Category: Weight

Exercise And Its Effect On The Human Gut

There is a strong connection between exercise and human gut bacteria diversity. The more physical activity, the better your mood, immune system, and microbial composition.

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Yoga Poses for Stomach Issues for All Levels

Yoga poses for stomach issues can improve your digestive health naturally. Cut bloating, constipation, and symptoms of IBS with these yoga postures.

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10 Healthy Holiday Food Swaps for a Happy Gut

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and food. Sometimes, a little too much of all them…especially the food! While getting your grub on comes with the territory during the holiday season, it makes meeting your 2021 wellness goals a bit more challenging. That doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite holiday traditions. You might just have to amend them a little. Here are ten healthy holiday food swaps that are gut-friendly and delicious!
 
Going hard on food this holiday season? You and us all. You have to take these little losses with little victories. Finding the balance between comfort food and that makes your digestive system comfortable is key. Here are 10 ways to transform your holidays into a healthy one this season.
 
5 healthy holiday food swaps

 

Mashed Potatoes ➡️ Cauliflower Mash

 
Besides the turkey itself, perhaps no other food is more synonymous with Thanksgiving than mashed potatoes. This side dish is the ultimate comfort food that turns super uncomfortable after its third serving. 
 
White potatoes are exceptionally high in simple starches. They are laden with empty calories that our body burns off quickly. In turn, we’re hungry again. That’s why you have no problems going back for seconds and thirds. 
 
Cauliflower is a resistant starch. Your body burns it slower, which helps you feel fuller longer. 
 
Plus, one cup of this gut-friendly food provides you with 10% of your daily recommended intake of dietary fiber. Not only does dietary fiber help us flush out toxins, but it also provides food for your probiotic bacteria!
 
Now, if cauliflower mash isn’t your jam, we can still improve the nutrients of your old fashioned mashed potatoes. For one, leave the skin on. 
 
Potato skin has more fiber and is an excellent source of potassium. You can also try substituting red or purple potatoes instead of using white to up your antioxidant intake! 

 

Turkey Gravy ➡️ Mushroom “Gravy”

 
Mashed potatoes and gravy go together like peanut butter and jelly. As much as we love a good PB&J, there are certainly healthier options out there. The same goes for our dear friend gravy.
 
Gravy is a guilty pleasure that many of us love to partake in during the holidays. It’s fine in moderation, but there are still tons of unhealthy fats in this savory condiment. 
 
Try making a vegan gravy to either replace or supplement your turkey gravy. Mushrooms are an excellent plant-based gravy swap because they provide the texture and color we’re used to with this Thanksgiving staple. 
 
Saute 16 ounces of mushrooms with 1/4 of a cup of grass-fed butter for about 20 minutes. Add in 1/4 of a cup of unbleached flour, stirring for five minutes. Last, add a cup of stock. Add herbs and spices to taste and simmer for a half-hour. 
 
To up the antiviral benefits, we suggest using shiitake mushrooms. They are rich in beta-glucans that prop up the immune system and fight off pathogenic growth. 

 

Green Beans ➡️ Green Beans Almondine

 
Green beans are an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants, and silicon. These are all essential for a healthy system. Unfortunately, all of these benefits get hidden in green bean casseroles because they get smothered with heavy cream and fried onions. 
 
A green bean dish is essential for almost any holiday table. Get the same crispy-yet-juicy texture you love from baked green beans from the stovetop with green bean almondine.
 
This dish sautees green beans with almonds. Almonds are teeming with proteins that are essential for repairing cells around our gut lining. These nuts are also an excellent source of healthy fats that naturally lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. 

 

Apple Pie ➡️ Baked Apples and Applesauce

 
Nothing screams fall tradition like freshly picked apples. Excessive amounts of apples mean one thing — apple pie. Apple pie is excellent to share with the whole family on Thanksgiving. However, 2020 might see a smaller set up around the table. This year might be the one to cut down on the sweets. However, that doesn’t mean you have to have an appleless holiday. Instead of baking apples in a pie, have these fruits fly solo!
 
Core the apples and fill them with grass-fed butter, maple syrup, or honey. Add some pecans or cinnamon sticks inside, and roast these treats up to an hour. 
 
Still sitting on some excess apples? Peel them up and make some applesauce. Simply melt some apples with a touch of water or apple cider vinegar on the stovetop. Stir often to avoid burning!
 
Before you toss out those apple peels, consider saving them. Apple pies are rich in fiber that feed healthy bacteria. Toss the peels in baked goods or pancakes. You can even dehydrate apple peels for a crispy snack or compost to make excellent soil for springtime!
 

Zoodles ➡️ Noodles

 
Mac and cheese is a must for many Thanksgiving tables. This creamy treat is full of fat, gluten, processed ingredients, and a lot of guilt. 
 
First, switch out your noodle source. White pasta is stripped of its nutrition. Instead, you’re left with a starch teeming with gluten. Gluten prompts our bodies to produce a protein known as zonulin. Zonulin regulates the movements our small intestine makes, which can cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or leaky gut.
 
Instead, make pasta out of zucchini, carrot, or spaghetti squash. Not only are these healthier choices, but they have a ton more flavor than boxed pasta.
 
Also, reconsider the cheese. Try to use cheese made with dairy that is free of hormones and antibiotics. You can also try making your own cheese sauce with plant milk. 
 
Combine two cups of almond milk, two cups of unbleached all-purpose flour, and 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a pot. Whisk vigorously for a couple of minutes on medium-high heat for a creamy topping for your healthy pasta.
 

healthy holiday swaps 5 through 10

 

Candied Yams ➡️ Roasted Sweet Potatoes

 
Right out the gate (or oven), the word “candied” should set off a red flag. Candied yams aren’t even a side dish. They’re a dessert dressed up as a part of the main course. 
 
You can still get the sweetness you love out of candied yams with regular sweet potatoes. They even have the word “sweet” in the name.
 
Sweet potatoes are a gut-healing powerhouse. They are chock full of antioxidants that help fight off inflammation. Plus, they are a significant source of resistant starch that helps feed probiotic bacteria and makes us feel satiated longer. 

 

Eggnog ➡️ Cinnamon Tea and Golden Milk Latte

 
Eggnog is an excellent way for kids and adults alike to partake in holiday traditions. As we keep saying, everything is fine in moderation. However, eggnog is rich in unhealthy fats that can linger into the next calendar year. 
 
Literally cut the fat with cinnamon tea. Cinnamon contains an aromatic chemical (terpene) known as cinnamaldehyde. Cinnamaldehyde influences thermogenic processes. That means cinnamon heats things up. This reaction makes cinnamon an excellent fat-burner…and organic lip plumper!
 
If tea isn’t your thing, consider a golden milk latte. This beverage has a thicker consistency that is similar to eggnog. However, it comes with far more benefits.
 
A golden milk latte is made with turmeric powder. Turmeric contains unique compounds known as curcuminoids. Curcuminoids help fight inflammation while improving blood circulation.

 

Hot Chocolate ➡️ Homemade Hot Cocoa

 
Nothing beats sitting around a warm fire with a cup of hot cocoa. Unfortunately, store-bought mixes are teeming with refined sugars that will have the kids waiting up for reindeer all night long! Instead of using packaged hot chocolate, make it from scratch. 
 
Melt unsweetened chocolate on the stovetop. Once melted, add in the goodies. Use natural sweeteners, such as maple syrup, vanilla extract, or food-grade peppermint essential oils, to help give this holiday treat a little more flavor!

 

Alcohol ➡️ Kombucha

 
The holidays come with a lot of parties. That means a lot of cocktails, especially if you’re not keen on your in-laws! Unfortunately, the holiday hangover can continue long after you put down the bottle. Too much alcohol can destroy healthy stomach bacteria, leaving the body prone to pathogens.
 
A light alcoholic beverage that will boost your gut health is kombucha. This beverage ferments yeast in a tea. Yeast feasts on carbohydrates in the tea, enriching the brew with probiotic bacteria and digestive enzymes.
 
The fermentation process naturally produces alcohol. So, kombucha might not be suitable for all ages.

 

Holiday Cookies ➡️ Coconut Macaroons

 
The holidays bring a surplus of cookies that pack on unwanted pounds. You can still have a sweet tooth and snack responsibly this holiday season. Swap out your go-tos for savory coconut macaroons.
 
These creamy treats have far fewer calories than most baked goods. Plus, they contain a suitable amount of fiber to help detoxify the body post-holidays.
 
Coconuts are rich in healthy fats. We keep putting down fats, but our body does need them. It uses healthy fats to help repair our gut lining and improve nutrient absorption. 

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Pre-Workout Nutrition for All Body Types and Training Styles

Pre-workout nutrition is just as important as post-workout meals. However, each body type and training style has their own dietary needs. Learn how to sculpt a pre-workout meal to meet your wellness goals.
 
Exercise is essential for improving your gut health. These days, there’s a lot of talk about post-workout drinks and supplements for muscle building and recovery. On the other hand, the importance of pre-workout nutrition doesn’t quite receive the same amount of attention.
 
Pre-workout nutrition gives your body the blood glucose necessary to power through your workout. It keeps you from feeling tired and provides your muscles the nutrition necessary to heal themselves during the physical exertion.
 
Let’s break down the basics of pre-workout nutrition. These fundamentals should help you understand how to properly fuel and maximize every training session.

 

Tips For Pre-Workout Nutrition 101

 
Before we begin, it’s best to take any nutritional advice with a grain of salt. Wellness is not a one-size-fits-all formula. Many factors influence your pre-workout nutrition.

 

Your pre-workout meals and supplements depend on:
• Physical Nature of the Exercise
• Your Particular Wellness Goals
• Lifestyle Choices
• Dietary Preferences
• Duration of Your Workout
 
For advice that is tailor-fit to your needs, it’s best to consult with exercise science experts, especially when you’re just starting out with training. The clear advantage is that training experts have the right research, as they have studied the subject either at degree level or through a certified course. 
 
In fact, most of the discoveries around exercise and health are made and studied at universities. That is why you should check the background of an expert to see if they have had an education at degree level. 
 
