The Gut Microbiome and It’s Relation To Weight & Disease

The past decade has experienced the growth of a new area of understanding in human biology, the microbiome. Found within our gastrointestinal tract can be found flourishing ecology of microbes that have been found to have an important role in our overall health. In addition to aiding digestion, they also appear to play an important role in our resistance to disease, as well as our susceptibility to obesity.

How The Microbiota of the Gut Affects Obesity

The role of microbiota in obesity is just beginning to be understood. What is known is that patients who are overweight or obese tend to have less variation in the types of microbes in their gastrointestinal tract. In laboratory conditions, studies have shown that mice who receive microbiota from obese humans experience enhanced weight gain as a result. Another microbe that was known to be rare in overweight people was administered to a different set of test mice and was shown to slow weight gain. While tests are ongoing, studies continue to show that humans with poor diversity in their microbiota are prone to being overweight.

Overall Health And Microbiota Diversity

Low diversity in microbiota has been shown to have impacts beyond weight loss and gain. Those who experience problems with atopic eczema, psoriatic arthritis, type 1 and 2 diabetes, obesity, IBS, and arterial stiffness have routinely been shown to have lower diversity in their microbiota. While not conclusive, the results have been able to be reproduced and continue to suggest that a robust microbiome can protect against disease.

What Affects The Health of My Microbiome?

As research into the importance of the microbiome continues, the question of how to promote health and diversity in gut flora has become paramount. While the specifics of gut health are still being explored, a few things have been shown to have a positive effect on microbiota diversity. 

  • Consuming fermented food
  • Eating prebiotic fibers
  • Reduce sweetener and sugar intake
  • Regular exercise
  • Getting Sufficient Sleep
  • Taking Probiotics

Tobacco use has been demonstrated to negatively impact the biodiversity of gut flora, as has high levels of stress and taking antibiotics. While antibiotics have a vital role to play in managing infection and disease, overuse can have lasting negative impacts on your health. Cultivating and protecting gastrointestinal is going to be of increasing importance as we discover new roles that it plays in our lifelong health.

Ongoing research continues to reveal new ways these microbes help to support our overall health and longevity. As we work to expand our understanding of these important gut flora, we discover new ways to support them and our health. If you’d like to explore information about your gastrointestinal microbiome and what you can do to promote its health, reach out to Physicians Premiere Weight & Wellness Center in Ashburn, VA. You’ll be scheduled for an appointment with Dr. Trupti Patel. During your visit, your medical history and health concerns will be discussed, and potential treatment options for them explored.