Category Archives: 9. Clean up Your Gut

The Real Reason Wheat is Toxic

The Real Reason Wheat is Toxic

Reference: Interdiscip. Toxicology, Entropy, The Healthy Home Economist,

Have you ever wondered why you or some of your close friends seem to get sick and just don’t feel good when you eat wheat products? Have you experienced the blossoming of gluten free products with skepticism because your regular doctor scoffs at the notion that you have celiac disease, even showing your a negative blood test? Hmmm. Wheat has been the foundation of modern civilization. Could it have done that and we all felt sick from it. Hmmm.

Ok, follow this thread. Did you know that most wheat is sprayed with glyphosate (Roundup) about 10 days prior to harvest? It helps increase the harvest, kills off all other weeds, but also kills the wheat and helps dry it out, especially in wet years. Guess what happens to the amount of Roundup in wheat when that’s done? Now, did you know that glyphosate causes a lot of “disruption” to a whole host of biological systems. You can actually drink it, and not die on the spot. (Some ag sales reps have allegedly done so.) What it damages are your gut bacteria. They have dramatic shifts in many of their internal biological processes. Most importantly is disruption to their P450 detox system. We have that system too in our livers, but in our guts it is critical to a wide range of beneficial bacteria that have a wide interplay with us and our immune system. The net effect appears to be what we call “leaky gut“.

If you track the application of glyphosate to our crops, and compare that to the incidence of celiac disease you get a pretty scary graph with a R of 0.9759 (which is almost perfect correlation. That’s not proof, but it sure looks interesting. Now, listen to Zach Bush on Youtube and see what you think about the brain diseases we see that are associated with leaky gut, and also glyphosate. Autism, ADHD, schizophrenia to name a few. And then there are autoimmune diseases, all of which have spooky associations with leaky gut and wheat.

The bacteria in our gut are a precious organ. They constitute a separate entity that supplies us with life-giving balance. They help us make critically important amino acids, vitamins, immune reactions and detox lots of trouble making chemicals. We injure that organ to our peril.

So guess what the Europeans did this month to Roundup? Yup, banned it. Gone.

WWW. What Will Work for Me. Goodness. I am not personally obviously affected by wheat, except that I gain weight like a ship’s anchor when I eat it. Perhaps that is being affected. But I feel less bad about avoiding it. This article has given me more determination to just stay away from it. Is it wheat that’s the problem, or our modern farming methods. We aren’t just sure, but I think it may be Roundup that’s giving wheat an extra bad reputation. If I had an autoimmune disease, avoiding wheat would be first on the menu.

Pop Quiz

‪1. I’m glad I live in America where I can get Roundup on my hamburger?

Well, not if you don’t eat the bun.

‪2. It is possible to apply Roundup to your hands and not show immediate harmful effect. T or F

True

‪3. The p-450 system in our gut bacteria is profoundly influenced by Roundup? T or F

True

‪4. You probably get the most Roundup in your diet as a consequence of wheat being sprayed just prior to harvest. T or F

In a nutshell, true.

‪5. The damage to your gut bacteria ends up causing “leaky gut”, which is strongly associated with many brain diseases and autoimmune illnesses. T or F

Darn it. Darn it. Darn it. Why can’t we just accept “better living through chemistry” and bury our head in the sand. But yes, it’s true.

Obesity, Autism and Gut Bacteria

Obesity, Autism and Gut Bacteria

References: Cell June 2016,

Did you know that women who are obese when pregnant give birth to autistic children at a 50% higher rate? Did you also know that the intestinal flora of obese folks differs from that of normal folks? Ok, take those as givens and follow this research thread.

Take mice and make them obese by feeding them a very high fat diet. You can show that their stool content dramatically changes to being much less diverse. Then, you observe the amount of time their pups spend in social behaviors and find that they interact for only 22 seconds out of 10 minutes, whereas normal pups average two minutes. And the pups of the obese mothers much prefer playing with a plastic cup, whereas normal mothers’ pups play with other pups. Sounds like autistic children, in mouse form.

Now, in mice, you can examine their gut flora in great detail, and then look at brain cells too. The obese mothers’ gut flora was markedly limited, as duplicated in their pups. When the pups were given access to normal mouse feces, (which all mice nibble on – getting probiotic infusions), their gut flora returned to normal, as did their social interaction.

