Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Gut Microbiome And Body Weight

The Study

Recent research has shown that our gut microbiome may influence energy balance. In this interesting crossover trial, 31 young and normal weight men and women consumed a Western Diet and a Microbiome Enhancing Diet for 23 days each. 

Both of these diets had the same number of calories and macronutrient break down. The Western Diet was a typical unhealthy American way of eating. The Microbiome Enhancer Diet was high in fiber, resistant starch, had a larger particle size and fewer processed foods.

After each dietary intervention, a variety of measurements were taken.

During the Microbiome Enhancing Diet protocol, subjects lost 116 calories per day in their feces.

Nature Communications 2023; 14:3161.

Take Home Message

This is a truly fascinating study. 116 calories may not sound like much, but in a year, it adds up to 12 lbs. lost. The gut microbiome is emerging as something of a control center for energy balance. How it does this is unclear, but there are a few theories:
1) It has an influence on the number of calories harvested from food.
2) It has an influence on gut hormones.
3) Signaling through microbiome metabolic byproducts such as SCFA’s (short chain fatty acids).

There are many reasons to eat a diet high in fiber and low in processed foods. You can potentially add enhancing your gut microbiome to the list.

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