FIAF: Fasting Induced Adipose Factor
Reference: Gut Microbiota and Obesity
Date: July 20, 2015
You thought you were an individual, leading your life and managing your nutrition with the best way you knew how. “I eat a pretty healthy life”, you say. But you are 20 pounds overweight, feel tired a lot of the time, can’t lose an ounce and wonder why. What you didn’t realize is that you are not an individual. You are the managing partner of a condo association, and your gut has 10 times the number of cells living in it than you have in your body, with 100 times the genetic variation. And they have a voice in the matter.
Surprised? You have four families of bacteria in your gut: Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Proteobacteriad Bacteroidetes . Their relative balance has a lot to do with whether you gain or lose weight because they cause you to excrete FIAF (Fasting Induced Adipose Factor). As a general rule, a high fat diet leads to more Firmicutes, and reduces Bacteroidetes. Different families of bacteria extract different amounts of calories from the food you eat. Our own enzymes fall far short of getting all the calories we need on our own. We depend on getting those extra calories. The tricky thing is understand how to control that when we are overweight and want to lose weight. Fasting Induced Adipose Factor is made in your liver. One of FIAF’s functions is to block an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase which tells your body to store fat. When FIAF is elevated, you burn extra fat. (aka, weight loss)
The trick in this balance is that your gut bacteria also make FIAF, which they use for their own designs. When you eat a high fat, high sugar diet (donuts, popcorn, cheesecake) your gut bacteria suppress FIAF which causes your body to store those calories. That’s called getting fat. Now, insulin chimes in and also encourages your body to store calories. They work together.
How can you trick them out of this conundrum? Starve them of starch and sugar. They then make a lot of FIAF. Lipoprotein Lipase is suppressed. You lose weight. When you feed your gut bacteria sugar and white carbs (glucose and fructose), FIAF plummets and you store fat. With less glucose, your hormonal messages to secrete insulin and manufacture and store fat also declines.
Now, here is the fun part. Thin people have more Bacteroidetes in their gut. You can’t take a supplement that increases the number of Bacteroidetes. There are too many to influence with an outside pill if you don’t make a friendly home for them. You have to change the environment they live in. You run this condo association. You can do that with coffee. The Bullet Proof Coffee formula that has MCT oil in does that.
WWW. What will Work for Me? I’m trying to get a handle on how our gut bacteria modulate our life. It is clear they play a role in calming or stoking our immune system. This FIAF stuff is the means by which their role in our digestion and storage of nutrients plays out. It should be coordinated with our hormones of calorie storage like insulin. I’m confused by some apparently contradictory findings, like how high fat leads to more Firmicutes, but also leads to weight loss. Skinny people have less Firmicutes. That seems to be a contradiction. The story isn’t finished. But I wanted you to learn this vocabulary. We can build on it as more information comes forward.
- Your gut bacteria help you digest food and extract calories from types of food you can’t digest. T or F
- Skinny people have different gut populations that overweight folks? T or F
- You can change the population balance of bacteria in your gut by eating different balances of fat, sugar, carbs, fiber…. T or F
- FIAF stands for Fat Induced Adipose Factor. T or F
False. Go back and read the hyperlink
- Lipoprotein Lipase is a hormone that instructs your body to store fat. T or F
Bingo. And FIAF inhibits it.