Is Too Much Screen Time Compromising Gut Health?

We are addicted to our screens. Like most addictions (such as drinking alcohol and binge-eating), excessive screen-time can be harmful to our gut health. Unlike tobacco and cigarettes, too much screen time affects young children and adults alike. These issues can cause a litany of health-related issues.
 
Excessive screen time can ravage the gut biome for several reasons, including being too sedentary, depression, and electromagnetic radiation to our stomach bacteria. The overreliance on digital devices can harm healthy gut bacteria for adults and children alike. Here’s what to do about it!

 

What is Screen Time?

 
screen time smartphone addiction
 
Before figuring out what is too much screen time, let’s get a clear consensus of what we’re talking about here. In this article, the words “screen time” describes how we consume media. We’re describing the act of someone looking at a screen to receive information, entertainment, or to find a hot date.
 

 

So, screen time includes:
• Smartphone
• Computer
• Tablet
• Television
• eBook
• Social Media
• Video Games
 
These sort of gadgets are run on LED lights and are powered by Wi-Fi signals. Sure, these devices are convenient, but they’re turning to be a real inconvenience for our system as a whole.
 
Coopervision funded a poll to determine how much of our day we spend looking at screens. The results are rather astonishing.
 
Pollsters OnePoll reported,
 

“A new survey of 2,000 people into the screen time habits of Americans revealed that whether it’s our phones, laptops, TVs, or tablets, screens are a significant element of everyday life. Assuming the average American gets eight hours of beauty rest a night, that means they spend six hours and 43 minutes a day looking at a screen, or 7,956 days of their life [1].”

OnePoll via Coopervision

Unfortunately, so many of us are regulated to screens all day. Whether we’re students learning on a tablet, office workers at a computer from 9 to 5, or a family watching TV at night, too much screen time seems inevitable! Here are some of the reasons too much screen time might be ruining your gut health.

 

Harmful Effects of Excessive Screen Time for Kids and Adults

 
Harmful Effects of Too Much Screen Time
 
As adults, we like to wave our fingers and say that kids watch too much TV and have an internet addiction. Do as I say, not as I do, adults! 
 
Parents are just as guilty of excess screen time. Young people, college students, adults, and the elderly all watch hours of TV and use their electronic devices throughout the day. Here are some of the reasons too much screen time might be ruining your gut health.

 

Lack of Physical Activity

 
We spent far less time working on our bodies than we do perfecting filters on our Insta pics. Excess screen time perpetuates a sedentary lifestyle. Trust us; sitting around the house is not conducive to a healthy body.
 
Exercise is essential for optimal wellness. Sure, we attribute a buff bod to getting up and moving. However, exercise also has a profound impact on the microbiome.
 
One analysis looking at exercise and the gut biome found,
 

“Exercise can enhance the number of beneficial microbial species, enrich the microflora diversity, and improve the development of commensal bacteria. All these effects are beneficial for the host, improving its health status [2].”


– Oxid Med Cell Longev.

Excessive media use keeps us from meeting our wellness goals. We become glued to our digital screens in hopes of social interactions, searching for educational programming on YouTube, or playing violent video games. Once, entertainment was a commodity. Now, outdoor activities seem like a monumental event.

 

Increased Risk of Obesity

 
While exercise is amazing for us, the majority don’t seem to embrace this activity very much. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in three people is overweight [3].
 

A meta-analysis looked at the long-time relationship between too much screen time and obesity. That’s right; too much screen time isn’t a new problem. It’s one that’s plagued us since televisions became commonplace in the household.
 
This research report stated,
 

“The relationship between screen media exposure and obesity has been widely studied. Starting in the mid-1980s, many epidemiologic studies have revealed associations between screen time and obesity. For example, in 1 longitudinal cohort study of a nationally representative sample of US 10- to 15-year-olds, there was a strong dose-response relationship between the number of hours per day children viewed television and the prevalence of overweight, and as much as 60% of the 4-year incidence of overweight was estimated to be attributable to excess television viewing [4].”

Pediatrics

When people are glued to their screens, they’re sitting on the couch, train, or at their desk. Unless they’re watching TV during cardio, chances are their smart device would be an audio companion instead of a visual one. Being on a screen for over six hours per day means we are most certainly not exercising.
 

Snacking in Front of Screens

 
Next time you’re at a restaurant, take a look around. How many people are on their cell phones at the dinner table? Giving younger children a tablet to shush them or allowing teenagers to use their mobile devices to escape the family conversation is causing slow, subtle damage to their snacking habits. 
 
Too much screen time lends itself to more snacking. For one, we aren’t paying attention to the food we’re eating. So, it’s not triggering to our brain that we’ve eaten. Plus, snacking fills a void while you’re zoning out on the screen.
 
Plus, snacking fills a void while you’re zoning out on the screen. Who else is guilty of just shoving popcorn in their mouths while watching a movie? You just keep shoving in the popcorn by the fistfuls!
 
One analysis was alarmed, stating,
 

“Teens who sit for hours watching TV, using the computer or playing video games while eating unhealthy snacks are at increased risk for a cluster of risk factors including increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels — that elevate the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes [5].”

The Endocrine Society

Naturally, these are all life-threatening situations. Suffice to say; microbes in your gut biome can’t be doing too well in these sorts of conditions, either.
 
All of these conditions are triggered by inflammation. Inflammation destroys healthy cells and beneficial intestinal flora. probiotic bacteria get killed off due to a negative impact of screen time overload.

 

Addictive Tendencies

 
Our screens do a lot of things to us on a psychological level that we may not even be aware of. There are so many layers to how too much screen time affects our mental state.

 

For one, there’s the pressure of always being connected. Social connection is a huge reason why we’re addicted to our electronic devices.
 
Whether it’s old-fashioned Facebook, the 24-hour shelf-life of Snapchat, or six seconds of shenanigans on TikTok, the spotlight is always on. The need and desire to be content creators can have lasting effects on today’s children.
 
CNN recently analyzed a poll conducted by Common Sense Media. Their conclusions showed how deep teenage addiction to smartphones run.
 
Results found,
 

“Nearly 80% of teens in the new survey said they checked their phones hourly, and 72% said they felt the need to immediately respond to texts and social networking messages. Thirty-six percent of parents said they argued with their child daily about device use, and 77% of parents feel their children get distracted by their devices and don’t pay attention when they are together at least a few times per week [6].”