Exercise science graduates, who eventually become leading experts in fitness, will have dived deep into nutrition as much as human kinetics, exercise prescription, and other aspects of their field. 
 
That’s because nutrition goes hand-in-hand with exercise. Diet is what ultimately fuels movement and optimal performance. That’s why pre-workout nutrition needs to be understood on a more scientific level.

 

What You Need for Pre-Workout Nutrition

 
If for whatever reason you don’t have access to an expert, this guide should help you get started on pre-workout nutrition. First, you need to make sure your plate represents three different food groups.

 

Carbohydrates

 
These are your body’s go-to source of fuel. Carbs are easily converted to energy and are perfect as pre-workout nutrition. These food groups should account for 40% to 60% of your diet [1].
 
Some examples of carbohydrate-rich foods include:
• Whole Grains
• Fruits
• Vegetables
 
If you are looking for a quick blast of energy, opt for fruits. They are rich simple sugars that are perfect for HITT Fitness and weight room training. For those going the distance, opt for resistant carbs like starchy vegetables and whole grains.

 

Protein

 
Protein is known as the building blocks of muscle because it’s rich in amino acids. That’s why protein is best consumed after a workout. It should account for 30-40% of your diet.
 
Some examples of protein-rich food are:
• Quinoa
• Black Beans
• Beef
• Poultry
• Seafood
• Eggs
• Tofu
Legumes 
 
If you’re trying to get lean, you should eat lean. Opt for poultry and fish for your post and pre-workout nutrition. There will be a lot less fat to burn off!

 

Fats

 
Fats are considered as the body’s long-term energy reserves. They’re the most caloric dense. Therefore, fats are also the hardest to burn. They should account for 20-30% of your diet.
 
Healthy fats for pre-workout nutrition include:
• Coconuts
• Avocados
• Walnuts
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• MCT Oil
• Fish
 
The quality of your fats matter for health and weight reasons. Make sure you consume plenty of polyunsaturated and monunsaturated fats instead of saturated fats. Too many saturated fats can cause inflammation in the gut and result in a litany of long-term diseases [2].

 

Pre-Workout Nutrition for Body Type

 
Not all bodies are made equal. We know that at Thryve, which is why we make custom probiotics. Our individuality is what makes nutrition and exercise complicated, but also exciting.
 
In the world of fitness, body types are divided into these three categories: ectomorph, endomorph, and mesomorph [3]. Though knowing your body type is often the first step to set training goals, it can also determine your nutritional needs.

 

Ectomorph

 
Someone who is lanky or lean and has difficulty building muscle is known as an ectomorph. These people have a fast metabolism. Therefore, ectomorphs need to eat nutrient-dense foods before a workout.
 
Pre-workout nutrition for ectomorphs should include:
• A Handful of Nuts and Seeds
• Fruits
• Protein Shakes (with Spirulina)
• Fish
• Sweet Potatoes
 
Since you’re skinnier, you can opt for more fats over carbohydrates. They will sustain you longer. Plus, there are many health benefits to consuming fats, including repairing your gut lining!

 

Endomorph

 
Someone who tends to hold on to body fat is an endomorph. Focus on eating whole foods rather than refined and processed ingredients. That’s because endomorphs are often diagnosed with insulin sensitivity, which is what makes them store fat [4].
 
Acceptable pre-workout foods for endomorphs include:
• Green Smoothies
• Whole Grains
• Fish
• Chicken
• Salad
 
If you do have an insulin sensitivity, you might want to stay clear of fruit. Otherwise, fruit is an excellent source of quick energy for endomorphs who don’t have diabetes.

 

Mesomorph

 
mesomoph pre-workout nutrition
Someone who quickly builds and maintains muscle mass is called a mesomorph. Mesomorphs are really lucky because they tend to see results the fastest. If this sounds like you, that’s not an excuse to slack off with your diet!
 
Like others, you must eat quality food, but you should also consider increasing your caloric intake. That’s because muscle requires more energy to maintain, and low caloric intake can lead to muscle loss.

 

Pre-Workout Nutrition for Training Style

 
Pre-workout fuel also varies depending on your chosen form of training. Let’s look at the two most popular styles and how you can prepare your pre-workout nutrition to make the most gains.

 

Cardio

cardio pre-workout nutrition
 
If you’re into running, cycling, or other forms of cardio, what you eat before training depends on the intensity of your workout. Some people like to start the day off with a run, usually with an empty stomach. 
 
This is also referred to as fasted cardio, and some studies suggest that it can be effective for fat burning [5]. The body has no available energy to burn, so it turns to fat and carbohydrates instead.
 
However, fasted cardio is not ideal for longer training sessions. It can lead to a dip in blood sugar, which often manifests as nausea, light-headedness, or muscle shakes. So if you’re going for a long run, aim to consume around 200-300 calories beforehand. One example of this is buckwheat pancakes and fruit. Follow a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein, and eat at least 30-60 minutes before training.

 

Weight Lifting

 
There’s less proof that fasted training actually works for lifting weights. Researchers note that resistance training without food can inhibit your progress because it risks muscle degradation over time.
 
If you’re starting a serious weight lifting program, it’s best to power up with the right food. Consider the needs of your particular body type when planning what to eat.
 
Experts also suggest consuming 30-45 grams each of carbs and protein, with minimal fat. For example, have a protein shake with a banana and some nut butter, or lean protein in a whole wheat wrap. Eat at least 30-90 minutes before a lifting session.

 

Supplements For Pre-Workout Nutrition

 
exercise
Now, you might be asking where supplements come into play. The truth is, you don’t need protein shakes, BCAAs, and other supplements if you’re following a nutritious diet.
 
Nutrition experts recommend eating real food because they also contain other essential vitamins and minerals — or micronutrients — that are often lacking in supplements. That said, there’s nothing wrong with a little help. This sentiment is especially true if you have difficulty gaining mass, like in the case of ectomorphs.
 
As mentioned, nutrition is not always straightforward and requires a lot of trial and error. Hopefully, this article helps you experiment and eventually find what works best for your fitness goals.

 

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Resources

 

[1] Flex Staff. “60% Vs. 40% Carb Restricted Diets for Bodybuilders…Which Is Better?” Muscle & Fitness, 22 Oct. 2014, www.muscleandfitness.com/flexonline/flex-nutrition/60-vs-40-carb-restricted-diets-bodybuilderswhich-better/.
 
[2] Temple N. J. (2018). Fat, Sugar, Whole Grains and Heart Disease: 50 Years of Confusion. Nutrients, 10(1), 39. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10010039.
 
[3] Migala, Jessica. “Body Type Diet: Are You an Ectomorph, Mesomorph, or Endomorph?: Everyday Health.” EverydayHealth.com, 8 Oct. 2019, www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/body-type-diet-are-you-ectomorph-mesomorph-endomorph/.
 
[4] MPA Supps. “All About Insulin Resistance and Sensitivity.” MPA Supps, 2020, mpasupps.com/blogs/news/all-about-insulin-resistance-and-sensitivity.
 
[5] Schoenfeld, B. J., Aragon, A. A., Wilborn, C. D., Krieger, J. W., & Sonmez, G. T. (2014). Body composition changes associated with fasted versus non-fasted aerobic exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 11(1), 54. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-014-0054-7.

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Fat Metabolism: Analyzing KEEG Pathways

The microbiome opens the pathway to understanding how the body works more and more every day. With a Thryve Gut Test, we have the ability to analyze your DNA and look deep into many physiological functions carried out by your system on a molecular level. This is even more important when it comes to fat metabolism. Thanks to these advancements in technology and following KEGG pathway maps, we can determine how efficiently your body metabolizes fats (lipids) to produce energy, control weight, and promote cognitive function. Let’s take a look at the biomarkers for fat metabolism and how Thryve Inside can help you feel your best!

 

What is Fat Metabolism?

 

 
Fat metabolism (or lipid metabolism) is more than just burning off excess pounds around the gut.
 
There is far much more to fats than pounds on a scale. In fact, they’re not as evil as the mainstream makes them out to be.
 
Healthy fats are essential for human functioning, including building muscle, maintaining brain health, and absorbing nutrients.
 
The process of creating fats, breaking them down for energy, getting rid of waste, and recycling nutrients are all part of fat metabolism. These metabolic processes cover consuming fats in your diet or creating them yourself.

 

Fatty Acid Biosynthesis

 

Fatty acids are generated within our liver. That’s where our liver processes carbohydrates and introduces them to a litany of enzymes. Depending on these interactions, we get 12 nonessential amino acids. The other eight aren’t products of fat metabolism [1]. Instead, they must be consumed through diet.
 
Fatty acid biosynthesis is reliant on carbohydrate metabolism. When our digestive system breaks down foods to simpler sugars, it can produce a wide array of beneficial enzymes and cofactors. A couple of these chemicals are acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) and Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH).
 
When acetyl-CoA and NADPH interact with a group of enzymes known as Fatty acid synthase (FAS), it kicks off the fatty acid biosynthesis process inside the cytoplasm and endoplasmic reticulum of cells.

 
Acetyl-CoA and Fatty Acid Production

 
First, the body takes two acetyl-COA. One of these coenzymes gets introduced to a carboxylic acid and the enzyme acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC). ACC is the primary enzyme that’s necessary for all fatty acid creation [3].
 
The spare acetyl-CoA and newly formed malonyl-CoA lose their CoA. A carrier protein by the name of acyl-carrier protein (ACP) fills the void. When ACP enters the fold, the new molecules become acetyl-ACP and malonyl-ACP, respectively.

 

NADPH and Fatty Acid Production

 
One of the primary responsibilities of fat metabolism is to produce energy to store for later. This backup reserve is known as ketones. They get stored in the liver and are secreted when we are missing out on carbohydrates to break down for simple sugars to create energy. When this happens, it’s known as ketosis.
 
In this portion of fat metabolism, ketones get hydrolyzed by the enzyme NADPH. NADPH is a reducing agent in fatty acid production [2]. It helps strip molecules that allow other enzymes and cofactors to make a difference.
 
