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Fight Dad Bod with Your Mighty Microbes

Jun 10, 2018

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The dreaded “dad bod” can creep up on us as we age. It seems each year it becomes more difficult to keep stubborn fat away.  Looking for solutions, you’ll waste a lot of time reading all of the overwhelming and conflicting dietary advice. 


  • Fat is the bad guy.

  • Is a high fat, low carb diet ideal for weight loss?

  • Or would a low fat diet be better?

  • Should you calorie restrict? 

  • Maybe, you should count your macros.

  • What about intermittent fasting?


To call today’s dietary advice confusing is an understatement. There is practically a war being waged between low carb and high carb camps, vegans are evangelical, and people eating the Paleo way are convinced they’ve got it all figured out. 


So who’s right? Turns out... no one is right. 


This is because everyone has a unique gut microbiome, making universal diets meaningless. 


To reveal the power of your gut microbiome, let’s take a quick look at the rise in global obesity.


Obesity is Not a Condition of Poor Self Control


Americans are most often condemned for being overweight but obesity is on the rise globally, and in epidemic proportions. Obesity has even become a problem in developing nations. Places where we would assume poor access to food would cause famine, not obesity.1


Why are we pointing out that poor countries are plumping up alongside their wealthier counterparts?  


Obesity is a chronic disease and chronic diseases are on the rise as a whole. For far too long we’ve blamed the rise in obesity on poor diet, not enough exercise, and even a lack of education as to what is a healthy way of living. But these factors are not enough to explain the extreme increase in numbers we are seeing. There are far too many different types of people with varying demographics, characteristics, living all over the world that are afflicted with obesity for it to always be a simple case of poor choices. Surely you know someone who struggles with their weight in a shocking and disheartening way – we all do. 


So it’s time to stop thinking of obesity as a condition of poor self control. This limited thinking t prevents us from seeing obesity for what it really is – a chronic disease.2


Add obesity to the long list of chronic diseases on the rise in the world today.3


  • Cardiovascular disease

  • Cancer

  • Celiac disease

  • Diabetes

  • Asthma

  • Eczema 

  • Autoimmune diseases


These are our modern plagues and they share a common connection. 


Scientists believe chronic diseases are on the rise due in large part to a decrease in microbial diversity. As a society we are experiencing a collective microbial diversity loss due to overuse of antibiotics, increase in cesarean sections, reduced breastfeeding, moving away from farms and into the cities, and the Western diet.4


These factors contribute to an imbalance in your richest source of  microorganisms – your gut microbiome – causing a condition called dysbiosis, which is linked to multiple chronic diseases, including obesity.5,6


Why It Might Be Hard For You to Lose Weight


Consider this – if the gut microbiome is essential to your hormone balance, metabolism, energy regulation, and immune system health, could it also be contributing to your weight struggles?7


The myth that your metabolism works as a simple calories in minus calories out equation has been dispelled by the science of the gut microbiome. Your trillions of unique microorganisms help you digest your food, regulate hormones needed for a healthy metabolism, and ultimately affect your weight.8 


Research has found that certain types of bacteria are closely associated with healthy and unhealthy body mass indexes (BMIs). In fact, with 90% accuracy scientists can tell if you are obese or not based on your gut microbiota.9 When it comes to examining your DNA, it’s near impossible to guess whether or not you’re overweight based on genes alone because we are 99.9% similar in our genetic make up. This reinforces the idea that gut health is more important to weight than we initially realized.


Additionally, certain genera of bacteria even dominate the gut of an overweight person. An obese person is more likely to have:10


  • A higher Firmicutes-to-Bacteroidetes ratio 

  • A higher level of Actinobacteria phylum

  • Lower levels of Verrucomicrobia

  • Less Faecalibacterium prausnitzii species

  • More Erysipelotrichi

  • Higher levels of Clostridium ramosum


Keeping in mind how important the health of your gut microbiome is to your metabolism, could dysbiosis or certain microbes be contributing to your dad bod?


Fight Dad Bod with a Healthy Gut


The importance of gut health is being talked about everywhere, and for good reason. The microorganisms living there are playing their part in either helping you stay healthy or in making your weight loss goals difficult to achieve.


Here are two ways you can improve your gut microbiome for a healthier metabolism.


1. Reduce gut harming substances. 


These include:


    • Sugar

    • Alcohol 

    • NSAIDS

    • Antibiotics

    • Processed foods


2. Find your ideal diet with Viome.


Viome is the only gut microbiome test on the market capable of Identifying your gut  microbes to  a strain level as well as seeing what they are doing.,. After submitting a sample using a quick at-home collection, Viome delivers  easy to follow food and supplement recommendations based on your unique gut microbiome. 

Viome helps you cut through the mountains of dietary advice to find exactly which foods are perfect for you. 


One of the amazing benefits of Viome is that its nutritional recommendations are targeted to help increase your butyrate levels. Butyrate is a short chain fatty acid made by your microbes that:10


  • Protects against diet-induced obesity, by increasing satiety.

  • Increases mitochondrial function  (the powerhouses of your cells)

  • Acts as a major energy source for your large intestine (which is essential to proper digestion)

  • Prevents metabolic endotoxemia (a serious condition where harmful bacteria leaks into the bloodstream)

  • Improves insulin sensitivity (the opposite of what causes diabetes)

  • Increases gut lining function (for optimal nutrient absorption)

  • Potentially reduces inflammation


Bottom line,butyrate rocks! With Viome’s recommendations, you are literally leveraging your gut microbiome for better, easier health and wellness. 



Resources:


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4212551/ 

  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5082693/ 

  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4815357/ 

  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5454447/

  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4315779/  

  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24892638 

  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK154098/ 

  8. http://cty.jhu.edu/imagine/docs/second-genome.pdf 

  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4644874/ 



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Fight Dad Bod with Your Mighty Microbes

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