CNN

Too much screen time doesn’t allow us to process our thoughts about real-life events. We get lost in a web of information overload. In turn, it’s causing us to disconnect from one another, reality, and our microbes!

 

What is Addicting Us to Our Devices?

 

Children and adults alike feel dependent on their smartphones for two things:
 
• Keep Them Entertained
• Build Their Brand
 
Both of these have one thing in common. They’re an attempt to improve our social status. Entertainment media stimulates us by helping us take our brains off reality. We use it as a muse for creative ideas, obtaining new information, and finding new fashion. 
 
From there, we use this content to create versions of ourselves we aspire to be. Sometimes we create false personas on the internet. Other times, we use it as a conversation piece. Who else didn’t chat with someone about the color of the dress? We do this to keep ourselves entertained and so that we can discuss relevant topics during social interactions. That’s building your brand 101!
 
Whether you’re a child leading the roast on a group chat or a middle-aged single trying to put your best life out on Insta, we have so much pressure on us. This pressure is from both society and our own expectations. We feel this unnecessary need to flaunt the best parts of our lives at all times, even if we have to fabricate these stories a little.
 

How many of us have posed for a “candid?”
 
Think about it, who hasn’t posed for a “candid” photo where you pretend you didn’t know someone was taking your picture? We’re all guilty of it, just some more than others. At times, our reality is no less scripted than the Kardashians. We just have a smaller budget.
 
The reason we live like this is that each notification, like, or retweet we get sets off neurotransmitters in our brain, most specifically dopamine [7].
 
This hormone provides us with a rewarding feeling. However, too much screen time is doing anything but bringing rewards. We spend so much time trying to recapture that rewarding feeling that we become addicted to our screens.

 

Depression

 
A recent study looked at how social media can cause alterations to our brain pathways. Shockingly, our dependency on this platform is destroying parts of our grey matter.
 
One analysis found,
 

“Our findings lend support to the idea that the composition of key brain regions of the dual-system of reasoning, the amygdala and ACC/MCC (anterior cingulate cortex and midcingulate cortex), but not the NAc (Nucleus Accumbens) , is associated with SNS addiction. We specifically show that the GMV (grey matter values) of the amygdala is negatively associated with SNS addiction scores. Hence, people with high SNS (social network site) addiction scores have a pruned amygdala, which is presumably involved in generating strong impulsive behaviors [8].”

Sci Rep

What is interesting and alarming about these statistics is the interaction between social media and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and midcingulate cortex (MCC). These are the areas of the brain that regulate self-control and impulses. Therefore, social media feed these parts of the brain that crave clicking a red notification on your Facebook globe or a blue bell on your Twitter feed.

 
Scarily enough, social media doesn’t trigger Nucleus Accumbens (NAc). This is a telltale area of the brain that dictates how we process rewards.
 
The NAc of the brain weighs the pros and cons of motivation for addictive behaviors. So, while the NAc may prompt an alcoholic to have a drink, it doesn’t play a role in our social media addictions. That suggests we may be making new alterations to the brain we never have before.
 
That is further evidenced by damage to the amygdala. This part of the brain plays a pivotal role in how we process emotions. Therefore, people addicted to their screens are more likely to act irrationally or depressed.

 

Sleep Deprivation and Wake Cycle Issues

 

50 to 70 million have sleep problems [9]. A big reason for this is due to our dependence on screens. A majority of the screens are made with blue Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights.
 
LED lights mimic the blue light that the sun projects when it rises in the morning. That sunlight has been generating our biological clock (circadian rhythm) since the day we were born. The sun does this through our pineal gland, situated behind our eyes.
 
Two hours before bed, the pineal gland excretes melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep. This process gets prompted by the sun going down. We then enter a dark room and go to sleep. As the sun rises and comes through the window, the pineal gland gets charged through the eyelids. As a result, this gland stops secreting melatonin and slowly brings in hormones like dopamine and serotonin. Now, we’re ready to start our day!
 
Unfortunately, research shows excessive exposure to blue LED lights disrupts our circadian rhythm [10]. Therefore, too much screen time makes us miss out on sleep.
 
When we sleep, that’s when our body makes hormones. After all, its hormones that wake us up in the first place.
 
In addition to hormones, our body makes immune cells. So, when we miss out on sleep from too much screen time, we compromise our immune system as well.

 

Electromagnetic Wave Radiation

 
All of the negative effects of too much screen time may seem obvious. However, there is a silent gut killer lingering in these screens.
 
Our devices are made of electromagnetic waves. Yes, the same things that can also cook our foods in record time. Now, imagine the size of a microbe compared to the size of a leftover lamb chop.

 
Can you imagine just how quickly these waves can zap something so minuscule? Well, it’s happening.

 

Harmful Stomach Bacteria That Like Electromagnetic Waves

 
One study saw that electromagnetic waves increased levels of Escherichia coli (E.coli) in the gut biome [11]. While many of us give E.coli a bad rap, this stomach bacteria is still essential for the digestion of food. It’s when E.coli increases that we have an issue.
 
Not only does too much E.coli cause gastrointestinal distress, but smartphones can enable this overgrowth to happen.
 
Research shows,
 

“The exposure of E coli ATCC 25992 to the magnetic field of 2 mT at the frequency of 50 Hz caused significant alterations in the morphology, growth curves, structural parameters, and the sensitivity to certain antibiotics such as nalidixic acid, amoxicillin, and erythromycin [11].”

Sage Journals

Under magnetic radiation, pathogens can grow larger. Plus, these waves can make them antibiotic-resistant. This combination can be a catastrophe for gut health.

 

Probiotic Gut Bacteria That Don’t Like Electromagnetic Waves

 
Not only do our devices affect E.coli, but they also can have implications for healthy stomach bacteria. However, these interactions are negative. Probiotics don’t seem to enjoy the effects of electromagnetic radiation.
 


 

.

Lactobacillus is a species of stomach bacteria that help fight off allergens, digest food, and repair a leaky gut barrier. Unfortunately, they can’t withstand the power of magnetic waves.
 
One study exposed Lactobacillus Plantarum and Lactobacillus Rhamnosus to radio frequencies of 6.41 GHz, 7.5 GHz, and 7.62 GHz.
 
Results found,
 

“Electromagnetic radiation affects the growth rate of bacteria, produce free radicals due to which the growth decreases and sometime it also inhibit the growth. Cell permeability also affected by the radiation. From the data it can be easily decuced that the cellular membrane of microorganism affects by the electromagnetic radiation [12].

Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research

Upcoming 5G services are going to expand on the already robust LTE spectrum of 6 GHz to 100 GHz. Thankfully, 6 Hz is the norm. However, 5G is about to be 20 times faster.
 
Broadband companies will now manipulate millimeter wavelength bands to reach between a frequency of 30 to 300 GHz [13]. So, who knows what kind of damage will be done over the next decade or two?

 

What is Too Much Screen Time?

 
Before getting overly concerned about too much screen time, let’s figure out what’s constitute as “too much screen time” in the first place. Figuring this number out is hardly objective.

 
A good number of people are in denial about their own screen habits. Meanwhile, others may be overly sensitive to notions that their child is partaking in too much screen time. In their minds, this might be an attack on how they parent. With all these factors at play, it’s hard to pinpoint a clear-cut number as to what is a healthy amount of screen time.
 
For American children, the Mayo Clinic offers some suggestions. That way, you can gauge your child’s habits with their physical and emotional responses.
 
According to the MayoClinic,
 

“The recommendations are really to minimize screen time in children before age 2. Between ages 2 and 5, we would recommend you keep the screen time to one hour or less per day. And in children that are older than 5, we recommend trying to minimize a recreational or enjoyment-related screen time to two hours or less per day. Two hours or less a day applies to teens, as well. But the recommendations do not include educational-related screen time [14].”

Mayo Clinic

While it may seem inevitable for your gut health to be compromised by screen time, don’t feel defeated. Here are some tips to help you reclaim your gut health in this digitized world.

 

How to Cut Excess Screen Time

 
You may seem handcuffed to your device, but you’re not. You can actually live without it. Here are a few tips for disconnecting and for rejuvenating your gut health.
 

Leave the Phone at Home

 
Life existed before smartphones. We promise it will go on without them, too. Reconnect with old school social skills. Say “hi” to strangers. Watch the squirrels chasing each other up trees. Stop looking at your electronic devices!
 
​Next time you step out somewhere familiar, leave your phone at home. That is especially true if someone else has their phone with them. The fewer opportunities you have to pull your phone out, the less likely you will miss your device in the long run.

 

Stop Checking Work Emails

 
We’re at a computer screen all day. Limit your digital media use at home by cutting back on the emails.
 
Part of the problem is that we made ourselves too available. We put this pressure to be on at all times. It’s unrealistic, and you need to set boundaries. 
 
Post work hours and be done. Don’t check your work email at home. Let home time be home time.

 

Don’t Eat and Screen

 
Let’s face it; we’re going to end up in front of a screen. Don’t let that be the time we eat. Set a time to eat away from a screen. That way, your mind can process the fact you ate. You will be less likely to eat empty calories that will ruin the acidity of your gut biome.

 

Microbiome Testing

 
Think your gut bacteria may be prompting you to make impulsive decisions to pick up a screen? Find out for sure. Get an at-home gut test. We can send you everything you need to figure out which stomach bacteria are in your system. Based on the results, we formulate personalized probiotics. With these supplements, your microbiome may find balance, which might help you manage symptoms of device addiction.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] “Americans Spend Nearly Half of Their Waking Hours (42 Percent) Looking at a Screen, It’s Been Revealed by New Research.” CooperVision®, 13 Aug. 2018, coopervision.com/our-company/news-center/press-release/americans-spend-nearly-half-their-waking-hours-42-percent.
 
[2] Monda, V., Villano, I., Messina, A., Valenzano, A., Esposito, T., Moscatelli, F., … Messina, G. (2017). Exercise Modifies the Gut Microbiota with Positive Health Effects. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2017, 3831972. doi:10.1155/2017/3831972.
 
[3] “Obesity and Overweight.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 16 Feb. 2018, www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight.
 
[4] Robinson, T. N., Banda, J. A., Hale, L., Lu, A. S., Fleming-Milici, F., Calvert, S. L., & Wartella, E. (2017). Screen Media Exposure and Obesity in Children and Adolescents. Pediatrics, 140(Suppl 2), S97–S101. doi:10.1542/peds.2016-1758K.
 
[5] “Screen Time plus Snacking a Risk for Metabolic Disorder in Teens.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 25 Mar. 2019, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190325080404.htm.
 
[6] Wallace, Kelly. “50% Of Teens Feel Addicted to Their Phones, Poll Says.” CNN, Cable News Network, 29 July 2016, www.cnn.com/2016/05/03/health/teens-cell-phone-addiction-parents/index.html.
 
[7] Scudamore, Brian. “The Truth About Smartphone Addiction, And How To Beat It.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 30 Oct. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/brianscudamore/2018/10/30/the-truth-about-smartphone-addiction-and-how-to-beat-it/.
 
[8] He, Q., Turel, O., & Bechara, A. (2017). Brain anatomy alterations associated with Social Networking Site (SNS) addiction. Scientific reports, 7, 45064. doi:10.1038/srep45064.
 
[9] “The State of SleepHealth in America.” SleepHealth, www.sleephealth.org/sleep-health/the-state-of-sleephealth-in-america/.
 
[10] Tsai JW, Hannibal J, Hagiwara G, Colas D, Ruppert E, Ruby NF, Heller HC, Franken P, Bourgin P. Melanopsin as a sleep modulator: circadian gating of the direct effects of light on sleep and altered sleep homeostasis in Opn4 (−/−. mice. PLoS Biol. 2009;7:e1000125. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=19513122&dopt=Abstract.
 
[11] Taheri, M., et al. “Evaluation of the Effect of Radiofrequency Radiation Emitted From Wi-Fi Router and Mobile Phone Simulator on the Antibacterial Susceptibility of Pathogenic Bacteria Listeria Monocytogenes and Escherichia Coli – M. Taheri, S. M. J. Mortazavi, M. Moradi, S. Mansouri, G. R. Hatam, F. Nouri, 2017.” SAGE Journals, 23 Jan. 2017, journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1559325816688527.
 
[12] Vasistha , Sharsti, and Akshay Garg. “Effect of Electromagnetic Radiation on Lactobacillus Species .” Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 2016, 8(7):123-126 , journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1559325816688527.
 
[13] Coates, John. “5G Network Uses Nearly Same Frequency as Weaponized Crowd Control Systems.” RF (Radio Frequency) Safe, 8 Oct. 2018, www.rfsafe.com/5g-network-uses-nearly-same-frequency-as-weaponized-crowd-control-systems/.
 
