How Gut Bacteria Influence Your Metabolism

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Any given individual will have around 160 different species of bacteria colonizing their gut. This individual combination is known as your gut microbiome, and can have a tremendous influence on health and well-being
  • Obesity is associated with as much as a 40% decrease in bacterial diversity. Improving diversity through probiotic supplementation can help resolve metabolic defects, resulting in fat loss
  • Research has demonstrated that probiotics — beneficial bacteria found in fermented and cultured foods such as yogurt — have a measurable effect on several metabolic pathways
  • A link has also been found between bowel movements and obesity; 8.5% of obese and 11.5% of severely obese individuals reported chronic diarrhea, compared to 4.5% of those with normal weight
  • One hypothesis is that chronic low-grade inflammation is at play. Not only is chronic inflammation a factor in obesity, but it can also contribute to diarrhea

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