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Probiotically Speaking

The most well-known, commercial probiotics are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. They are also among the most common in the body, along with several other really interesting ones which are not commercially available, but we can manipulate with supplementation. Find out more in the SupraBiotic™ and Primer™ write-ups.

Unfortunately, Lactobacillus belong to the Firmicutes phylum which is associated with weight gain and obesity. Just a 20% increase in Firmicutes with an equal decrease in Bacteroides results in an increased energy harvest of 150 calories per day in humans. That is equal to 15lbs of fat per year! Modern food processing and the Western style diet promote these negative changes in microbial proportions. Thus, one can plainly see why it can be so difficult to get lean, as well as how easily obesity has become an epidemic.

In addition, probiotic treatment with several Lactobacillus species are directly associated with weight gain, body mass index, obesity, and Type-2 diabetes. They don’t tell you that on the label.

More powerful evidence of the profound effect of the microbiota on body weight and metabolism come from studies on fecal transfer. And, yes, that is exactly what it sounds like – transferring poop from one subject’s intestine to another’s. In twins, transfer of an obese microbiota to lean mice was accompanied by an increase in fat cell formation, fat storage, bodyweight, fat mass, feelings of hunger, food consumption, and a dysbiotic alteration of the Firmicutes:Bacteroides ratio to reflect that of the obese model. On the other side of the coin, transferring the intestinal microbiota from lean donors to obese does the opposite – it fixes all of these things.

Obviously, while it highlights the science, doing a fecal transfer is not terribly practical, appetizing, or readily available. Fortunately, there is good news. Although several species and strains of Lactobacillus promote weight gain, several protect against it. Furthermore, Bifidobacterium research shows only positive effects to a rather remarkable extent. We can manipulate levels of the good bacteria that are not commercially available, as detailed in the SupraBiotic™ and Primer™ write-ups.

Now, let’s get rid of the bad bacteria already inside you.

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