[14] “Mayo Clinic Minute: How Much Screen Time Is Too Much for Kids?” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-minute-how-much-screen-time-is-too-much-for-kids/.
 

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Thryve Ketone Booster Probiotics: How to Lose Weight and Promote Ketosis

The key to losing weight lives inside of you. Sure, the gumption to go to the gym and the willpower to eat healthy all play a significant role in weight control. However, the most efficient way to manage your weight levels is my introducing beneficial stomach bacteria to the system. That way, these intestinal florae can help keep pathogenic stomach bacteria that may cause weight gain at bay. Furthermore, some probiotics may help promote ketosis. That is why we formulate Thryve Ketone Booster Probiotics.

 

Why Thryve Ketone Booster Probiotics?

 
While several factors lead to weight gain (including stress, diet, and lack of exercise), poor gut health can play a monumental role.
 
All the foods we consume, the air that we breathe, and the cosmetics we put on our skin are all part of our “diet.” They also dictate autonomous functions that regulate how we store fat and burn energy.

 

Plenty of the foods we eat are rich in nutrients, amino acids, and carbohydrates. Our stomach acids and intestines break down the solid matter. Some nutrients will be absorbed immediately by the bloodstream. Others get tangled up in fats for future use.

 

How Ketosis Helps You Lose Weight

 
Our body is such a complex and independent system. In the event we are starved of food, our body defaults to a metabolic process known as ketosis.
 
Nutrient-rich fats will stick to the sticky adipose tissue that surrounds your gut lining. That way, once the initial glucose derived from your food sources gets used up, your body can pull energy from other resources in time of need.
 
Thryve Ketone Booster
Get natural energy to push you through!
During ketosis, the liver will draw on natural energy sources from deep within your fat tissue.
 
These acids are known as ketones. When your body secretes ketones, this process stimulates the fatty tissue surrounding it. As a result, you loosen up these sticky tissues. Therefore, it’s easier to burn excess pounds off the waistline.
 
By entering ketosis, you don’t rely as much on food sources for energy. Subsequently, you aren’t adding unnecessary calories to your system. That’s why many who practice the Keto Diet also partake in intermittent fasting. Both of these complementary lifestyle choices are conducive to shedding weight.

 

How Ketosis Helps with Other Metabolic Disorders

 
There is no denying that if someone has a metabolic disorder, they tend to battle weight issues. That’s because those who have a metabolic disease usually have a litany of problems where weight gain is a side effect.
 
Common symptoms of a metabolic disorder include:
• High Blood Pressure
• Elevated Blood Lipid Levels
• Increased Blood Sugar
• Excess Body Fat
• High Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels

These different factors can do more damage than cause weight gain. They may also trigger cases of Type 2 diabetes or autoimmune diseases.

 

Differences Between Obesity and Metabolic Disorders

 
Just because you have a metabolic disorder doesn’t mean you are going to be overweight. In fact, many people who are obese and overweight can have a healthy metabolism. It’s just that their dietary decisions aren’t helping their cause. One analysis looking at metabolic disorders looked at test subjects with elevated weight levels.
 
Remarkably, this study noted,
 

“These individuals, who include over 30% of obese [body mass index (BMI) >=30 kg/m2] and over 50% of overweight (BMI >=25 kg/m2 and <30 kg/m2) adults, have normal insulin sensitivity, blood pressure and lipid profiles. Some reports have suggested that despite an elevated body size, these “metabolically normal” individuals may have a risk of chronic disease similar to that of normal-weight individuals without metabolic abnormalities (3). Conversely, approximately 24% of normal-weight U.S. adults (BMI < 25.0 kg/m2) are considered metabolically abnormal, placing them at elevated risk for chronic diseases that are typically associated with elevated BMI, when compared to metabolically healthy normal weight individuals [2].”

Obesity (Silver Spring)
24% of the subjects in this study carried a healthy weight. Yet, they were still at an increased risk of diseases typically associated with people who have a high BMI. That means there are other factors at play that may be causing this disruption.
 
The system needs balance. Therefore, using products like Thryve Ketone Booster Probiotics, which helps metabolic processes, can be useful to people of all sizes.

 

How Do Thryve Ketone Booster Probiotics Make You Feel?

 
When we were formulating Thryve Ketone Booster Probiotics, there were a number of symptoms of metabolic disease that we were trying to address.
 
These issues included:
type 2 diabetes
• Raised Triglyceride Levels
• Low HDL Cholesterol
• Increased Blood Pressure
• Insulin Resistance
 
While many metabolic disorders are caused by genetics, there are a good portion that is environmental.

 

Environmental Metabolic Disorder vs. Genetics

 
An environment-caused metabolic disorder is created by inflammation. As inflammation destroys cells holding together the gut barrier, toxins can leak into the system. As a result, people may develop bouts of insulin resistance of weight gain.
 
Inflammatory biomarkers can intervene with the conversation going on between cells in the system. As a result, insulin signaling pathways can become blocked. Consequently, our body doesn’t get the message, and over time, we can build up insulin resistance and/or gain weight..
 
One analysis on intestinal flora and metabolic syndrome noted,
 

“An impairment of the fine balance between gut microbes and host’s immune system could culminate in the intestinal translocation of bacterial fragments and the development of “metabolic endotoxemia,” leading to systemic inflammation and insulin resistance [3].”

World J Gastroenterol
The researchers deduced that our gut flora interacts with so many systems involved with metabolism. A lot of these factors play a part in our development of metabolic syndrome.
 
Some of the autonomous functions that bacteria influence include:
• Energy Absorption
Gut Motility
• Appetite
• Glucose and Lipid Metabolism
• Hepatic Fatty Storage
 
The analysis summarized,
 

“Manipulation of gut microbiota through the administration of prebiotics or probiotics could reduce intestinal low grade inflammation and improve gut barrier integrity, thus, ameliorating metabolic balance and promoting weight loss.”


World J Gastroenterol
We took all of this research into consideration when we started formulating Thryve Ketone Booster Probiotics. Here are the strains that we include to help us lose weight, reverse metabolic disorders, and promote ketosis.

 

Which Bacteria Strains are in Thryve Ketone Booster Probiotics?

 
When we conjured up the prototype for Thryve Ketone Booster Probiotics, we had a lot of boxes to check off. We wanted to find strains that promoted biodiversity, while addressing some of the concerns associated with weight gain and/or metabolic syndrome. Here are some bacteria strains we carefully selected to include in our Thryve Ketone Booster Probiotics.

