By naturopath Margaret Jasinska
There are many things that influence how easy or difficult it is for a person to lose weight. The composition of your gut bugs is one you may not have considered. Recent research conducted in Brazil has shown that taking a glutamine supplement can modify the gut bacteria in obese people so that it resembles the composition of gut bugs in lean individuals.
In the study, taking 30 grams of glutamine per day significantly reduced the ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes in overweight and obese individuals. A change like this is associated with weight loss in animal and human experiments, as seen in studies conducted in the past. (Obese people tend to have more Firmicutes strains of bacteria and slim people tend to have more Bacteroidetes bacterial strains).
According to the researchers, “These findings suggest that oral supplementation of L glutamine has similar effects on gut microbiota as weight loss”. It is thought that glutamine discourages the growth of harmful gut bacteria that promote the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are associated with weight gain. Therefore glutamine has a net anti-inflammatory effect. A reduction in inflammation can promote weight loss and it has numerous other health benefits.
Bone broth is naturally high in glutamine. It is also known as homemade stock. If you slowly simmer bones, joints and cartilage in water for approximately 8 to 12 hours, the jelly-like substance that dissolves into the water has enormous healing powers for the digestive tract. The mucilaginous liquid in the broth also nourishes the immune cells that live within the intestines. Bone broth is an excellent remedy for healing leaky gut. It is extremely inexpensive and delicious. There are many recipes and instructions for making it on the internet. If you lead a busy life, you won’t always get the time to make bone broth. Ultimate Gut Health is high in glutamine and has very similar benefits to the gut and helps to heal a leaky gut.
Try to minimise the consumption of sugar and high carbohydrate foods. Firmicutes are so well-suited to grow on sugars that they’re known to grow in an out of control way in factories that process sugar-cane into table sugar. If you eat a lot of sugar, the waste products this bacteria produces get through your gut lining and travel to your liver. This can cause a fatty liver and it severely compromises your liver’s ability to burn fat. The old idea that it is the amount of calories you eat and the amount of exercise you do that are the greatest determinants of your health and weight, is now proven to be wrong. The most important thing to do is eat unprocessed natural fresh foods, as this will ensure your gut is the ideal environment for healthy bugs to grow. If you suffer with digestive discomfort, bloating and the symptoms of medically diagnosed irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), BactoClear capsules can help, as they contain the essential oils of oregano, clove, thyme, as well as the herbal extract berberine. Try to avoid the overuse of antibiotic drugs as they can cause severe disruption of your healthy gut flora and can increase the tendency towards obesity.
For more information about improving gut health, see the books Healthy Bowel, Healthy Body and Healing Autoimmune Disease: A plan to help your immune system and reduce inflammation.