Bacteria are the core element of the body in the composition which are trillions in numbers and perform multiple functions in the body. Among other bacteria, gut bacteria play an important role in keeping good health by communicating with the immune system and by producing certain vitamins for the body. Gut bacteria also manages the process of digestion and produce such chemicals that feel like the full stomach. In this way, it influences your weight and it is claimed that gut bacteria cause weight gain.
Body contains trillions of microorganisms and bacteria even it is said that body comprises more bacteria than human cells because a human body of 70 kg comprises of 40 trillion bacterial cells while 30 trillion human cells. Most of them live in the cecum, a large intestine. There are hundreds of bacterias and some of them make you healthy while some produce diseases. Gut bacteria strengthen your immune system and help the body to fight against diseases. But is this the only thing it does?
Effects of Gut Bacteria on Food
Since gut bacteria resides in the intestine which means they interact with food you eat, thus they must have effects on digestion process and on nutrients or stored energy in the body. One elegant study examined the performance of gut bacteria of 77 pairs of people as each pair comprised one obese and one healthy member. The study found that gut bacteria have different effects on both kinds of participants. It is concluded that obesity is associated with the performance of gut bacteria.
What to do? To help this cause another study has revealed that people taking high fibre contains less weight as gut bacteria helps the stomach to digest fibre.
Gut bacteria are best known for making immune system strong, thus they prevent inflammation too, that might result in weight gain. Inflammation occurs when body sets to fight any infection. It can be caused by unhealthy diet like comprising extra fats calories and sugar. There are certain species which produce lipopolysaccharide (LPS) which produce inflammation when they ran into the blood. A study examined 292 people found that overweight people have lower gut bacteria diversity while higher levels do not. Thus some species may help in reducing inflammation making gut bacteria functioning while others may do the inverse.
They produce Chemicals that Control Hunger
Basically, there are certain hormones that control hunger in the body such as leptin, ghrelin and peptide. Some studies find the role of bacteria in controlling these hormones that control hunger. Short-chain fatty acids are produced during the process of digestion when gut bacteria break down fibre, propionate. Overweight adults taking regular propionate for 24 weeks increased the hormone level PYY and GLP-1 in the body that influences hunger. Thus people who take more propionate take less food and gain less weight. People who eat 16 g of prebiotics per day for the fortnight has the higher level of hydrogen in the breath that indicates bacterial fermentation.
Best and Worst Food for Gut Bacteria
Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, polyphenol-rich food and fermented foods have comprised the fibre, healthy fats and other elements that keep gut bacteria well-functioning. But artificial sweeteners, Sugary foods and sugary foods have the potential of damaging bacteria and cause diseases. As it is evidence-based fact that gut bacteria cause weight gain, be careful about what you eat.