Good Bacteria: A Legitimate Obesity Buster?

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stm-cover-6Who hasn’t seen the fabulous looking Jamie Lee Curtis espousing the virtues of Activia on their TV set in the last year? Does anyone else wonder just what all the bifidus regularis is about?

Well, bifidus regularis is one of several helpful cultures found in the gut. Because our digestive system performs two vital functions: absorbing nutrients and providing protection against potentially harmful substances and micro organisms, it is important to keep this system functioning well.

And as we get older, our supply of some of these cultures can become too low.  In fact, there’s evidence that as we age, we begin to lose some of the vital bacteria in the gut which can weaken our ability to properly digest our food (anyone burping and belching a lot these days?), absorb minerals and nutrients from our food, and in some cases fight inflammation and ward off illness.

Now there’s evidence from a study published last week in Science Translational Medicine, which suggests the particular balance of micro-critters which live in our gut may, in fact, influence our body’s propensity toward obesity (or thinness). Most interestingly, these populations can be manipulated in such a way to change your weight.

So, how do we improve the content of our gut? Many believe that building up, or replacing the ‘good’ bacteria in the gut is important. Evidence within the scientific community suggests adding dietary supplements or food sources (such as yogurt), to replace this ‘lost’ good bacteria has significant impact for healthy weight loss.

So, whether you choose yogurt, or a combination of probiotics , you may want to read more about it.  This Times article will provide deeper insight into the findings of the study.

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