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The New York Times recently reported that having proper gut microflora could help to aid weight loss. With weight loss being so important to society, this swiftly became the most emailed article of the day – the medical community have found that probiotics could be the answer. Probiotics have been found to have positive effects on everything from boosting the efficiency of your immune system to reducing the risks of inflammatory bowel disease and some cancers. Holistic doctors have always stated that our digestive systems are the fast track to good health, but the majority of us have some form of gastrointestinal imbalance – so what does that mean for our weight loss? While there are countless diets and regimes on offer for weight loss, it seems that good digestion could actually offer the most benefits.
The new study found links between intestinal health with weight loss in those who had undergone gastric bypass surgery, where the stomach is divided into a lower and upper pouch, and the intestines are rearranged to be attached to both. Before the study, it was unclear why patients lost 75 percent of their body weight through this form of surgery, but now scientists believe that 20 percent of the results can be attributed to the fact that the gut flora is shaken up. It wasn’t determined through the study whether or not the change was because of the surgery itself, the weight loss or if the microbial shift had its own set of effects.
The body’s connection with the mind plays a big part, too. If we have an upset stomach, it makes us irritable and in a bad mood – often these emotions lead us to overeat, which could have something to do with the way in which a healthier digestive system helps us to lose weight. Those with a healthier gut are generally happier people and less depressed, making it easier to lose weight and avoid temptation. Your wellbeing counts a lot on your digestive health, so it stands to reason that balancing your intestinal equilibrium will help to improve your general health. You can do this by taking a good probiotic with food – pharmaceutical brands which have the GMP label, which stands for Good Manufacturing Practice. You’ll need those with at least seven strains and at least 5 billion active cells. Also, you could try eating fermented foods. Those such as yoghurt, sauerkraut and kimchi are all great choices. Avoiding foods which will irritate your gut is the quickest way to make a change, though. Things like chlorinated water, antibiotics and pollution all have an impact.