 

Lactobacillus ruteri Tr1 (ADR1)

Lactobacillus ruteri Tr1 (ADR1) is one of the most effective probiotic strains in fighting off the development of metabolic syndrome. This sentiment is especially true when treating hyperglycemia.

 

Improves Blood Glucose Levels

blood pressure monitor
Hyperglycemia is a result of high blood sugar levels. That’s because insulin isn’t being produced efficiently by those who are diagnosed with this metabolic disorder.
 
Since insulin signaling pathways aren’t operating smoothly, glucose levels in the body remain unchecked. As a result, you are more prone to developing Type 2 diabetes, obesity, or cardiovascular disease.

 

Reduces Oxidative Stress

 
Research on Lactobacillus ruteri Tr1 (ADR1) shows this stomach bacteria can help alleviate oxidative stress caused by insulin resistance [4].
 
Studies noted that Lactobacillus ruteri Tr1 (ADR1) lowered levels of the following pro-inflammatory biomarkers:
• Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α)
• Interleukin 1α (IL-1α)
• Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-1 (MCP-1)
 
With these inflammatory cytokines taken of care, the gut lining will take less of a beating. As a result, toxins won’t permeate into the system, essentially messing up your inflammatory signaling system.

 

Lactobacillus fermentum

 
Another intestinal flora strain that fights metabolic syndrome is Lactobacillus fermentum. That’s why we included this strain in our Thryve Ketone Booster Probiotics.

 

Improves Cholesterol Levels

Thryve Ketone Booster Probiotics
 
One of the primary causes of metabolic disorder is elevated triglycerides, combined with high levels of LDL cholesterol and low levels of HDL cholesterol.
 
A clinical study involving Lactobacillus fermentum saw this stomach bacteria improve cholesterol levels in patients who took the supplement over a four-week period [5].
 
By eight weeks, the average person who took Lactobacillus fermentum had their LDL cholesterol drop 17%. Unfortunately, those who took a control saw their LDL cholesterol levels increase. Results exhibited in this randomized controlled study only confirms the benefits of Lactobacillus fermentum.
 
Furthermore, lipid levels in the blood decreased. Therefore, those who used Lactobacillus fermentum probiotics saw an improvement in triglyceride levels. Naturally, that development should make it easier for the subjects to lose weight.

 

Lactobacillus casei

 
Of the strains used in the Thryve Inside Ketone Booster, this intestinal flora might just be the most ketosis-friendly. Research on Lactobacillus casei finds that this lactic acid actual boosts two forms of energy production in the body.

 

Creates and Stores More Energy

 
Supplementing with Lactobacillus casei may improve:
Short-Chain Fatty Acids
• Ketone Levels
 
Short-chain fatty acids are a common byproduct of probiotics that feast on prebiotics. These are short bursts of energy, efficient in boosting mental health, physical strength, and motivation.
 
Ketones are natural energy sources found in our fat tissues. When they are stimulated from fat tissue and secreted from the liver, these acids can replace the need for ingesting glucose. Producing ketones is an efficient way of providing your body with energy while simultaneously busting adipose fat.
 
One study noted that this bacteria strain assisted with the production of,
 

L. casei, can utilize oxygen in aerobic conditions for energy production using a pathway which includes pyruvate oxidase, NADH oxidase, NADH peroxidase and acetone kinase, which results in the formation of ROS [6].”

Front Microbiol.
These findings played a big role in choosing Lactobacillus casei for Thryve Ketone Booster Probiotics. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are essential for the health of our cells. The reason for this is that ROS promotes a process that signals the death of cells no longer deemed useful for the system [7]. This autonomous process is known as autophagy.

 

Autophagy and Weight Loss
 
Autophagy is a natural process that is generated by ketosis, intermittent fasting, or with proper probiotic balance. Essentially, it’s a metabolic process that acts as a natural way for your cells to recycle and regenerate themselves.
 
The useless are shown the backdoor. Meanwhile, beneficial cells are repurposed into new ones. Thanks to ROS and Lactobacillus casei, our body has the tools it needs to cut the dead weight (and fat)…literally.

 

Vitamins and Minerals

 
Lastly, our probiotics contain vitamins and minerals that will help the biodiversity of your intestinal flora. While these bacteria strains can aid you in combating digestive issues, they need some extra help to colonize.
 
Thryve Ketone Booster Probiotics contain Vitamin D, a nutrient that many are deficient in. The Sunshine Vitamin is a catalyst for many biological functions, including keeping our hormones in check. When we have a hormonal imbalance, especially when estrogen levels are elevated, we tend to carry that excess around the waistline. By adding Vitamin D to our supplement, it helps bring balance to an easily thrown-off hormone ratio.
 
Furthermore, our supplements have Vitamin C. This antioxidant helps set our immune system at ease. Since Vitamin C in Thryve Ketone Booster Probiotics provides backup for the immune system, your immune cells are less apt to promote inflammation. As a result, the chances of developing metabolic syndrome are fewer.
 
Lastly, our supplement contains inulin. This dietary fiber is a great source of prebiotics. Prebiotics serves as food for beneficial intestinal flora. With this all-natural energy source included in your Thryve Ketone BoosterProbiotics, the live strains inside the capsule will inevitably be stronger.
 
With our vegetarian-friendly casing, these live cultures get escorted through stomach acids and into the small intestine. They already have a fighting chance of survival, much in thanks to the nutrients in the formula. Now, as they colonize, your gut biome will be equipped with the stomach bacteria it needs to blast fat, promote ketosis, and improve metabolic disorders.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 
[1] “Metabolic Syndrome.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 14 Mar. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/metabolic-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20351916.
 
[2] Bradshaw, P. T., Monda, K. L., & Stevens, J. (2013). Metabolic syndrome in healthy obese, overweight, and normal weight individuals: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 21(1), 203–209. doi:10.1002/oby.20248.
 
[3] Festi, D., Schiumerini, R., Eusebi, L. H., Marasco, G., Taddia, M., & Colecchia, A. (2014). Gut microbiota and metabolic syndrome. World journal of gastroenterology, 20(43), 16079–16094. doi:10.3748/wjg.v20.i43.16079.
 
[4] Hsieh, M. C., Tsai, W. H., Jheng, Y. P., Su, S. L., Wang, S. Y., Lin, C. C., … Chang, W. W. (2018). The beneficial effects of Lactobacillus reuteri ADR-1 or ADR-3 consumption on type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Scientific reports, 8(1), 16791. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-35014-1.
 
