you having trouble losing weight? Are you fighting a losing battle against metabolic syndrome?

To prevent metabolic syndrome from harming your health further and begin the healing process, restore the proper balance of gut bacteria with the help of EndoMune Metabolic Rescue and its unique probiotic blend of Bifidobacterium lactis and the prebiotic XOS.

How EndoMune Metabolic Rescue works

Unfortunately, the number of Bifidobacteria in your gut decline as your body ages, largely due to a changing diet that usually contains more fiber-free foods.

That’s where your adult gut needs extra help from a prebiotic, a substance made from non-digestible starches that literally feed your gut by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria.

In recent years, XOS has emerged as a versatile, natural prebiotic that can provide many benefits, for example, reversing imbalances in the human gut during the development of type 2 diabetes to healthier ones.

EndoMune Metabolic Rescue’s unique formulation of Bifidobacterium lactis (a beneficial subspecies of Bifidobacteria) works as a synbiotic to produce SCFAs, stimulating the production of hormones that could slow down activity in the appetite center of your brain.

This hormonal action also slows down the motility (emptying) of your stomach, which promotes the sense of fullness or satiety. In other words, it takes less food to feel full.

Research related to consuming XOS has found increased amounts of Bifidobacteria in test subjects. Other studies have shown how patients given Bifidobacteria lactis can metabolize resistant starches like XOS, producing the SCFAs that act as signals to reduce appetite and slow down stomach motility, ideally resulting in weight loss and a healthier gut.

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