With NADPH in the picture, water gets removed from the newly hydrolyzed new molecule and hydrogenated to make a saturated fat intermediate. As malonyl-ACP enters the equation, an intermediate fat with 16 carbons is created. This newly chained fat will serve as a prototype for many fatty acids.

 

Fatty Acid Elongation

 
Fatty acids that extend beyond 16 carbons typically transpire within the endoplasmic reticulum. The endoplasmic reticulum is an integral organelle within eukaryotic cells. These are cells with a true nucleus. Therefore, eukaryotic cells support the life of humans, fungi, and plants.
 
On the other side, archaea and bacteria have prokaryotic cells. These cells don’t have a nucleus. However, prokaryotes and eukaryotes both are responsible for similar functions, including protein and fat synthesis, all while serving as hosts for DNA.

long-chain fatty acids fat metabolism

For 16-carbon molecules to become elongated, they must interact with enzymes within the endoplasmic reticulum. These enzymes are called elongases.
 
While most fatty acid elongation happens inside the endoplasmic reticulum, it also transpires in mitochondria [4]. Mitochondria serves as the digestive system of a cell. This realization is fascinating because our probiotic bacteria also make short-chain fatty acids, such as butyrate. This healthy fat is essential for the health of our digestive system.
 
The most significant difference between fatty acid synthesis in the cytoplasm and mitochondria (or endoplasmic reticulum) is that the latter uses CoA to attach to the manonyl. As we mentioned earlier, the cytoplasm pathway uses ACP.

 

Fatty Acid Degradation

 
This portion of fat metabolism is when our body breaks fatty acids into their simpler metabolites. When it’s all said and done, fatty acid degradation will result in acetyl-CoA. This coenzyme will be then be used in the Citric Cycle of carbohydrate metabolism.
 
To begin this portion of fat metabolism, the metabolites get stored in our fat tissue (adipose cells). Inevitably, we burn off these fats by exercise and intermittent fasting. This process is known as lipolysis.
 

intermittent fasting for gut health
The benefits are real

 
During lipolysis, free form fatty acids are released into the bloodstream and used to power our cells. During their travels, the free form fatty acids will interact with fatty acyl-CoA synthetase. After this enzyme causes a chemical reaction, it will then become introduced to adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is like currency for our cells, giving them the power and incentive to carry out their functions.
 
During this meeting, the α-phosphate compound loses an electron. This transfer of electrons causes two new phosphate molecules — pyrophosphate and acyl-chained Adenosine monophosphate (AMP). The acyl chain then creates an activated bond with CoA. Now, the fatty acid is ready to be oxidized by the cell.
 
Once this happens, the fatty acids become 2-carbon acetyl-CoA molecules. These simpler compounds enter the Citric Acid Cycle. This entry generates lower levels of Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) and
 
Flavin adenine dinucleotide (FADH2). These are coenzymes that can be used in many metabolic processes and are pivotal for the production of more ATP.

 

Synthesis and Degradation of Ketone Bodies

 
As we noted, exercise and intermittent fasting can cause lipolysis. The body fat that gets burned off is called triglycerides. Usually, these compounds are used as cholesterol indicators. They are our backup reserve for when we don’t consume carbohydrates in our diet to promote gluconeogenesis.

 

 

During this part of fat metabolism, the triglycerides get introduced to water in our system. This interaction causes the triglycerides to become hydrolyzed, breaking them off into free form fatty acids.
 
Fatty acids get activated within the cytosol and shipped off the mitochondria. Here, beta-oxidation occurs. The end result is Acetyl-CoA. This much simpler coenzyme then makes its way to the liver, where it promotes the production of ketone bodies. All-natural energy powered by ketones is the primary objective of ketosis.
 
Once the ketones are used, they are recycled back into Acetoacetyl-CoA. This coenzyme is now free to enter the Citric Cycle.

 

Analyze Your Fat Metabolism

 
Not sure you’re burning fat adequately, or not producing enough energy to power you through the day? There might be something off with your fate metabolism. The best way to find out if this is happening is to get your gut tested. Using KEGG pathways, we can map out where the deficiencies are. That way, we can get your gut health on the right track. From there, you will shed excess weight and produce energy that will have you looking good and feeling good!

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] Hou, Y., Yin, Y., & Wu, G. (2015). Dietary essentiality of “nutritionally non-essential amino acids” for animals and humans. Experimental biology and medicine (Maywood, N.J.), 240(8), 997–1007. https://doi.org/10.1177/1535370215587913.
 
[2] Berg JM, Tymoczko JL, Stryer L. Biochemistry. 5th edition. New York: W H Freeman; 2002. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21154/.
 
[3] Parvy, J. P., Napal, L., Rubin, T., Poidevin, M., Perrin, L., Wicker-Thomas, C., & Montagne, J. (2012). Drosophila melanogaster Acetyl-CoA-carboxylase sustains a fatty acid-dependent remote signal to waterproof the respiratory system. PLoS genetics, 8(8), e1002925. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1002925.
 
[4] Kastaniotis, Alexander J, et al. “Mitochondrial Fatty Acid Synthesis, Fatty Acids and Mitochondrial Physiology.” Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta. Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27553474.
 


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Ketogenic Diet Study: Keto Diet Diversifies Gut Bacteria, Jury Still Out On Weight Loss

Thryve Inside recently conducted several internal studies about which type of diet would be most conducive to optimal gut health. Switching to a ketogenic diet saw the second-highest overall increase in stomach bacteria, falling just behind a juice cleanse diet. While many of the stomach bacteria that grew were beneficial for overall health, our results didn’t point to a keto diet plan correlating with weight loss. Let’s take a look at the health benefits of a high-fat, low-carb diet and the results of our keto diet study.

 

Ketogenic Diet Study Methodology

 
Our Thryve Inside keto diet study was conducted in three phases over an eight-day period. Phase A saw four volunteers consume their typical Western diet with normal food intake portions. They followed this protocol for two days.
 
In Phase B, the participants switched to a new diet in the form of the ketogenic diet. They followed this protocol for three days, before finishing the study with three days of their regular diet.
 
Every day of this keto diet study, we sampled the gut biome of our participants and recorded their averages. Let’s take a closer look at how the ketogenic diet works so you can understand how adopting a new diet that follows these rules might improve your gut health.

 

Keto Diet Explained

 
In principles, the keto diet (or South Beach Diet) is a lot like the Atkins Diet that blew up a few decades ago. It involves an extremely low-carbohydrate food intake. Instead, you fill the void with a lot of fat.
 
This change-up also switches gears in terms of our metabolic processes. After all, our main source of energy comes from glucose derived from carbohydrates. Unfortunately, over 15% of us are physically inactive [1]. So, chances are the average person won’t burn the majority of their carbs off. That’s why keto diet enthusiasts insist a high-carb diet leads to weight gain.
 
A lack of carb intake in a ketogenic diet alters how we produce energy. In a low-carb diet, our body will turn to its backup reserve. The liver will make up for a lack of energy by secreting ketone bodies. Ketones will become our new main source of energy.
 
One analysis of ketone bodies as the main source of energy in lieu of less glucose noted,
 

“Classic studies of ketosis induced by fasting or starvation in humans showed that brain function was maintained which was attributed to the utilization (oxidation) of ketone bodies as alternate energy substrates to glucose by the brain [2].”

Adv Exp Med Biol
Our liver makes ketone bodies from fatty acids stored from a high-fat diet. So, by eating fewer carbs and upping the grams of fat in your food intake, you will naturally lower carb (glucose) intake and increase the production of ketone bodies.
 
By rights, following this protocol should help with instances of high blood pressure and preventing type 2 diabetes. However, there are some complications with this theory that make it challenging for everybody to follow a keto diet. We’ll discuss that a bit further later.

 

A State of Ketosis and Intermittent Fasting

 
As another aside, many people also achieve a state of ketosis through intermittent fasting. That’s why advocates of the keto diet incorporate intermittent fasting into their lifestyle.
 
intermittent fasting for gut health
Learn more about intermittent fasting
 
Restricting calories is just like following a low-carb diet…because you’re eating no carbs at all. Can’t get much lower than that! You’re also giving your body a break from having to digest solid food particles.
 
The empty system looks for a new main source of energy. It will enter a state of ketosis, and the liver will secrete ketone bodies to power the body.
 
When people break a fast, they tend to fill up on high-fat foods, as they are rich in fatty acids that act as the building blocks of life. These amino acids will have a clear playing field to help improve your overall health.

 

What Can You Eat on the Keto Diet?

 
Following a ketogenic diet isn’t as restrictive as intermittent fasting. It’s actually not very restrictive at all. “Restrictive” is a state of mind. There are plenty of options available in a keto diet plan that are absolutely delicious.
 
You can eat the following foods while following a keto diet:
• Low-Carb Vegetables (Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts)
• Seafood with 0g Net Carbs (Wild-Caught Salmon, Raw Tuna, Halibut)
• Seafood with Low Net Carbs (Clams, Oysters, Mussels)
• Grass-Fed Meat
• Free-Range Poultry
• Grass-Fed Butter
• Cage-Free Eggs
• Avocados
• Greek Yogurt
• Dark Chocolate and Cacao
• Healthy Fruit Oils (Avocado, MCT, Coconut, Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
• Butter and Heavy Cream
 
As you can see, there are many options to choose from. However, as our results will show, the choices you make within these limitations will determine whether or not weight loss occurs.

 

Ketogenic Diet Study Results

 
Our results to the internal ketogenic diet study found that following this new meal plan can significantly alter your gut bacteria. The dramatic change in diversity that happens after just three days of a keto diet will see your body teeming with stomach bacteria that are essential for weight loss. Let’s take a look at some of the results that we found during our ketogenic diet study.