[5] Mikelsaar1, Marika, et al. “Regulation of Plasma Lipid Profile by Lactobacillus Fermentum (Probiotic Strain ME-3 DSM14241) in a Randomised Controlled Trial of Clinically Healthy Adults.” BMC Nutrition, BioMed Central, 19 Oct. 2015, bmcnutr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40795-015-0020-z.
 
[6] Hill, D., Sugrue, I., Tobin, C., Hill, C., Stanton, C., & Ross, R. P. (2018). The Lactobacillus casei Group: History and Health Related Applications. Frontiers in microbiology, 9, 2107. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2018.02107.
 
[7] Fang, C., Gu, L., Smerin, D., Mao, S., & Xiong, X. (2017). The Interrelation between Reactive Oxygen Species and Autophagy in Neurological Disorders. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2017, 8495160. doi:10.1155/2017/8495160.
 

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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.

 

Click Here To View Resources

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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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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mother and daughter making a salad

The Ultimate Guide to the Gut-Weight Axis

It should be no secret that there is a strong correlation between the gut and your weight. After all, the pounds probably started packing on right around that area! High caloric intake and lack of physical activity are primary culprits in weight gain. However, excess weight gain over a prolonged period can mean there’s more than just your physical appearance at stake. Let’s examine the gut-weight axis.

 

What Does Gut Health Have to Do with Weight?

 
There’s nothing more frustrating than watching weight loss companies encouraging people to watch their calories. It’s not the calories that’s the problem. One-third of the population is considered overweight because of the source of our calories [*].
 
Think of the most populous areas in your hometown. There is a litany of coffee shops using artificial sweeteners, fast food restaurants deep frying foods, and “health food” stores carrying products full of with synthetic dyes and additives.
 
Food allergies are up 500% since 1990 [*]. Let that sink in. We scoff at the rise of gluten-free and vegan products. However, wheat and dairy are the top two allergens in the world. Maybe there’s something to be said about going back to basics.

 

Wheat and Gut Health

 
For one, mass-produced wheat is not the same whole grains upon which our great grandparents feasted. The dark side of wheat is that these highly-refined sandwich holders are stripped of their nutritional value. Instead, they’re manufactured in bulk, baked with additives our body can’t break down.
 
What’s left after we digest mass-produced grains are empty carbs not conducive to creating energy. Leftover gluten causes a nice fort for inflammation to burrow.
 
Inflammation is shielded by the undigested fibers. Being under Cognito allows inflammation to alter the pH level within its vicinity. That is why many who have a food sensitivity to gluten experience sharp pains in their belly. These unpleasurable effects are an inflammation settling into its digs.

 

Dairy and Gut Health

 
There is no denying the health benefits of milk. This popular beverage is rich in nutrients such as calcium. As the Got Milk? campaign taught us, milk helps strengthen our bones. While we’ve been educated on the benefits of dairy, the adage of “having too much of a good thing” is often neglected.

 

The Difference Between Cow Milk and Breast Milk

 
When we are born, mothers may provide us nutrients through breast milk. Breastfeeding is a great way to acclimate your little one a whole new world. This practice is beneficial because you are nourishing them with the same nutrients they received while they were in your womb.
 
Our body plays host to trillions of microscopic cells [*]. These microbes continued to chemically react, feed on cells, and grow for nine months. During this time they formed our immune system, organs, and mind. Microbes get trapped within our skin and remain with us as we enter the world. They are now the governors of our microbiome.
 
Feasting on a mother’s milk is a great way to kick start the beginning of a human’s life. Much like cows, we rely on our mother for milk until we are able to fend for ourselves. All other animals in nature stop drinking milk once they reach maturity. Humans are the only mammals that do not. In fact, we’re also the only mammals to drink another mammal’s milk. [*]
 
Dairy is not very conducive to a healthy gut diet plan. Our body is not equipped to break down excess lactose. Yet, it’s in everything from potato chips to chocolate to cheese to lattes. You name it, and lactose has probably graced it.
 
Seeing as our body has trouble breaking down dairy, it sort of hangs out in our gut. Now we’re in the same situation as gluten. You now have a food source high in LDL cholesterol lingering in your microbiome. Too much LDL cholesterol will undoubtedly lead to weight gain and inevitably, obesity, and/or Type 2 diabetes [*].

 

What is the Gut-Weight Axis?

 
We mentioned earlier that our microbiome is taking care of matters going on trapped inside of our skin. The microbiome is such a complex pathway of neurons, microbes, neurotransmitters, organs, and cells. They all work together to help fight off inflammation, free radicals, and harmful bacteria.
 
There are two captains of the ship. They are the gut and the brain. Our gut-brain axis has a clear indicator of everything going on within the system. This flawless operation is much in thanks to the vagus nerve.
 
Attached to the end of our brainstem, the vagus nerve sits right above our gut. There are numerous axons connected to this nerve. The nerve is constantly interpreting impulses sent by neurons from various areas of the body. Our vagus nerve acts as a toll booth, playing messenger to everywhere from our skin to our brain to our immune system to digestive tract.
 
That’s a lot of ground to cover. However, the vagus nerve is equipped to handle the job. This crucial instrument has a hoard of neural tissues. These tissues are extremely sensitive and pick up the scents of local organisms.
 
When inflammations create an overly acidic environment in the gut, it triggers the tissues on the end of the vagus nerve. This reaction causes the nerve to trigger our brain. In turn, we feel uncomfortable symptoms such as gas, constipation, or diarrhea.

 

Gut Health and Hunger

 
Living in our microbiome, microbes are constantly having chemical reactions. That means our microbiome is ever-evolving. Part of its self-sufficiency relies on the creation of hormones and neurotransmitters. The gut needs to communicate with the rest of the system to have its demands met. This need is why you may feel anxious or hangry when your stomach starts to growl.
 
Your gut makes these decision based on who is ruling the ruse in the microbiome. In a healthy system, you will receive pings of hunger at adequate feeding intervals. To relay this message, your gut will secrete orexigenic hormones, such as ghrelin, into the system.
 
When your system is getting full, it will release anorectic hormones such as peptide YY and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1) into the bloodstream [*]. This action signals to the hypothalamus that you’re satiated.
 
In turn, the hypothalamus sends neurotransmitters to other areas of the body that include:
 
• Amygdala
• Brainstem
• Nucleus Accumbens
• Prefrontal Cortex
 
With everyone on the same page, your body goes into breaking down your food and distributing the nutrients. You will feel energized enough to get to the next meal, and the whole process will start over again. That is, if you have healthy bacteria in your microbiome.

