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Can Probiotics Help Those Suffering With Obesity?

Each of us has a microbiota (an ecological community of microorganisms) as unique as our fingerprint that impacts our predisposition to different diseases. The microbiota can malfunction and contribute to the development of diseases and conditions, such as obesity, that we once thought were attributable solely to lifestyle.

A number of studies have shown that there is a link between the imbalance of the gut bacteria and obesity and obesity-related health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other disorders. In other words, how our intestinal flora can make us fat and the effects it has on our health. 

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While it’s hard to imagine obesity as an inflammatory disease, it is associated with increased production of pro-inflammatory chemicals, or cytokines. These molecules largely come from the fat tissue itself, which acts like an organ pumping out hormones and inflammatory substances. 

If you have more fat than you need, especially around the internal organs such as the liver, heart, kidneys, pancreas, and intestines, your metabolism will suffer. This type of  fat which is often pronounced in obese individuals, spells double trouble in the body. The number of health conditions now linked to deep internal fat is tremendous, from the obvious ones such as obesity and metabolic syndrome to the not-so-obvious – cancer, autoimmune disorders, and brain disease. The danger of deep internal fat explains why your waist size is often a measure of “health”;  the roundness of your belly predicts future health challenges and mortality. Put simply, the higher your waist circumference, the higher your risk for disease and death. 

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The ratio of bacteria types in the gut is important. Most gut microbial species belong to four major phyla: Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes. Changes in the ratio of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes correlates with obesity. Multiple studies show that when the number of Firmicutes* is reduced, so is the risk for metabolic problems like diabetes. On the other hand, when the number of Bacteroidetes* is low, there is increased gut permeability, which in turn raises all kinds of risks, not the least of which is immune system mayhem, inflammation, and farther down the road brain-related disorders and diseases, from depression to Alzheimer’s.

Exercise serves a role in promoting the right balance of microbes. We’ve long known about the benefits of exercise in general, but it turns out that its impact in weight loss and management isn’t just about burning more calories. New science reveals that exercise positively influences the gut’s balance of bacteria to favour colonies that prevent weight gain.

We can see how important it is for our gut microbes to be balanced and to contain all the right beneficial bacteria needed to avoid inflammation which you can get from the food you eat, exercise and of course a good probiotic. Rawbiotics probiotics ensure diversity and balance of the gut bacteria which directly affect our overall health.

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Our microbes are our partners throughout life, and if we can nurture and care for them, they will in turn protect us, the human bodies that they call home.

* Firmicutes: Often the most common phylum found in the modern human gut microbiome, Firmicutes aid in the digestion of fat, which is required for energy. Firmicutes are linked to a higher risk of obesity and inflammation. 

* Bacteroidetes: The common gut microbes, Bacteroidetes, are thought to be key players in protecting us against obesity and disease because they do not digest fat well. In the modern human gut microbiome,Bacteroidetes are often seen in decreased numbers due to poor diet and lifestyle choices. 

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