The Visual Weight Loss System - VEEP

Maladaptive Gut Bacteria

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In this series we have examined one of the most overlooked and essential components of any health and weight loss plan – the microfloral bacteria in your stomach. Yesterday we revealed the little known but fascinating correlation between obesity and gut bacteria that extract more calories from food than the bacteria of thin people.

Today, we look at the bad bugs.

When it comes to the flora in your Gi tract, things can easily get out of sync, with bad bacteria taking over the good. The most common reasons for maladaptive gut bacteria scenarios in the human intestines are stress, over-consumption of bad foods (especially those that are highly processed or have additives), free radicals and especially medicating with antibiotics. Antibiotics can’t discern between good and bad bacteria and so will destroy all bacteria indiscriminately, causing the imbalance.

This type of imbalance can be the cause of many conditions such as diarrhea, candida, putrefaction, Small Bowel Bacterial Overgrowth(SBBO) and more, conditions referred to as dysbiosis.

Candida is a yeast infection that occurs when the balance of yeast in the flora is upset. This can happen for a variety of reasons ranging from sleep deprivation to birth control pills. Ranging from moderate, infrequent itching to painful, frequent burning and rashes, Candida is fully treatable. Thought by many to only be a symptom of women or even an STD (which it is not), Candida can occur for anyone, even males and infants. Depending on the severity of the case and its location, a topical substance applied directly to the infection or a medicinal pill can stop it from spreading.

Intestinal putrefaction occurs when the Bacteroides in the gut increase at a higher rate and overtake the benign Bifidobacteria. This is normally caused by a diet rich in high fat and animal proteins and low in fibers, such as with the Atkins diet. The result is increased stomach bile that can skyrocket the chance for cancer growth (especially breast and colon cancers) and hormonal interference in the body. Treatments are usually in the form of behavioral modification through a diet plan. The diet usually includes low-fat foods that are high in both soluble and non-soluble fiber.

Floral imbalance can cause a decrease in the breakdown of carbohydrates, a key gut flora responsibility. Undigested carbs in the gut can take on too much water from sitting, causing loose stools and diarrhea. Most often caused by an influx of bad pathogens from things like eating bad food, it can be treated with many over-the-counter pills, especially those that contain high doses of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus such as the aforementioned probiotics.

Small Bowel Bacterial Overgrowth (SBBO) is also known as fermentation. It is a carbohydrate intolerance that can lead to other conditions such as abnormal stool motility, insufficient stomach acid to properly digest food, abdominal distension, immune deficiencies and acidosis. Most often caused by malnutrition, physical or surgical abnormalities and Hypochlorhydria, SBOO can be treated with dietary modifications.

Occasional dysbiosis within the gut is expected due to the delicate nature of the balance (diarrhea being the most common by far). Use of probiotics, a healthy, well-balanced and low-fat diet and de-stressing techniques such as exercise and/or meditation can go far in making dysbiosis a minor and infrequent inconvenience. As antibiotics become overused and ineffective, these behavior and dietary modifications will become increasingly important to avoid serious dysbiosis in the future.

Anyone interested in life long health and fitness, or effective weight loss, should consider a regular regimen of probiotics containing the lactobacillus and bifidobacterium strains.  A word of caution, probiotic supplements MUST be bought cold and refrigerated in order to retain their biological viability.