 

Poor Gut Health and Weight Gain

 
We’ve reached the point where the source of your calories matters far more than your number of calories. When you host predominantly harmful bacteria in the microbiome, the creation of anorectic hormones takes a backseat.
 
Instead, your gut becomes insatiable, secreting excess ghrelin into the blood. When this happens, you are tricked into thinking you are hungry. As a result, you eat more food than necessary.

 

Adipose Tissue and Weight Gain

 
When we eat, the solid material enters our stomach acids. Here, the food particles are broken into manageable pieces. They enter the small intestines where the valuable nutrients are fermented for last minute sustenance. The leftover toxins are then flushed through the large intestine and out the other end.
 
Right above the small intestine lies our gut lining. When we overindulge, food chills there. It’s like LA traffic during rush-hour. Everyone waits impatiently for their turn to move an inch.
 
Adipose tissue acts as Velcro around our gut lining. It attaches itself to calories. That way our body can draw on the energy in time of need. This easy access is especially handy for those who need a burst during a workout.
 
The texture of the tissue is sticky. Therefore, it likes to soak up other sticky substances like refined sugars and artificial sweeteners. This relationship with sweets leaves little room for beneficial nutrients that should be stored in your fat such as amino acids.
 
When we are consuming nutrient-dense foods, the tissue is more of a beige hue. That means there are energy-boosting nutrients readily available. However, the longer adipose tissue sits there; it begins to lose its color. Once white, it’s harder for your body to draw energy. Plus, the texture becomes stickier. This change in appearance lends itself to a snowball effect where excess weight can start to accumulate.

 

How to Improve Gut Health and Weight

 
The first step to fighting off these build-ups is to break them down. Healthy bacteria don’t know how to feast on these fake foods. Harmful bacteria do. Therefore, your junk food is actually determinantal bacteria’s Thanksgiving feast [*].  

 

Revamp Your Diet

 
You need to one, cut back on the bad foods and implement healthier foods. Whole foods that come from the earth contain chemical compounds that compute with the bacteria we entered this world with. These foods are known as prebiotics.
 
To help alter the environment of your microbiome, try eating food rich in probiotics. When foods ferment in a brine, living cultures will feast on their sugars. In turn, it creates for gut healthy foods.
 
By switching up your diet to incorporate more fermented foods, you will notice a change in your gut. You should feel less bloated and go to the bathroom on a more regular schedule.

 

Probiotic Supplements and Energy Storage

 
Sure, we love a good kombucha, but probiotic-rich foods can be a bit much for some. Whether you have successfully implemented more fermented foods into your diet or not, using probiotic supplements can also help burrow more healthy microbes into your system.
 
These probiotics feast on prebiotic-rich foods you consume. In turn, probiotic bacteria grow stronger, changing the acidic levels of your microbiome and altering your gut health. As a result, your gut motility will improve [*]. Regulated gut motility will help create the bile necessary to excrete out the excess toxins causing your weight issues.
 
On top of that, beneficial bacteria has been scientifically proven to “increase levels of the protein ANGPTL4 [*].” This is a lipid that regulates how triglycerides are stored in adipose tissues. ANGPTL4 stores energy sources more efficiently so that they are burned at a faster, more natural rate. Otherwise, the fat is free to store itself anywhere in the gut, making these energy sources less readily available…and harder to burn.

 

Probiotics and Thermogenesis

 
Speaking of burning, gut bacteria also help burn your fat tissue more efficiently. Probiotic bacterias facilitate a process known as thermogenesis [*].
 
Thermogenesis is when your body draws on adipose tissues and converts the nutrients stored within their sticky fibers into energy. When adipose tissue is with other white tissue, it tends to stick together, making it harder to excrete energy from the source. Harmful bacteria help keep that adipose tissue right along the gut lining. We interpret this bloat as excess weight.
 
Studies have shown that probiotics excite electrons around the gut lining. This causes the white tissue to have a chemical reaction which turns it into a brown hue. Affectionately known as fat-browning, when white tissues turn beige, it sheds more weight. That’s because this dormant tissue is now being used as a more efficient source of energy [*].

 

Metabolism and Weight Gain

 
Part of the issue with weight gain is the metabolism isn’t working like the well-oiled machine it used to be. To give the metabolism a bit of a hand, probiotics help facilitate the creation of the GLP-1 we spoke about earlier.
 
This hormone suppresses feelings of hunger, so we don’t feel the need to eat unnecessarily. In a two-for-one deal, the GLP-1 has also exhibited an ability to improve glucose intolerance [*]. That makes this hormone crucial for those suffering from diabetes or are at risk of the condition.

 

Weight Gain and Cardiovascular Disease

 
On top of superficial consequences, there are also health risks associated with weight gain. For instance, too much weight can lead to the onset of diabetes. Cases of obesity are typically caused by the overconsumption of refined sugars. Refined sugars are known to spike your blood glucose levels. When these practices become habitual, it may lead to cases of Type 2 Diabetes or bouts of diabetic shock.
 
Furthermore, these artificial sugars stay in your system for the long haul. With time, they start to harden and create sticky plaques that disrupt the complex highways that are your arteries. As a result, blood can’t get to sections of the body including the brain, genitals, and heart. When oxygenated blood cells can’t reach these areas, it leaves the body open to a plethora of conditions such as mental health disorders, reproductive abnormalities, and cardiovascular disease.

 

Stomach Bacteria Associated with Weight Conditions

 
As we keep saying, it’s bacteria that you got into this mess. It will also be bacteria that will help you get out of it.
 
When it comes to excess weight, there aren’t a lot of bacteria that is necessarily causing the issue. Instead, you have a lack of biodiversity going on within the system. Unless there is an underlying issue, such as an overabundance of Helicobacter pylori [*]. In these cases, you may experience painful symptoms such as bloating and abdominal pain.
 
Due to these effects, you may not feel the desire to be as active. Fear of triggering more pain may cause you to gain weight as an organic side effect. In other cases, these bacteria overloads may cause a breeding ground for inflammation. As inflammatory tissues pile up, this can lead to a bulge in your gut area.
 
Speaking of inflammations, bacterial strains such as Coprococcus comes can cause autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s and Irritable Bowel Syndrome [*]. As toxins leak into your system from these conditions, they set off receptors attached to the bottom of the vagus nerve.
 