 

Increases Stomach Bacteria Diversity

 
We found two interesting ways the keto diet influenced our vounteers’ gut bacteria. Changing from a regular diet to a ketogenic diet saw the second-highest increase in overall diversity. Our test subjects saw a 78% increase in intestinal flora diversity during Phase B. They subsequently saw just as much of a drop during the Phase C portion.
 
gut bacteria diversity thryve diet studies
A keto diet seemed to have a huge impact in diversifying our volunteers’ guts
 
Increasing stomach bacteria diversity is essential for improving your overall health. It’s like your gut biome is a football team. Every player has a role that supports other players. Yet, they also have their own unique traits that make them an irreplaceable member of the roster.
 
Each stomach bacteria may have characteristics that overlap with one another, but they also have unique specialties that make them essential members of our gut biome roster.
 
A meta-analysis about the importance of stomach bacteria diversity stated,
 

“Lower diversity is considered a marker of dysbiosis (microbial imbalance) in the gut and has been found in autoimmune diseases and obesity and cardiometabolic conditions [3].”

British Medicine Journal (BMJ)
By following a low-carb and high-fat diet, your body will promote the growth of different stomach bacteria. Therefore, a ketogenic diet might help alter your gut biome for the better.

 

May Improve Brain Health

 
By following a low-carb and high-fat diet, your body will promote the growth of different stomach bacteria. Therefore, a ketogenic diet might help alter your gut biome for the better.

ketogenic diet vs mcdonald's diet

A ketogenic diet and McDonald’s diet seem to be reversely related

 
Interestingly enough, the ketogenic diet had a complete opposite effect. Levels of Parasutterella increased during Phase B. In fact, by looking at the data, it looks like the same line graph upside-down.
Until recently, not much was known about Parasutterella, other than the fact that too much of it can have a negative impact on weight [3]. However, when the microbiome is balanced and diverse, like it appears to be under a ketogenic diet, Parasutterella seems to have benefits.
 
A new study uncovered that Parasutterella might regulate inflammation in the hypothalamus [4]. This part of the brain responsible for our hormone production. Fighting off inflammation in this area might be beneficial for fertility, mood, and maintaining sleep cycles.

 

Might Help Fight Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD)

 
Eating fewer carbs and consuming a high-fat diet seems to have some benefits for the digestive system. For one, it produced higher levels of Bacteroides. This genus of stomach bacteria are some of the most common in our gut. So, our body relies on them to function optimally. Otherwise, the system becomes prone to stress, and ultimately, inflammation.
 
A meta-analysis of Bacteroides and Irritable Bowel Disease concluded,
 

“We identified 63 articles, 9 of which contained sufficient data for evaluation. The mean level of Bacteroides was significantly lower in Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) patients in active phase than in normal controls [5].”

Hindawi Biomed Research International
One of the reasons we believe following a classic ketogenic diet has these benefits is because it’s a high-fat diet. Healthy fats contain plenty of collagen and elastin. These proteins help give structure to the cells that line your gut. That way, you are less likely to cause inflammation in the GI tract. That’s why consuming bone broth is a very popular choice for those following this type of diet.

 

May Combat Autoimmune Disease

 
We tested the gut bacteria of two volunteers to get a snapshot of levels of Prevotella while following a keto diet plan. The two test subjects saw levels of this stomach bacteria drop around 35% during Phase B.
 
Prevotella is an essential stomach bacteria for a healthy gut biome. However, too much of this bacteria can lead to long term inflammation.
 
One meta-analysis on this intestinal flora noted,
 

“Emerging studies in humans have linked increased abundance of Prevotella species at mucosal sites to localized and systemic disease, including periodontitis, bacterial vaginosis, rheumatoid arthritis, metabolic disorders, and low-grade systemic inflammation [6].”

Immunology
After Phase C, their gut biome returned to normal. So, continuing a keto diet plan over the long term might be beneficial in preventing autoimmune diseases.

 

Doesn’t Seem to Benefit Weight Loss

 
This ketogenic diet study brought upon a shocking revelation. It made the average Bacteroidetes to Firmicutes ratio dip in favor of the latter. Interestingly, an abundance of Firmicutes has been linked to obesity.
 
firmicutes in ketogenic diet
Levels of Firmicutes seemed to rise in our volunteers
With that said, about 90% of our stomach bacteria are either of Bacteroidetes or Firmicutes species. So, while there seem to be more Firmicutes bacteria in people who are obese, it doesn’t mean skinny people can’t have more Firmicutes than Bacteroidetes in their system.
 
At the end of the day, there needs to be an abundance of both in the body, and you just need to make sure the Firmicutes don’t get out of control. Based on our analysis, it seems like following a keto diet plan can keep these levels consistent enough to prevent weight gain. However, we don’t have enough data to determine if one of the benefits of the keto diet is weight loss.

 

Might Promote Bacteria Associated With Insulin Resistance

 

While ratios of Bacteroides to Firmicutes decreased, one species of this genus experienced a significant rise during our volunteers’ keto diet plan. Amounts of Bacteroides vulgatus saw a 20% jump during Phase B of our ketogenic diet study. These amounts continued to rise as the volunteers entered Phase C.

keto diet study results
Those who follow a keto diet must do so responsibly
 
Research shows that excess Bacteroides vulgatus may cause a spike in branch-chained amino acids (BCAAs) [7]. When we have too many BCAAs in the system, it makes significant changes to our metabolic processes. For one, excess BCAAs promote insulin resistance [8]. Subsequently, LDL cholesterol levels drop, also making a person at risk for heart disease.
 
Subsequently, BCAAs are also essential for building muscle. That’s why a keto diet is so popular with weightlifters and CrossFit trainers. If you’re putting these BCAAs to good use they’re a tool. However, if you let them linger, they can be detrimental to your health.

 

Why Keto Diet Is Bad For Some People

 
Seeing these results may cause someone not to try a keto diet. However, the benefits of a ketogenic diet should include improving type 2 diabetes. After all, most people who have diabetes are encouraged to follow a low-carbohydrate diet.
 
Whether you have type 2 diabetes or not, you should talk to your doctor about proper nutrition before trying a new diet. However, both parties should be able to follow a keto diet and improve their overall health. The issues lie in too much fat from unhealthy sources.
 
A healthy high-fat diet includes:
chia seeds for ibs
• Coconut Oil
• MCT Oil
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• Nut Butters
• Avocados
• Wild-Caught Fish
• Cheese
• Eggs
• Nuts
Seeds
 
Of course, you can have your beef and lamb. However, these should be eaten in moderation. When analyzing four volunteers with their own taste preferences, their high-fat diet may not have had enough of the above-mentioned keto diet foods.
 
We believe our data doesn’t say a keto diet directly causes type 2 diabetes or heart disease. It just proves as a warning sign that we must be vigilant with the foods we choose. Just because you’re following the right guidelines doesn’t mean you’re eating the correct items. We must eat as many whole foods as possible and include more plant-based options to receive benefits of the keto diet.

 

Does the Keto Diet Work?

 
Our study is intended to provide a short-term look at what happens when someone switches from their usual grub to following a keto diet plan. We can’t determine with our results if the keto diet can aid in weight loss or prevent heart disease over the long-term. All we can do is see what happens to the gut bacteria over three days and use that to hypothesize these bacterias’ future trajectories.
 
What we can determine is that a ketogenic diet does promote gut bacteria diversity. Consuming a high-fat diet can improve gut lining and brain health. However, the quality of those foods can put you at risk, especially if you have underlying medical conditions. So, be sure you are educated about the proper foods to eat in a keto diet plan. Then, you can feel the true benefits of a keto diet.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] Shraddha Chakradhar, et al. “More than 15% of U.S. Adults Are Physically Inactive, New CDC Data Show.” STAT, 17 Jan. 2020, www.statnews.com/2020/01/16/physical-inactivity-us-adults-cdc-data/.
 
[2] LaManna, J. C., Salem, N., Puchowicz, M., Erokwu, B., Koppaka, S., Flask, C., & Lee, Z. (2009). Ketones suppress brain glucose consumption. Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 645, 301–306. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-85998-9_45.
 
[3] Zeng, Qiang, et al. “Discrepant Gut Microbiota Markers for the Classification of Obesity-Related Metabolic Abnormalities.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 17 Sept. 2019, www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-49462-w.
 
[4] Ju, Tingting, et al. “Defining the Role of Parasutterella , a Previously Uncharacterized Member of the Core Gut Microbiota.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 11 Feb. 2019, www.nature.com/articles/s41396-019-0364-5.
 
[5] Zhou, Yingting, and Fachao Zhi. “Lower Level of Bacteroides in the Gut Microbiota Is Associated with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Meta-Analysis.” BioMed Research International, Hindawi, 24 Nov. 2016, www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/5828959/.
 
[6] Robert Glatter, MD. “Imbalance Of Gut Bacteria Linked To Elevated Risk For Diabetes.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 22 July 2016, www.forbes.com/sites/robertglatter/2016/07/18/imbalance-of-gut-bacteria-linked-to-elevated-risk-for-diabetes/#495864a44ccc.
 
[7] Karusheva, Yanislava, et al. “Short-Term Dietary Reduction of Branched-Chain Amino Acids Reduces Meal-Induced Insulin Secretion and Modifies Microbiome Composition in Type 2 Diabetes: a Randomized Controlled Crossover Trial.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 27 Aug. 2019, academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/110/5/1098/5555583.
 
[8] Larsen, Jeppe Madura. “The Immune Response to Prevotella Bacteria in Chronic Inflammatory Disease.” ResearchGate, May 2017, Immunology 151(4).
 

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Going Vegan for Gut Health: Why Some People Are Going Plant-Based

Veganism has taken the world by storm in the last several years. There are many reasons as to why so many people are suddenly turning to this kind of a diet. Some are doing it to help the environment by lowering greenhouse gas emissions caused by livestock. Others don’t want to partake in the abuse of animals that end up on our plates. Others are going vegan for gut health.
 
A recent 16-week vegan for gut health study found that a plant-based diet significantly increased diversity of stomach bacteria [1]. This change in gut biome composition came with immense health benefits. Let’s take a closer look at going vegan for gut health and some vegan gut problems you may face.

 

Why Go Vegan for Gut Health?

