Thursday, December 3, 2015

How your unhealthy gut might be keeping you fat

On my action list is to compile an updated supplement regimen.  One that really supports the needs of my body at the most fundamental levels.  Of highest priority is to incorporate an ultra powerful probiotic into my diet.

We're all well versed on how probiotics can aid in digestion.  But now there's evidence to support how an unhealthy gut can actually contribute to obesity.  If you were to look at the bacterial makeup of a lean person versus one of an individual who is overweight, you'd notice a distinct difference in the composition.

Our gut is comprised of countless strains of bacteria.  In fact, we have 10 times more bacterial cells in our bodies than we do "human cells."  Most of the body's immune cells are also located in our gut as well.  So a healthy internal flora is critical.  Think of your colon as like a rain forest that supports 100 trillion bacteria.  And the makeup of our bacterial ecosystem is directly related to our diet.

Researchers have studied the probiotic composition of lean individuals versus those who are overweight.  As expected, there's an obvious difference.  But what's even more interesting is what happened when scientists performed a "fecal transplant." Essentially, they transferred the bacteria of a lean mouse to an obese mouse.  Next thing you know, the obese mice developed a healthy weight.
Today's breakfast | Probiotic yogurt laced with Jarrow Probiotics
Why?  Because, essentially, the bacterial makeup of obese mice aren't as diverse as those of lean mice.   This also applies to people.  Obese individuals tend to have fewer varieties of bacteria in gut versus their thinner counterparts.  Some of this has to do with our diet.  What we eat has a direct effect on the composition of our gut.  For examples, some strains of bacteria that are proficient in digesting animal protein aren't as prevalent in the colon of vegans.

Hight fiber foods are fuel for intestinal flora because they aren't fully digested by the body and are therefore able to reach the colon where the bacteria can consume it.  As you would imagine, a diet low in fiber and high in processed foods can starve our friendly bacteria.  This has an adverse impact on our ability to properly digest food and convert it into energy.  Not only that, but an unhealthy gut can be attributed to higher inflammation in the body which is a risk factor for chronic disease.

Have you recently invested your hard earned money in purchasing an amazing hair vitamin to speed up your hair journey?  Better make sure your internal flora is balanced for proper absorption.  Recently we talked about the importance of vitamin D in your hair and beauty regimen.  Well, studies show that taking probiotics actually helps boots the circulation of vitamin D in the blood by as much as 25%.  

If you've been prescribed antibiotics in recent past, consider taking an aggressive approach to rebuild your intestinal flora.  Taking antibiotics is like burning down a rain forest.  Your next move should be  to plant seedlings in the form of potent, live probiotics.
To recap:
1. An imbalanced gut could be contributing to your weight gain and creating that balance could have a positive impact on maintaining a healthy weight.
2.  Ideally, we should be eating a healthy, diverse diet filled with fruits, veggies, fermented foods, yogurt, and lots of fiber.
3. Feed your gut live bacteria to rebuild your internal flora. Especially after you've completed a round of antibiotics.

  1. Totally unrelated to this particular post, but I've been reading your blog for 4 years and I've always liked your thorough explanations and scientific approach. Anyway, I've come up with a couple questions regarding things you've mentioned in the past, to see how or if these methods are still working for you, and if you abandoned them, why?
    -Years ago, it seemed you frequented Dominican salons, where it now seems that you don't (or maybe you just don't blog about it). If you gave them up, why? Did you have a bad experience? I ask because I've recently made the decision to give up Dominican salons, mostly due to the rough handling of my hair, and the belief it may be stunting my length goals, so I was wondering if you had the same experiences.
    -Did you ever try cauterizing? If so, was it effective for you?
    -How did microtrimming work out for you? I was reluctant to try out this method when you first mentioned it last year, but now that a year has passed without my trying it, and my hair is roughly the same length anyway, I'm giving it more thought now, and I'd love to hear how it worked out for you!
    -Weekly rollersetting? Is this still something that you do? I feel my hair is similar to yours, (texlaxed, prone to tangles) although not as long (close to BSL) or as thick, and I feel I lose a ton of hair when I roller-set. However, air-drying seems to have it's pitfalls too, for me at least. What is your styling/drying method of choice these days?
    -Have you made any tweaks to your texlaxing process? Do you still use pure protein in your relaxer? I'm assuming, of course, that you are still relaxing and not transitioning.
    -I don't recall ever seeing you post about the tension method for blowdrying. Is this something you would ever consider? What are your thoughts on the inversion method? Or finger-detangling only? Are there any new hair techniques/trends you've considered or tried?

    I could go on and on with questions, but I'll stop here lol Just hoping to pick your brain since I've always admired your analytical approach to hair and beauty :)

  2. Hi Michelle,
    Thanks for the questions.
    1. I haven't stepped into a Dominican salon in years. Namely because I didn't really like bone straight hair. Also couldn't deal with how much hair I lost during the process.
    2. I tested cauterizing my ends once on small section of hair. I liked it but was too afraid to do my entire head.
    3. Another reason why I didn't do cauterizing was because of micro trimming method which seemed like a better alternative. I stopped for a while but started again about 3 months ago. It's really good if you find that you experience lots of breakage due to unhealthy ends.
    4. Still roller set weekly but have been experimenting on how to make it work on my textlaxed hair as well as it did when I had straighter hair.
    5. Still texlaxing. The only difference in my regimen is that I'm stretching a little longer. Last time I was able to make it 5 months thanks to the help of silica from Bamboo tea which will sometimes loosen my texture.
    6. Scared to death of the tension method because I loose hair when I over manipulate damp hair. Instead, I may flat iron once my hair is dry. The only time I'll do the tension method is when I visit the salon (which is rare).
    7. Inversion is good but I never experienced an inch of growth in a week from doing it. I found Sanford Bennett's scalp pulling method to be more effective for me.
    I oscillate between focusing on my hair journey or my skincare regimen, which is why I've posted more on skin related topics in recent past. I'll be turning my attention back to hair now that my skin has seemed to calm down a bit.

    Great questions!

  3. Another thorough, interesting article. I used to take PB-8 probiotics but I've been slipping lately. I take a multivitamin and a hair/skin/nails vitamin daily so it shouldn't be too hard to get back on the probiotic tip. I'm seriously going to head to Amazon right now and re-purchase. lol. Thanks!

  4. Thanks so much for answering my questions!!! You gave me some food for thought regarding scalp pulling! And I'll definitely have to start microtrimming! I also enjoy your skincare posts, but I'll be excited to read your future hair-related posts as well :)

  5. Hi,

    I'm an avid reader of your blog. I've dabbled in taking probiotics before, and one of the easiest ways I incorporated them into my diet was with a product called Goodbelly. It's a drink that is full of probiotics, and it's actually really good.
    If you've never heard of it, check it out.