When opportunists such as Coprococcus come to take up too much residence, your body goes into panic mode. This alerts the adrenal glands. Autonomously, these glands start pumping out the hormone, cortisol [*].

 

Cortisol and Weight Gain

 
Cortisol is our stress hormone. When our body is in a constant state of peril, it creates a constant state of stress. As cortisol infiltrates the system, it will throw the rest of your hormones off balance. This includes testosterone and estrogen. Depending on how your body reacts to the cortisol production, it may end up pumping out too of the latter hormone.
 
When excess estrogen enters the microbiome, it alters the way we store fat [*]. Estrogen triggers the maternal instinct of our system. All of our fat and blood cells rush to the belly in the presence of excess estrogen because it’s anticipating the arrival of a fetus. When the fetus doesn’t come to fruition, you may be left with the excess tissue buildup. On the outside, this will come across as weight gain.

 

Ways To Improve Weight Concerns

 
Excess weight can sneak up on you. Once caught off-guard, you might have a bigger hill to climb than you realized. Feeling a bit overwhelmed? You might not know where to begin on your weight loss journey. Let us help you figure out some ways to improve your weight.

 

Exercise

 
Exercise is essential for losing weight. You need to burn off the food you consumed. Otherwise, the particles will clog your gut lining. When this happens, it not only opens the door for weight loss, but for other life-threatening conditions.

 

Exercise and Probiotic Growth

 
Not only will exercise help you burn off that extra slice of cake, but it helps improve your microbiome. By exercising, you are mixing up sedimentary microbes. When you move about, it forces chemical reactions between microbes that weren’t hanging out with one another [*].
 
Exercising works two-fold in probiotic growth. For one, your probiotic bacteria are mingling with one another. These reactions will alter the chemical makeup of other microbes. In turn, you naturally diversify your bacteria.
 
Secondly, this causes probiotic bacteria to get mixed up with inflammation. It’s like the police on a manhunt. Probiotics are free to swish around areas they couldn’t access when you were sitting at a desk. When probiotics find inflammations, they can enlist red blood cells, T-cells, and other members of our immune system to clean up the muck.
 
The biggest no-brainer in addressing weight concerns is diet and exercise. You need to cut out the fried foods, poor protein choices, and artificial ingredients. While they may taste good, these foods don’t feel good. 

 

Get Your Macronutrients

 
We’ve touched on it before, and we’re going to harp on it again. Dietary choices are the leading cause of weight gain. Therefore, making informed decisions will be the most beneficial in getting you out of this situation.
 
For adequate nutrition, be sure to eat foods that range the rainbow of colors. Each hue represents unique chemical compounds that other foods are lacking. Therefore, you are getting a balanced diet of micronutrients each time you opt to consume a food with a different colored exterior.
 
Micronutrients are essential for weight loss because they act as catalysts for many vital functions. Most importantly, micronutrients contain the enzymes we need to facilitate the digestion process [*]. They also contain the energy we need to push through workouts.

 

Supplementing with Probiotics

 
Lastly, the key to getting your weight under control is to create an environment conducive to that goal. The best way to do this is to supplement with the correct beneficial bacteria. Studies have shown that some of the biggest reasons we gain weight are due to the lack of beneficial bacteria in our body.
 
For instance, refined sugar cravings that happen more than three times a week can be attributed to a low level of Bifidobacterium lactis in the gut. This strain of bacteria helps reduce the levels of lipids in our system that brings on the sugary cravings we long for. Instead, Bifidobacterium lactis creates an environment where sugar cravings are satiated by the glucose and fructose provided by prebiotic-rich foods such as fruits and resistant starches [*].
 
Other studies have confirmed that a small amount of Methanobrevibacter smithii in the microbiome may lead to weight gain. This probiotic strain flourishes while feasting on hydrogen in the gut.
 
Hydrogen is a byproduct of waste created by other microorganisms inside your system. When hydrogen levels are high, it makes it harder for your gut to ferment the bacteria in your stomach acid. It’s like closing a mason jar lid with a strong current pushing it up. When Methanobrevibacter smithii consumes hydrogen, it speeds up the metabolic process. As a result, you absorb more nutrients, rather than storing them as fat cells [*].

 

Diabetes and Probiotics

 
Many who suffer from weight issues are at an increased risk for diabetes [*]. Cases of diabetes tend to have decreased levels of Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus reuteri Tr1 (ADR1) in the gut. Research shows Lactobacillus rhamnosus enhances gluten sensitivity. As a result, this strain may be helpful in controlling peaked blood sugar levels.
 
Furthermore, the same study concluded that Lactobacillus reuteri Tr1 (ADR1) does the same for women who have gestational diabetes during pregnancy. However, this strain also helps lower inflammations that may also add to unwanted weight gain.

 

Cholesterol and Probiotics

 
Unwanted weight gain is also triggered by high levels of LDL cholesterol. This is the fatty lipids found in animal fats, dairy, and sweets. When levels of LDL cholesterol are high, it blocks off paths for red oxygenated blood cells to get through. Therefore, these cells can’t help oxidize adipose tissue and turn it into energy. Studies with Lactobacillus reuteri confirm that this probiotic strain can lower LDL cholesterol levels while simultaneously reducing the risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease [*].
 
Seeing as diversity is the key to getting your microbes in check, you should figure out which ones are currently lacking in your system. The best way to do this is to get your microbiome tested. In doing so, you can pinpoint just what your body needs. With these results, Thryve Probiotics can formulate a personalized supplement guaranteed to help you blast that excess weight to smithereens.

 

Weight Loss Case Study

 
Pamela came in with the goal to lose 15 lbs off her midsection. Outside of belly fat, Pamela presented no other health issues and was a healthy 35 year old.
 

We tested her gut bacteria and noticed she was lacking several good probiotic bacteria known for weight loss. Specifically, she had low counts of Bifidobacterium probiotics in her gut and reduced microbial diversity.

Pamela started on a personalized diet plan and customized probiotic blend and was able to reduce her weight by almost 11 lbs (8.5%) in 3 months without any changes to her activity level.
 
 

What’s Thryve Gut Health?

 
 

Probiotic Comparison

 
 

Microbiome Testing Companies Comparison

 
 
• Gut Microbiome Test Kit done at home
• Personalized dietary recommendations for foods to enjoy
• Customized probiotic supplements to replenish good bacteria
• Two week turnaround, shipped directly to your door

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