 
At Thryve Inside, we believe that good gut health can be achieved by almost any diet. The Standard American Diet (SAD) has led the nation to an obesity epidemic. About two-thirds of adults and 30% of American children are overweight or obese [2].
 
vegan for gut health and heart health
There are plenty of healthy meats out there that can improve gut health. They include leaner proteins, such as fish and poultry. A little bit of red meat is very healthy. However, we tend to fill up on these proteins and drench them in hydrogenated oils and artificial ingredient-enriched marinades. 
 
The top reason why a lot of folks want to cut meat and animal products from their diet is for their own health. Yes, science has proven that vegans are more healthy exactly because of what they consciously choose to eat [3].
 
Almost 50% of meat-eaters say that they are interested in becoming vegan due to health benefits, and a lot of people who already converted to veganism say that they do feel a lot more healthy. Let’s check out some vegan for gut health stats that can back these feelings up, shall we?

 

Vegan for Gut Health Nutrition

 
vegan for gut health options
Get creative with your food choices!
The common misconception about vegans is that they are making unhealthy choices by not having access to enough vitamins and nutrients that are found in meat and other animal products.While it is true that stuff like calcium, iron, and vitamin B12 are not commonly found in vegan food, nothing stops vegans from taking these in the form of supplements. Some vegan foods are even fortified with extra iron and other vitamins.
 
Although high levels of protein are found in a lot of meats, many vegan meals have protein as well, such as:
 
• Nuts (Brazil Nuts, Almonds, Walnuts, Cashews)
Spirulina
• Seeds (Hemp, Pumpkin, Sunflower, Chia, Flaxseed)
• Soy (Tempeh, Tofu)
• Seitan (Wheat Germ)
• Whole Grains (Amaranth, Farro, Wild Rice, Quinoa)
 
Most plant-based foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Going vegan for gut health also means you get an abundance of potassium, magnesium, fiber, vitamins A, C, and E, antioxidants, and folate.

 

Vegan for Gut Health Weight Loss

 
Apart from all other benefits, many people choose to go vegan simply because they want to reduce their body weight. Weight management is best achieved when eating plants, fruits, roots, and other food that typically has low levels of saturated fat.
 
Ultimate Guide to Weight Gut Axis
 
Of course, nuts and seeds are very high in calories, so going overboard with them can actually cause you to gain some weight. However, without excess omega-6s inflaming triggering symptoms of Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), most vegans don’t see issues from nut and seed consumption [4].
 
As long as you know what you’re eating and you’re treating yourself with the right doses, the weight loss is imminent.

 

Veganism and Decreased Risk of Cancer

 
healthy eating
Food-related cancers are more common than you might think. A lot of them are deadly, like colon cancer or prostate cancer [5].
 
Although these diseases have no known cure, there is an effective way on how to prevent them. You just need to eat healthier.
 
Consuming different kinds of legumes can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by more than 15%.
 

 

One analysis noted,
 

“Legumes are good sources of dietary protein, vitamin E, vitamin B, selenium, and lignans with potential cancer-preventive effects. Legumes have a high content of vitamin B6 and vitamin B6 intake was reported to reduce risk of colorectal cancer [6].”

Sci Rep
Heart-disease deaths are fairly common in people who do not eat healthily. With a vegan diet, you will be 32% less likely to suffer a heart attack or have any potentially deadly heart diseases [7]. Plant-based eaters also have a 23% less chance to develop type-2 diabetes.

 

Vegan for Gut Health Problems

 
lectins and gut health
Going vegan for gut health comes with its own set of problems. For one, you’ll be eating more dietary fiber. This change in diet is a great food for probiotic bacteria. However, it will also come with regulated bowel movements. It might be an uncomfortable transition, but your body will adjust.
 
If it doesn’t, then you might be sensitive to lectins. Lectins are proteins in legumes and members of the nightshade family. For some people, lectins act as antinutrients, binding to vitamins, and minerals our body needs to function. 
 
At Thryve Inside, we believe you should still live a healthy life without compromising your morals. That’s why we compiled a how-to for navigating a lectin-free diet and how to eat vegan with stomach issues

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] “Short-Term Study Suggests Vegan Diet Can Boost Gut Microbes Related to Body Weight, Body Composition and Blood Sugar Control.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 16 Sept. 2019, ww.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190916185819.htm.
 
[2] Murray, Christopher J.L., et al. “The Vast Majority of American Adults Are Overweight or Obese, and Weight Is a Growing Problem among US Children.” Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, 27 Nov. 2018, www.healthdata.org/news-release/vast-majority-american-adults-are-overweight-or-obese-and-weight-growing-problem-among.
 
[3] Appleby, Paul N, and Timothy J Key. “The Long-Term Health of Vegetarians and Vegans.” The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Aug. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26707634.
 
[4] Scaioli, E., Liverani, E., & Belluzzi, A. (2017). The Imbalance between n-6/n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Comprehensive Review and Future Therapeutic Perspectives. International journal of molecular sciences, 18(12), 2619. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18122619.
 
[5] Goljic, Dusan. “57 Striking Cancer Statistics to Be Aware of in 2020.” HealthCareers, HealthCareers, 11 Feb. 2020, healthcareers.co/cancer-statistics/.
 
[6] Zhu, B., Sun, Y., Qi, L., Zhong, R., & Miao, X. (2015). Dietary legume consumption reduces risk of colorectal cancer: evidence from a meta-analysis of cohort studies. Scientific reports, 5, 8797. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep08797.
 
[7] Kim, Hyunju, et al. “Plant‐Based Diets Are Associated With a Lower Risk of Incident Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Disease Mortality, and All‐Cause Mortality in a General Population of Middle‐Aged Adults.” Journal of the American Heart Association, 7 Aug. 2019, www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.119.012865.
 

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Gut Bacteria and Obesity: Top 4 Intestinal Flora Linked to Weight Gain

When we gain weight, the fat tends to accumulate around the gut area. It’s safe to say that your stomach bacteria and fat tissue are in very close quarters. Therefore, it’s easy to assume that some gut bacteria and obesity are closely linked. Excess weight is not conducive to optimal health. Therefore, probiotic bacteria shouldn’t be abundant in people who have weight issues. Well, they’re not.
 
Researchers at Lund University conducted an analysis about gut bacteria and obesity [1]. They looked at the amino acids present in the blood of those with an obesity diagnosis. From there, they traced the amino acids back to four common stomach bacteria. Let’s take a look at their findings and discuss the strong link between gut bacteria and obesity.

 

Gut Bacteria and Obesity Link

 
Actual pic of our body trying to keep us afloat
Our bodies are impeccably designed with systems that promote overall balance. Whenever homeostasis becomes unhinged, it starts a chain reaction of negative effects. Perhaps nothing in our system requires more balance than the stomach bacteria in our gut biome.
 
The microbiome is comprised of trillions of cells, fungi, bacteria, and other microbes. Don’t get alarmed by their presence. They’re essential. In fact, the more, the merrier. That’s because science shows that a diverse gut biome teeming with a variety of stomach bacteria leads to longevity.
 
An analysis of gut bacteria and health in the publication, Aging, concluded,
 

“Decreased diversity, considered an indicator of an unhealthy microbiome, has been linked to different chronic conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. In addition to decreased diversity, the changes of the gut microbiome composition to an imbalanced state, i.e. dysbiosis, also correlates with frailty, inflammation, and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease (PD) in the elderly [2].”

Aging (Albany NY).
As your gut biome becomes less diverse, it allows some pathogenic stomach bacteria to take advantage. They will start to take more resources, such as nutrients.
 
From there, the overabundance of specific bacteria will cause inflammation and uncomfortable gastrointestinal distress. With time, these tipped scales will cause your scale to tip, too. An imbalanced gut biome will lead to the buildup of fat tissue and, inevitably, obesity.

 

Amino Acids Role in Gut Bacteria and Obesity

 
The strong link between gut bacteria and obesity stems from a Lund University analysis that was studying which metabolites are present in obesity. Metabolites are byproducts of stomach bacteria that feast on our dietary fiber.
 
Whatever we eat, microbes eat
When there are a plethora of probiotic bacteria in the gut, the metabolites come in the form of short-chain fatty acids. That’s why Thryve Inside includes inulin in our probiotics. Live cultures in your probiotic supplement can start consuming dietary fiber so they can produce these healthy metabolites.
 
Like stomach bacteria, metabolites need to be in balance, too. When a stomach bacteria takes over, so does its metabolites. This realization caused scientists to pinpoint which amino acids are regular metabolites of which microbes. That way, they can find out the pathogens responsible for the gut bacteria and obesity connection.

 

Which Metabolites Are Connected to Gut Bacteria and Obesity?

 
Researchers looked at the blood plasma levels of 674 volunteers. The analysis noted that there were 19 metabolites that could serve as a link between gut bacteria and obesity. However, there are two, in particular, they felt fairly certain about.

 

Branched-Chain and Aromatic Amino Acids (BCAA)

 
Branched-chain and aromatic amino acids (BCAA) are very popular among weightlifting communities. That’s because BCAAs are the building blocks for human growth. This connection between growth and amino acids is also why these metabolites are a key indicator of obesity.
 
gut bacteria and obesity bcaas
BCAAs get you swole


BCAAs are a clique of three essential amino acids:
• Leucine
• Isoleucine
• Valine
 
These essential amino acids play a vital role in our metabolic signaling. When they are functioning with the system properly, BCAAs actually have anti-obesity properties. However, when they overtake the system, BCAAs can have the opposite effect.
 
As BCAA level rise, so does insulin resistance [3]. Furthermore, BCAA regulates hormones like ghrelin and leptin that control our appetite. Thus, an influx of BCAA can cause us to consume more food.
 
Lastly, excess BCAAs cause inflammation in the pancreas, making it harder for us to produce enzymes. In turn, we have fewer catalysts to help us break down fat tissues.

 

Glutamate

 
Glutamate is essential but can
be overpowering
Glutamate is one of the most abundant amino acids in the system. This building block has the ability to cross the blood-brain-barrier. Therefore, it’s an efficient neurotransmitter than improves our brain health. However, it’s easy for this amino acid to accumulate in the blood, and that can be an indicator of obesity.
 
