Why bacteria in the belly genuinely DO control everything from our feeing habits to weight loss and mood

Herbs and Helpers

Two experts from the University of New South Wales explain everything

Diet is a crucial in regulating the bacteria that colonise our intestine, they say

They help control metabolism and are crucial for maintaining colon cells healthy
But gut microbiota can change quickly and health outcomes can improve

When we can’t lose weight, we tend to want to blame something outside of our control.

Could it be related to the microbiota a the bacteria and other organisms a that colonise your intestine?

Now, two experts from the University of New South Wales uncover precisely the trillions of microorganisms work.

Here, in a piece for The Conversation, they explain how the bacteria in the gut affect our eating habits and weight.

Microorganisms harvest energy from food, regulating the immune function, and maintaining the lining of our intestine healthy, two experts from the University of New South Wales say

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT

Our gut harbours some trillion microorganisms.

These are key in harvesting energy from our food, regulating our immune function, and maintaining the lining of our intestine healthy.

The composition of our intestine microbiota is partly determined by our genes but can also be influenced by lifestyle factors such as our diet, alcohol intake and workout, as well as medications.

The bacteria in the gut obtain energy for growth when we metabolise nutrients from food.

So our diet is a crucial factor in regulating the type of bacteria that colonise our gut.

One key role of the intestine microbiota is degrading the carbohydrates we can’t digest into short-chain fatty acids.

These help regulate our metabolism and is equally important for maintaining our colon cells healthy.

The composition of our intestine microbiota is partly determined by genes but can also be influenced by lifestyle factors such as our diet, alcohol intake and exerciseChanges in our diet can rapidly change the intestine microbiota.

Generally, a high-fibre diet which is low in saturated fat and sugar is associated with a healthier gut microbiome, characterised by a greater diversity of organisms.

On the other hand, diets high in saturated fat and refined sugars with low fiber content reduce the microbial diversity, which is bad for our health.

Our animal examines have shown that devouring an unhealthy diet for only three days a week has detrimental effects on the intestine microbiota, even when a healthy diet is feed for the other four days.

This may be because the gut microbiota are under selective pressure to manipulate the hosts’ eating behaviour to increase their own fitness.

This may lead to cravings, akin to your system being’ hijacked’ by your microbiota.

CAN GUT MICROBIOTA CHANGES LEAD TO OBESITY?

Many studies discover that the intestine of an obese person is more likely to contain bacteria that inflame the gastrointestinal tract and injury its lining

Bacteria in humans fall into two major categories: bacteroidetes and firmicutes.

Obesity is associated with a reduction in the ratio of bacteroidetes to firmicutes but weight loss can reverse this shift.

Many studies discover that the intestine of an obese person is more likely to contain bacteria that inflame the gastrointestinal tract and injury its lining.

This allows the bacteria in the gut to escape.

We still don’t know definitively if changes in the gut microbiota from an unhealthy diet make its contribution to obesity.

Most evidence supporting this hypothesis comes from animal examines; for instance, the transfer of faecal material from an obese human can lead to weight gain in a recipient mouse.

One possibility is that the obese microbiota may be more efficient in harvesting energy, in part, by influencing the host to feed foods which favour its growth.

This could ultimately contribute to weight gain.

GUT CHANGES AFTER WEIGHT-LOSS SURGERY

Gastric bypass-induced weight loss has also been associated with increased diversity of the intestine microbiota( stock)

Bariatric surgeries such as gastric bypass, are one of the most effective treatments for obesity because they reduce the size of the stomach.

This limits how much food can be feed and has also been shown to promote the release of hormones which attain us feel full.

But other factors may be involved. Intriguingly, some patients report a shift in food predilection away from energy-dense foods after surgery.

This may contribute to the success of the procedure.

Gastric bypass-induced weight loss has also been associated with increased diversity of the intestine microbiota.

But how much this contributes to the success of the procedure remains to be determined.

One possibility is that the changes in food preferences reported in bariatric patients may relate to changes in the composition of their intestine microbiota.

HOW GUT MICROBIOTA AFFECT OUR BEHAVIOUR

Several examines have shown that depression is associated with changes in the gut microbiome of humans, they say

Apart from regulating gut health, there is obliging experimental evidence that gut microbiota play a role in regulating mood.

Several examines have shown that depression is associated with changes in the gut microbiome of humans .

Depressed patients depicted changes in their abundance of firmicutes, actinobacteria and bacteroidetes.

When these patients’ intestine microbiota was transferred to mouse, the mouse depicted more depressive behaviour than mouse that find biota from healthy people.

More work still needs to be done as it is unclear whether this may indicate a causal link, or be related to other factors associated with depressive disorders such as a poor diet, changed sleep patterns and narcotic treatment.

BLOOD PRESSURE TABLETS RAISE RISK OF DEPRESSION

Taking common blood pressure tablets could increase the risk of depression, a study cautioned last week.

Researchers saw patients on beta blockers and calcium channel blockers- used to stabilise blood pressure- were twice as likely to be hospitalised with mood disorders.

While those on ACE inhibitors actually had a reduced risk of a depressive episode, scientists from Glasgow University discovered.

Professor Dr Sandosh Padmanabhan, at the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Science who led the study said the implications of mental health for patients with high blood pressure was’ under-recognised.’

Emerging evidence been shown that gut microbiota can influence other behaviours through the’ microbiota-gut-brain axis’.

Put simply, the intestine and the brain communicate in part via the microbiota, which links the emotional and cognitive centres of the brain with our intestinal functions.

Recent work from our lab showed that rats devouring diets high in saturated fat or sugar, for only 2 week, had impaired spatial memory.

These rats ingested the same quantity of energy as the control rats( those on a regular diet) and were also a similar body weight.

We found that the memory deficits were associated with changes in the gut microbiota composition and genes related to rednes in the hippocampus, which is a key brain region for memory and learning.

Similar memory deficits have also been reported when healthy mice were transplanted with microbiota from overweight mouse who had been fed a high-fat diet.

Together, examines such as these indicate the intestine microbiota could play a causal role in regulating behaviour.

This may, in part, be due to the different microbiota profiles influencing the production of key transmitters such as serotonin.

WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW?

Eating a healthy diet of unprocessed foods, including adequate fiber, avoiding excess alcohol and getting enough workout are key to having positive high levels of intestine microbiota

Further research is needed into the relationship between poor diet, the intestine microbiota and behavioural changes.

In the long term, such knowledge may be harnessed to develop targeted therapeutic interventions to replace relevant microbiota diminished by an unhealthy lifestyle .

Meanwhile, the good news is that the intestine microbiota can change relatively quickly and we have the capacity to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria which may ultimately improve a range of health outcomes.

Eating a healthy diet of unprocessed foods, including adequate fiber, avoiding excess alcohol and getting enough workout are key.

Source: Daily Mail

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