Think of your gut microbiome as a big city. The ‘microbiome metropolis’ is filled with different ‘cities’ or bacterial colonies. Strong diversity of your healthy probiotics is needed for optimal health & metabolism. Research has found that people who are overweight and obese have lower microbiome diversity. People with weight loss resistance also tend to have a lower amount of specific bacteroides.
Your sleepy-time hormone (melatonin) is made in the brain – but there’s also a lot of it in your gut!! The health of the bacteria in your gut is essential for healthy melatonin levels. In short, an unhealthy microbiome will mess up your sleep. The problem? Losing out on sleep can make fat cells 30% less able to deal with your fat-storing hormone, insulin.
SCFA’s get made in your gut as a result of bacterial fermentation. The bacteria also feed off the food you eat and they make SCFA’s which are really important because they prevent gut problems like small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Research is finding that our SCFA’s also promote weight loss and the 3 types of SCFA’s (acetate, propionate & butyrate) all decrease cravings.
Studies have shown that people with markers of leaky gut syndrome also had increased levels of fat and a larger waist circumference, which suggests that intestinal permeability can increase fat around our organs and contribute to metabolic syndrome. Leaky gut syndrome can also lead to increased blood-brain barrier permeability (leaky brain), and this low-grade brain inflammation can further complicate losing weight by messing up our hormone balance.
Your Gut Health Game Plan:
Consider gut labs – functional medicine testing throught the Mint Clinical Nutrition clinic to establish leaky gut syndrome, SIB), candida overgrowth and short chain fatty acids, to find out whats really going on in your gut!
Increase your bacterial diversity – Probiotics are a great tool to balance your microbiome, and a combination of specific bacteria has been shown to have a positive effect on small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Probiotics work by influencing the balance of the microbiome and encouraging healthy bacterial populations. Eating a variety of fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchee, kombucha and coconut kefir also offer different bacterial strains, promoting healthy bacterial diversity.
Promote healthy short-chain fatty acid levels – SCFA’s are made when you eat healthy prebiotic & high-fiber foods. Load up on nutrient-sense leafy greens like spinach, kale, swiss chard & watercress and other super plant foods! If you need ot increase the fat-burning butyrate, bring resistant starch into your diet to boost butyrate in your large intestine. Hydroxymethyl butyrate can also be supplemented.