Research suggests that excessive glutamate can overstimulate arcuate nucleus neurons [4]. These nerve tissues send signals to our hypothalamus. This region of the brain is responsible for producing our hunger hormones.
 
Excess glutamate disrupts communication between the hypothalamus and leptin hormone that causes us to put down the fork. Therefore, too much glutamate may cause us to overeat.

 

Top 4 Gut Bacteria and Obesity Indicators

 
With the abundance of glutamate and BCAAs, the scientists had a road map to follow. They were able to pinpoint four dominant strains of stomach bacteria that may shift the belly’s scales towards obesity.

 

Blautia

 
As we keep noting, life is about balance. It’s good to have Blautia in your system. This stomach bacteria exhibits antiviral traits and has shown to be useful in fighting off Graft vs Host Disease (GVHD) [5]. However, too much Blautia is also a gut bacteria and obesity indicator.
 
While the other three gut bacteria and obesity indicators seemed to happen more in one sex over the other, Blautia doesn’t discriminate.
 
One analysis of Blautia and visceral fat accumulation (VFA) found,
 

“At the genus level we found that Blautia was the only gut microbe significantly and inversely associated with VFA, regardless of sex [6].”

Biofilms and Microbes
The study noted that people with high levels of Blautia and obesity tended to have lower levels of Bacteroidetes. So, these probiotic bacteria may be crucial in finding balance between gut bacteria and obesity.

 

Dorea

beer gut bacteria and obesity
Too much this means too much Blautia
 
Like Blautia, Dorea is abundant in people who are alcohol dependent [7]. Unlike Blautia, there are no known benefits of Dorea. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a role. Otherwise, Dorea wouldn’t be present in healthy microbiomes; which it is. With little known about the benefits of Dorea, letting it take over has shown that it’s not good for the rest of the gut biome.
 
One analysis looked at how Dorea and Blautia play a role in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS), noting,
 

“Although Dorea is considered a constituent of healthy gut flora, it has been linked with inflammatory diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, where patients exhibit an abundance of Dorea [8].”

Gut Microbes.
You might be noticing a pattern here, but Dorea has the same Kryptonite as Blautia. This stomach bacteria thrives in an environment sans-Bacteroidetes.

 

Ruminococcus

 
Ruminococcus strains were some of the first stomach bacteria discovered. It plays a crucial role in our metabolism. Unfortunately, too much of this stomach bacteria is a key indicator of Irritable Bowel Disease.
 
One study on the inflammatory properties of Ruminococcus found that it creates metabolites in the form of glucomannan polysaccharides [9]. 
 
Polysaccharides of Ruminococcus have found to ignite immune system cells, such as TNFα. Unfortunately for our gut, TNFα is an inflammatory biomarker for symptoms of Crohn’s Disease.

 

SHA-98

 
gut bacteria and obesity
A penchant for sweets can be passed down


Not much is known about the last gut bacteria and obesity connection. SHA-98 is present in healthy microbiomes. However, too much can lead to obesity. With the little information known about SHA-98, we can assume it might have to do with cases of hereditary obesity.
 
One analysis of the gut bacteria of twins found that this bacteria played a role in hereditary blood pressure levels [10]. Therefore, it can be assumed that elevated SHA-98 levels in obese individuals pass this bacteria to their offspring. After all, a child of obese parents has a 50-80% chance of becoming obese themselves [11].

 

Find Out If You Have Gut Bacteria and Obesity Indicators

 
Are you trying to lose weight and having a little trouble getting the pounds off? It might not be anything you’re doing. The problem might be the stomach bacteria in your gut.
 
Rid yourself of questions and get some answers. Take one of our at-home gut tests. We can analyze the stomach bacteria in your gut. With that knowledge, we can help you find balance with a custom probiotic and prebioitc-rich diet plan.
 
Together, we can find out if you have gut bacteria and obesity indicators. Then, we can create an easy-to-follow action plan. No one’s gut or weight loss journey is like anybody else’s. So, personalize your path to wellness today.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] Lund University. “New Link between Gut Bacteria and Obesity.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 23 Feb. 2018, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180223092441.htm.
 
[2] Deng, F., Li, Y., & Zhao, J. (2019). The gut microbiome of healthy long-living people. Aging, 11(2), 289–290. https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.101771
 
[3] Lynch, C. J., & Adams, S. H. (2014). Branched-chain amino acids in metabolic signalling and insulin resistance. Nature reviews. Endocrinology, 10(12), 723–736. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrendo.2014.171
 
[4] Hermanussen, M, and J A F Tresguerres. “Does High Glutamate Intake Cause Obesity?” Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology & Metabolism : JPEM, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 2003, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14513871.
 
[5] Jenq, R. R., Taur, Y., Devlin, S. M., Ponce, D. M., Goldberg, J. D., Ahr, K. F., Littmann, E. R., Ling, L., Gobourne, A. C., Miller, L. C., Docampo, M. D., Peled, J. U., Arpaia, N., Cross, J. R., Peets, T. K., Lumish, M. A., Shono, Y., Dudakov, J. A., Poeck, H., Hanash, A. M., … van den Brink, M. R. (2015). Intestinal Blautia Is Associated with Reduced Death from Graft-versus-Host Disease. Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, 21(8), 1373–1383. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2015.04.016
 
[6] Ozato, Naoki, et al. “Blautia Genus Associated with Visceral Fat Accumulation in Adults 20–76 Years of Age.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 4 Oct. 2019, www.nature.com/articles/s41522-019-0101-x.
 
[7] Leclercq, Sophie, et al. “Intestinal Permeability, Gut-Bacterial Dysbiosis, and Behavioral Markers of Alcohol-Dependence Severity.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 15 Sept. 2015, www.pnas.org/content/pnas/111/42/E4485.full.pdf.
 
[8] Shahi, S. K., Freedman, S. N., & Mangalam, A. K. (2017). Gut microbiome in multiple sclerosis: The players involved and the roles they play. Gut microbes, 8(6), 607–615. https://doi.org/10.1080/19490976.2017.1349041
 
[9] Henke, Matthew T, et al. “Ruminococcus Gnavus, a Member of the Human Gut Microbiome Associated with Crohn’s Disease, Produces an Inflammatory Polysaccharide.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, National Academy of Sciences, 25 June 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31182571.
 
[10] Reporter, Staff. “Gut Microbiomes May Run in Families, According to Study of UK Twins.” GenomeWeb, 11 May 2016, www.genomeweb.com/sequencing-technology/gut-microbiomes-may-run-families-according-study-uk-twins#.XkrCyChKhdo.
 
[11] “Obesity.” UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital – San Francisco, www.ucsfbenioffchildrens.org/conditions/obesity/.
 

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Maintaining Gut Health on Vacation: How to Pull it Off!

Traveling and gut health doesn’t seem to jive. Fruity drinks must be in your hands at all times, and dessert is always part of the meal. How on earth can you upkeep your gut health on vacation? Well, the seemingly impossible can be pulled off. Here are some tips for maintaining gut health on vacation.

 

Why Maintaining Gut Health on Vacation is Important

 

Going on a vacation is a growing necessity for the overworked. This time granted to us may be the only semblance of work-life balance that we will ever achieve. It’s a rare moment to unplug from the monotony of life, live in the moment, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
 
The American Psychological Association (APA) looked at the attitude surrounding vacation time for United States employees [1]. They conducted a Work and Well-Being Survey to get a snapshot of the emotional benefits holidays have on employees and their productivity.
 
After a vacation, the American workforce experiences:
Vacation enriches your life

• More Positivity When Returning to Work (68%)
• Increased Energy Levels (66%)
• Boost in Productivity (58%)
• More Motivation (57%)
Less Stress (57%)
• Better Work Quality (55%)
 
This report overwhelmingly suggests that vacation can have a positive impact on your mental state. Seeing as the mind and gut are closely connected via the gut-brain-axis, you can make an argument that going on a holiday may improve your gut health.
 
In the same breath, experiencing gastrointestinal distress during your siesta can put a real damper on festivities. There are many reasons that your gut biome can become compromised during travel. Let’s take a closer look as to why your gut health on vacation can become endangered.

 

How Gut Health on Vacation Can Be Compromised

 
Our microbiome is such an intricate system. Several factors may cause harmful intestinal flora to spark up, the immune system to become stressed, or GI problems to occur. Here are some of the reasons why you can experience lousy gut health on vacation.

 

Stress

gut health on vacation
Hey, stress happens!
From TSA pat-downs to crowds at tourist attractions to getting lost in unfamiliar places, there are many reasons to experience bursts of stress during vacation.
 
For the overly anxious, stress might be a reason to avoid holiday altogether.
 
Studies show that stress can trigger inflammation that hurts beneficial stomach bacteria [2].
 
Experiencing stress throughout your sabbatical can cause disruption to your gut health on vacation.

 

Immune System

 
Germs can be anywhere!
Traveling introduces your body to tons of germs. They’re crawling on the tray table on your plane, the poles on the subway, and Lyft driver’s backseat. Through the gut-immune-axis, this may cause your gut health on vacation can become compromised.
 
Vacationing may cause those with a weakened immune system to feel sick. In turn, you might have fewer immune cells to fight off pathogenic stomach bacteria. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t travel outside of your bubble.
 
An analysis by Yale found,
 

“Travel exposes you to different environments, which create stronger antibodies and boost your immune system significantly. Antibodies are the little proteins that shield your immune system from deadly pathogens, and multiple research studies imply that being exposed to dirty or minor illnesses really keeps your body and gut more grounded [3]. “

Yale Tribune
To reap the benefits of optimal gut health on travel, you’ll need to take care of your immune system. We’ll discuss a little more of that in a bit.

 

Food Choices

 
food choices
Just don’t do this EVERY meal
The number one disruptor of gut health on vacation is our dietary decisions. In fact, some of the food choices we make on holiday can last with us for a while. One study found that “vacations resulted in significant weight gain” that lasted up to six weeks after the siesta ended [4].
 
