• The Microbial Nano-link to Obesity

    by Austin McMillin
    on Nov 16th, 2015

It's no secret that people in our society are, by enlarge, to large.  Overweight is the politically correct description.  But why?  

Old school thinking is that body weight is just a matter of a simple equation:  calories in and exercise out.  Eat too much and you gain weight.  Exercise too little and you gain weight.  The reactionary mentality is to cut calories and exercise more and the weight should melt off.  And that's the path of many fad diets.  Cut the calories and increase exercise.  But that's not working. We are still a large society. 

Other approaches look at eating like a hunter-gatherers.  Or a caveman,  Or to avoid dietary fats.  Or to avoid dietary carbs.  But the success of these is not great either.  We are still a large, overweight (obese) society.

But why?

Well... some of the emerging research is strongly suggesting a more fundamental link to obesity.  One that related to truly natural health.

That link is in the nano world of intestinal microbes. 

There have been many recent research papers establishing the link between intestinal bacteria and immunity, metabolism, and obesity.  More accurately, damage to the populations of healthy and diverse intestinal bacteria are linked to recused immunity, increased inflammation, increased metabolic problems, problems with glucose metabolism and sensitivity, and obesity.  Yes obesity.  

For example, the journal Nutrition in Clinical Practice (2015 Dec; 30(6)) published a research paper which cited alterations in internal bacteria directly related to altered metabolism and weight gain in the host.  Other studies have shown a link between intestinal bacteria and insulin resistance, weight gain, and inflammatory responses.

So how do intestinal bacteria populations get altered?  Poor diet ins a primary way. Processed foods do not break down naturally in the intestine, and starve lower internal track bacteria.  Another way is too much exposure to antibiotics.  It has been estimated that the average american is exposed to 2 rounds of antibiotics but the time they are 2-years-old; 10 rounds of antibiotics by age10; and 17 rounds of antibiotics by age 20.  All that kills intestinal bacterial.  Enter a pathway to inflammation, diabetes, and obesity.

Some up front action steps are to 1) avoid unnecessary antibiotic exposure; 2) eat a more natural, high-fiber diet; and 3) take probiotics

Although probiotic treatment has yet to be an established treatment for obesity, replacing and rejuvenating the normal intestinal bacteria is a common-sense good idea.  Especially if you have been on a course of antibiotics.  Antibiotics are the nuclear bombs to intestinal bacteria. 

Why is all of this in a blog from a Tacoma Chiropractor? What does any of this have to do with chiropractic care?  Chiropractic care, and we at ProActive Spine Care in particular, are focused on helping overall health and wellness – not just back and neck pain relief, injury care, or spinal alignment. Obesity happens to impact activity levels, increase strain on joints, shift body loads, and reduce muscle endurance.  That is on top of negative effects on thing like stroke risk and cardiovascular health that we already know about. Obesity (high BMI score) is a complex multilayered problem.  Sharing emerging knowledge about normalizing body weight is a very chiropractic topic.  This Tacoma chiropractor finds opportunities to share  better health coming from all directions. 

If you are looking for common sense, evidence-based, natural health ideas and recommendations, give us a call at Proactive Spine Care.  We help the people of Tacoma, Fircrest, and University Place find natural health options that work.

Author Austin McMillin Chiropractor

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