As explained in our Ultimate Guide to Gut-Weight Axis, excess weight can trigger GI problems. Inevitably, you may bring these GI issues home with you. Then, it’s not just your gut health on vacation that’s compromised. It’s your health, in general, that’s in jeopardy.

 

How to Improve Gut Health on Vacation

 
Nothing worth having is going to come without a set of drawbacks. The potential of having a compromised immune system, experiencing stress, or gaining weight shouldn’t turn you off from travel. You need (and deserve) this mental clarity. If done right, you can improve your gut health on vacation. Here’s how.

 

Research Restaurants Ahead of Time

 
Know what you’re getting into before you go!
A big reason we hurt our gut health on vacation is due to the poor choices we make. It’s easy to overindulge on eats. This sentiment is especially true when you go into things without a game plan.
 
Before you go on your vacay, Google “healthy food choices in (city).” Scope out some menus. See where you can find some unique (and healthy) dishes you can’t get around the corner from your home.
 
By researching first, not only will you eat healthier on your holiday, but you’ll look forward to it.

 

Cut Down on the Desserts

 
Fight temptation and split dessert with your travel companions
One of the most vital aspects of a vacation is partaking in the culture’s food. However, this pastime can lend us to going overboard. Prior to travel, look up the most popular desserts of the area. Chances are, there are only a couple of treats that really unique to the region.
 
Try them once or twice. Having a beignet in New Orleans or a strudel in Vienna is great. However, you don’t need to get one with every meal. That’s no longer experiencing a culture, that’s being greedy.
 
Of course, some places will have a few more desserts you need to try. Split a couple with a friend. Don’t eat it all on your own. Making a conscious decision to not overload on sugar will maintain your gut health on vacation.

 

Bring Essential Oils

 
Bring essential oils with you on your holiday. These are all-natural immune boosters that may also exhibit antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. They are less abrasive than hand sanitizer and don’t promote antibiotic resistance. Therefore, essential oils can be used in a multitude of way to improve gut health vacation.

 

Sanitize Hotel Rooms

 
essential oils gut health on vacation
Clear out your hotel room!
81% of surfaces sampled in hotels contain fecal matter [5]. That alarming statistic can easily compromise your immune system.
 
With fewer immune system cells to support your intestinal flora, you may be more susceptible to poor gut health on vacation. That’s why you might want to bring some antibacterial products with you.
 
Pack a diffuser with you and run it in different areas of your hotel room. Get a 2-for-1 and inhale these essential oils as you mediate. This practice will naturally lower stress levels!

 

 

Airplane Support

 
Naturally sanitize the tray table
Also, create a mixture of essential oils and carrier oils. Put your concoction into a glass bottle that’s less than three ounces. Pour a little on a wipe and use to clean your tray table, bathroom handle, or toilet seat.
 
Not to mention, essential oils can also help with stress-related travel woes. Bring a bottle of lavender essential oil and inhale straight from the bottle whenever you feel overwhelmed.
 

Find Time to Exercise

 
When our body feels bogged down by gluten-heavy apps, fatty dinners, and sugary treats, it needs help breaking things down. Exercise is the perfect way to assist in helping the body digest our overindulgences.
 
Get to know the beauty of the area you’re visiting
Physical activity shakes our stomach bacteria up. As a result, they have more chemical reactions. In the end, exercise helps beneficial microbes grow in numbers. Then, they can fight off other pathogens that upset your immune system and compromise your gut health on vacation.
 
You don’t need to go to the hotel gym to get your sweat-on.
 
Go for a hike at a local National park. Rent a bike and hit some scenic trails. Try a yoga on the beach session. There are many ways to maintain your gut health on vacation through exercise!

 

Less Alcohol

 
We tend to go a little hard on the booze during a vacation. While it’s okay to let loose, you shouldn’t confuse your vacation with a bender. If you are feeling some GI problems, lay off the alcohol.
 
gut health on vacation
Maybe don’t be him?
While a glass of red wine provides great prebiotics for probiotics, most alcohol just destroys bacteria. After all, it’s used to sterilize wounds!
 
Also, many alcohol-based beverages are overloaded with sugar. So, don’t go too crazy with the fruity cocktails by the pool. If you want an alcoholic beverage, try to make sure your mixers are as clean as possible.
 
Want to feel like you’re on vacation? Try a mocktail or get some club soda. Maybe even get a CBD-infused drink? Either way, just cut back on the booze and give your intestinal flora a break.

 

Go to a Kombucha Brewery

 
kombucha breweries
Get your booch on
Want good gut health on vacation? Drink some probiotics. A growing sector in travel is visiting craft breweries. Now, kombucha breweries are popping up, too! In fact, we compiled a list of some of the best kombucha breweries in the United States.
 
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink. It can be flavored with anything from star anise to turmeric to lemons. Be sure to try out what the locals are brewing. Get a flight, fill a growler, or grab a pint. Either way, you will supply your gut with beneficial stomach bacteria that can help break down the foods causing you gastrointestinal distress.

 

Take Probiotics

 
While kombucha breweries are not in every market, probiotics are. In fact, you can have custom probiotics that you can bring with you anywhere. Weeks before you travel, take a Thryve Inside Gut Test.
 
Thryve Gut Health Test Kit and Probotics Foods
Let’s set you up for a gut healthy vacation
That way, we know what your gut biome should look like. With that information, we can tailor a probiotic supplement to help get your gut health on track. Then, you can keep your gut biome on the right path during your holiday.
 
By choosing to Thryve Inside, we give your immune cells, mental health, and metabolism the backup it needs to have a healthy vacation. That way, you can reap the true benefits of your siesta.
 
You no longer need to worry about your gut health on vacation. Instead, focus on the things that matter most–creating memories. Safe travels!

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] “Vacation Time Recharges US Workers, but Positive Effects Vanish Within Days, New Survey Finds.” American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, 27 June 2018, www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2018/06/vacation-recharges-workers.
 
[2] Karl, J. P., Hatch, A. M., Arcidiacono, S. M., Pearce, S. C., Pantoja-Feliciano, I. G., Doherty, L. A., & Soares, J. W. (2018). Effects of Psychological, Environmental and Physical Stressors on the Gut Microbiota. Frontiers in microbiology, 9, 2013. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2018.02013.
 
[3] “Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Traveling Abroad.” The Yale Tribune, 6 July 2018, campuspress.yale.edu/tribune/scientifically-proven-health-benefits-of-traveling-abroad/.
 
[4] Cooper, Jamie A, and Theresa Tokar. “A Prospective Study on Vacation Weight Gain in Adults.” Physiology & Behavior, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 15 Mar. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26768234.
 
[5] Harmon, Katherine. “Hotel Rooms’ Most Bacteria-Laden Surfaces? Don’t Touch That Dial.” Scientific American Blog Network, Scientific American, 20 June 2012, blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/hotel-rooms-most-bacteria-laden-surfaces-dont-touch-that-dial/.
 

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How to Lose Weight & Which Gut Bacteria Might Make It Difficult

The health and wellness circles have given many people false hopes with fake answers for how to lose weight. From zapping abs with a belt to the war on eating eggs to the celery juice diet, people have tried it all. While some of these supposed weight loss hacks work for some, others achieve little to no results.
 
There are three primary things you need to do lose weight. Two of them we already know. Those are exercise and diet. Sure, we’ll touch on that in this post, but we’re also going to analyze the science behind gut bacteria and weight loss a little closer. Let’s take a look at how to lose weight in a healthy, active, and fun way!

 

Is Obesity Genetic?

 
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about one-third of the global population is considered overweight [1]. Yes, that’s a shocking statistic. However, it’s also important in understanding how to lose weight.
 
Many of us feel that obesity is genetic. You’re not wrong for believing that. Research supports this theory.

 

Obesity and Genetics

 
One analysis looking at obesity and genetics found,
 

“The development of obesity has an evident environmental contribution, but as shown by heritability estimates of 40% to 70%, a genetic susceptibility component is also needed [2].”

Curr Diab Rep.
That conclusion brings forth two eyebrow-raising facts. For one, heredity plays a 40% to 70% role in obesity.
 
Do we pass on weight issues?
Therefore, for some, genetics is the highest contributing factor to their weight problems.
 
The analysis noted that genetic codes are written in DNA that affects several digestive functions throughout the lineage of families predisposed to obesity.
 
Passed down among their genes are codes that regulate:
 
• Food Intake Action in the Central Nervous System
• Adipocyte Function
 
Based on these observations, genes can determine everything from the tendency to overeat to how dietary fat is stored in our system.
 
While genetics undoubtedly plays a big role in how we maintain our weight, it’s not the only facet. In fact, it’s not the greatest influencer for the people whose genetics influenced their weight by only 40% to 50%.

 

Obesity and Environment

 
If genetics isn’t the number one reason a person is obese, the next logical reason is their environment. Our environment doesn’t just mean the outdoors, although that is a contributor as well. By “our environment,” we mean the world that surrounds us. We’re talking about your office building, neighborhood, and house.
 
eating with friends
We are the company we keep.
There are many toxins in the environment that may trigger unwanted reactions in our systems. Ultimately, these reactions may cause us to gain weight [3]. Shockingly, toxins aren’t the primary culprits in your environment that have you wondering how to lose weight.
 
Your environment also includes the foods in your life. That sentiment doesn’t just include the foods you consume. It also encompasses the foods eaten by those around you.
 
Many of us write off weight gain as genetics. Sure, your family has something to do with it, but it might not necessarily be their genetic code. They’re feeding you foods laden with allergens, artificial dyes, and refined sugars. This environmental contributor follows you out of the house as you purchase a donut at the coffee shop, a soda at the gas station, and a hamburger at the fast food restaurant.
 
how to lose weight
Building bad habits together?
Now, there’s plenty of people out there that don’t have a predisposition to obesity through genetics. That means up to 100% of their contributing factors to their obesity can be environmental.
 
The reason that both the genetic predisposed and non-genetic predisposed person is having the same issue comes down to a poor diet allowing harmful bacteria to take over their gut biome. 

 

Tie Between Gut Bacteria and Weight Loss

 
Our body is home to trillions of microbes that are responsible for everyday functions, both complex and straightforward. They control our thought processes, gastrointestinal issues, and how we digest food. While important, those factors don’t even begin to scratch the surface on the influence gut bacteria has on our system. However, we’re here to discuss how to lose weight.
 
So, when we eat food, we rely on enzymes to break down the food particles. When this happens, waste can leave the system, while nutrients get absorbed by the bloodstream. Unfortunately, many of us don’t produce enough enzymes to handle all the food we eat. That’s when we depend on our stomach bacteria.
 
greens
Power up on plants!
Like us, gut bacteria can be a bit fickle about what gets delivered on their plates. Beneficial bacteria that support a healthy gut biome enjoy carbs from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Meanwhile, harmful bacteria dine on refined sugars and saturated fats found in a majority of meals on dinner plates across the globe.
 
The stomach bacteria that prosper off your diet determines the various unfavorable symptoms you may experience, such as gastrointestinal distress, skin problems, or mental health issues. They also influence how to lose weight.

 

Which Gut Bacteria Influence How to Lose Weight

 
Many of us do everything right to lose weight. We exercise, eat properly, and get our beauty rest. Yet, many people have problems shedding excess pounds. So, what gives?
 
A study followed 26 patients who consumed a low-calorie diet rich in fruits and vegetables [4]. Results found that some people didn’t lose as much weight as others who followed the same protocol. So, the researchers conducted a gut microbiome test on the patients.
 
The researchers found that those who didn’t lose weight seemed to have an elevated level of Dialister in their gut biome.

 

Dialister and Weight Loss Problems

 
When we eat food, our gut bacteria eat too. What they consume is called prebiotics. Prebiotics is a term to describe carbohydrates in our food that beneficial bacteria consume.
 
how to lose weight
Dialister does more than make us gain weight.
 
Much like us, probiotics use carbs for energy. Unfortunately for people trying to lose weight with an abundance of Dialister, they like carbs too. This gut bacteria likes carbs so much that they eat them quicker than probiotics. Therefore, Dialister gains more energy, and you don’t get to burn off any excess pounds.
 
Now, scientists say Dialister plays a part, but they aren’t the be-all-end-all. In fact, they summarized,
 

“It makes biological sense that the bacteria may be hindrance, but they can only play a small role as they produce only a small number of calories needed [4].”

Mayo Clinic
 
So, what else plays a role in the reasons you can’t figure out how to lose weight? Obviously, it’s within the food. However, these suspects are ones you may not be looking for.

 

What Makes It Harder to Lose Weight?

 
If you want to have any say on which stomach bacteria stay in the gut biome, you must make that decision each time you fill your plate. The food you eat determines which stomach bacteria are going to take up residence in your system.
 
Researchers looked at common factors that were at play in the diets of people who had trouble losing weight. They found two major contributors that alter the gut microbiome, which ultimately makes it more difficult for someone to lose weight [5].

 

Glutamate

 
Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter that sends communication between nerve cells. It is a crucial amino acid that plays a role in many aspects of our body that influences weight, including taste perception and satiation.
 
When we produce too much glutamate, it can start to destroy cells. This destruction includes our signaling system. Therefore, we might not get the memo that we’re full, which can lead to over-eating.

 

Foods High in Glutamate

 
You may remember the high-crackdown on monosodium glutamate (MSG) a couple of decades ago. That rings true to this day if you’re trying to lose weight.
 
Avoid some of the following foods might be the key to how to lose weight:
MSG
Cut down slurps and sauces
• Bouillon
• Broth
• Cereal
• Corn
• Corn starch
• Deli Meat
• Gelatin
• Hydrolized Products (Protein, Oil, Vegetable, etc.)
• Frozen Foods (Pizza, TV Dinners)
• Flavors, Flavoring (Including “Natural”)
• Flour
• Mushrooms
• Mustard
• Parmesan Cheese
• Peas
• Salted Peanuts
• Soy Products (Sauce, Protein Isolate)
• Table Salt
• Tomato Sauce
• Whey Protein
• Worcestershire Sauce
• Vegetable Oil
 
As you can see, there are some shocking inclusions on that list. So, try eliminating these foods and see if you lose any extra pounds. Now, let’s take a look at the other factor causing you to look up “how to lose weight?”

 

Branched-Chain Amino Acids

 
Another gut disruptor that scientists hypothesize may make losing weight difficult is an abundance of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) in the system.
 
BCAAs are three essential amino acids:
• Leucine
• Isoleucine
• Valine
 
Many of us associate BCAAs with putting on muscles and losing weight. However, researchers saw that they also fed some opportunistic bacteria associated with weight gain.

 

BCAAs and Gut Bacteria

 
Researchers witnessed that three gut bacteria species seemed to prosper in the presence of BCAAs.
 
gut bacteria and weight gain
Not most efficient way totest gut bacteria

The gut bacteria that were flourishing included:
• Blautia
• Dorea
• Ruminococcus
 
These stomach bacteria have a unique interaction with our system. However, they all spell trouble for our gut biome and cause various bouts of gastrointestinal distress.

 

Blautia

 
Another study looked at which stomach bacteria led to visceral fat accumulation (VFA) in men and women [6]. The researchers noted that women had high levels of Firmicutes and low levels of Bacteroidetes in their gut biome. Interestingly enough, men had the opposite.
 
However, the study noted that both sexes had one gut bacteria in common,
 

“At the genus level, Blautia was the only gut microbe significantly and inversely associated with VFA regardless of sex. In conclusion, at the genus level we found that Blautia was the only gut microbe significantly and inversely associated with VFA, regardless of sex.”

Nature
 

Dorea

 
Dorea stomach bacteria doesn’t have much research on it individually. However, studies do note that this opportunistic intestinal flora can have a negative impact on insulin resistance [7].

 

Ruminococcus

 
Ruminococcus can actually be beneficial stomach bacteria. It is efficient in breaking down tough plant matter, such as the cell wall. That makes digesting vegetables less likely to cause stomach pain.
 
As the narrative keeps proving, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Ruminococcus loves the polysaccharides in plants. We know that word better as “sugars.” With excess Ruminococcus in the gut, your cells will absorb more sugar, inevitably causing weight gain.

 

Foods High in BCAAs

 
Many foods rich in BCAAs are very healthy. However, if you are trying to lose weight, you might want to cut down on some of these dietary choices. It’s good to know what your options are.
 
Here are some foods to cut back on if you can’t lose weight:
 
lectin-free diet
While greatplant-sourced protein, some beans rich in lectins may cause stomach issues
Almonds
• Beef
• Brazil Nuts
• Brown Rice
• Chickpeas
• Dairy
• Lamb
• Lima Beans
• Pumpkin Seeds
• Whey
• Whole Wheat
 
You may have noticed, some foods have an overlap in the BCAAs and glutamate department, like whey or processed beef products. If you are wondering how to lose weight, start with eliminating foods that are on both lists.

 

How to Lose Weight with Probiotics

 
If you are having trouble losing weight, you might want to get a gut microbiome test. Research shows that the key to maintaining optimal weight levels is to have a diverse catalog of intestinal flora in your gut biome [8]. A gut microbiome test will look at which stomach bacteria are missing in your system and which are taking over. Then, you can craft the ultimate weight loss plan.
 
gut health diet
Feel good every day.
 
At Thryve Inside, we use the snapshot created by your gut microbiome test to formulate personalized probiotics. These probiotics supplements will help fight off the harmful intestinal flora that is making your weight loss journey so difficult. Our supplements also contain a prebiotic, inulin, which shows promise in helping lose weight.
 
Speaking of prebiotics, our gut health program also helps you feed the gut bacteria you’re encouraging to colonize. We work with you to follow a healthy gut diet plan. That way, you can finally stop wondering how to lose weight, and share the answer with others wondering the same thing!

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] “Obesity and Overweight.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight.
 
[2] Herrera, B. M., & Lindgren, C. M. (2010). The genetics of obesity. Current diabetes reports, 10(6), 498–505. doi:10.1007/s11892-010-0153-z.
 
[3] La Merrill, M., Emond, C., Kim, M. J., Antignac, J. P., Le Bizec, B., Clément, K., … Barouki, R. (2013). Toxicological function of adipose tissue: focus on persistent organic pollutants. Environmental health perspectives, 121(2), 162–169. doi:10.1289/ehp.1205485.
 
[4] Muñiz Pedrogo, David A., and Michael D. Jensen. “Gut Microbial Carbohydrate Metabolism Hinders Weight Loss in Overweight Adults Undergoing Lifestyle Intervention With a Volumetric Diet.” Gut Microbial Carbohydrate Metabolism Hinders Weight Loss in Overweight Adults Undergoing Lifestyle Intervention With a Volumetric Diet, Aug. 2018, www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(18)30148-4/fulltext.
 
[5] Filip Ottosson, Louise Brunkwall, Ulrika Ericson, Peter M Nilsson, Peter Almgren, Céline Fernandez, Olle Melander, Marju Orho-Melander, Connection Between BMI-Related Plasma Metabolite Profile and Gut Microbiota, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 103, Issue 4, April 2018, Pages 1491–1501, https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2017-02114.
 
[6] Ozato, Naoki, et al. “Blautia Genus Associated with Visceral Fat Accumulation in Adults 20–76 Years of Age.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 4 Oct. 2019, www.nature.com/articles/s41522-019-0101-x.
 
[7] Brahe, L K, et al. “Specific Gut Microbiota Features and Metabolic Markers in Postmenopausal Women with Obesity.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 15 June 2015, www.nature.com/articles/nutd20159.
 
[8] Menni, C., Jackson, M. A., Pallister, T., Steves, C. J., Spector, T. D., & Valdes, A. M. (2017). Gut microbiome diversity and high-fibre intake are related to lower long-term weight gain. International journal of obesity (2005), 41(7), 1099–1105. doi:10.1038/ijo.2017.66.
 

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