What was most interesting is that the differences in behavior were narrowed down to one bacteria species in the gut; Lactobacillus reuteri. It was 9 times more abundant in normal mothers feces, compared to the obese mothers. This is where their research got really interesting. Taking the “autistic” mice pups, they were given either live L. reuteri or dead L. reuteri in their drinking water. The pups that got the live bacteria were found to have normal brain development of the cells that produce oxytocin, and normal social behavior. The autistic mice pups that got the dead bacteria, didn’t develop and remained socially isolated. The autistic mice pups that got the live bacteria still had 13% less oxytocin producing cells, but that was enough for them to develop into normal social behaving mice.

This evidence is so powerful, there are now multiple studies of oxytocin being given to children with autism. The field of social modulation of behavior is just getting started, with oxytocin front and center in that research. And now, what is opening up is that behavior may be driven by the bacteria in your gut.

Can you take L. reuteri orally as a supplement? You sure can! Each species appears to have it’s own strain.

www.What Will Work for me. Well, I just learned about L. reuteri and it’s effect on the gut, and subsequent effect on social behavior. I’ve seen oxytocin help a bunch of folks needing better sleep, less stress, more calm. Maybe what they need, and we all need is some way to measure L.reuteri in our gut, and some way to replace it if it’s missing. I think the next stage needs to be what diet encourages it’s growth. We know that including it in your diet can prevent weight gain, to some degree. I want to watch this story evolve. Way too interesting.

Pop Quiz

‪1. Obese mice’s pups have less social interaction and fewer oxytocin producing cells in their brains, in alignment with fewer of bacterial species L. reuteri in their guts? T or F

That’s it in a nutshell.

2. The same applies to humans. T or F

Not so fast. The oxytocin connection appears to be true but we can’t biopsy human brains to complete the research circle.

‪3. This research suggests that our mental frame of mind with socialization may be greatly affected by the bacteria in our gut. T or F

Exactly.

4. It is possible to take oxytocin as a supplement to see if it helps you with sleep, intimacy, headaches, social isolation, calmness. T or F

Well, true but it takes a physicians script to get access to it.

5. The diet that supplies the most L. reuteri to your gut is well defined. T or F

False. We don’t know it yet. Fermented foods have it in abundance but often from strains not our own. Each species appears to have its own strain.

Birth Method, Gut Bacteria and Health Outcomes

Birth Method and Health Outcomes via the Gut

Reference: JAMA Pediatrics Jan 2016

When a baby is born naturally, it usually is facing downwards. That makes it easiest to flex and turn its head through the vaginal canal. Now, recalling the 20 or so babies I’ve delivered in my career, I do recall that most of them squeeze out a bit of stool from mom’s rectum just before delivery. Pretty quickly, the babies face then emerges and the baby takes a deep breath and yells. We wipe the blood and stool and messy vaginal juices off their face and hand them over to mom.

What just happened? Mom just did one of her more important actions. She passed on her bacterial biome to the baby to populate its intestinal tract. The vaginal bacterial are heavily weighted to lactobacillus that digest milk just fine. And the 30,000 different species in mom’s intestinal biome get gifted to baby. They all get a healthy start. Now that we know that our colonic biome is critically linked to many health outcomes. This is a good thing. Guess what happens when you get delivered via a sterile C-section. You got it! Your gut gets a whole different start. Then, guess what good things breast feeding does for your gut biome! You got it. Dramatically better diversity and balance of bacteria when vaginally delivered versus c-section delivered.

That’s what Dr. And her team discovered following 102 deliveries of which. 70 were natural vaginal deliveries and 32 Were c- sections. Then 70 women exclusively breastfed,   26 Women breast fed and supplemented with some formula and 6 exclusively bottle fed. At 6 weeks the babies had their colonic biome evaluated.

And this is where it gets really interesting. Being delivered vaginally results in 6 bacterial families having statistically different abundance. This constituted a greater change in abundance and distribution of bacterial families than breast feeding versus formula feeding. In that, there was difference enough.   Pure breastfeeding showed a different population of bacteria in the babies colonic biome than formula feeding. Interestingly enough, adding some formula in made if as though you were only formula feeding, losing the benefit of breast feeding.

Cesarean delivery has been associated with an increased risk for obesity, asthma, celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes mellitus. That is at least 3 autoimmune illnesses that have a connection to type of birth. Don’t you find that intriguing? It suggests that the cross talk between the bacteria in your colon and your immune system is far more complex, and more beneficial than we have understood to date. Our colon is emphatically not just an organ dedicated to conserving water, but rather a complicated, mutually beneficial arrangement with implications we have yet to fully understand.

The implication is pretty clear to me. If you are forced by circumstance to have a C-section for your baby’s delivery, you might be well served to make sure your baby gets a taste of your vaginal bacteria, and some of your stool. And then, breastfed, exclusively.   This study is in progress, and its results should be coming soon. How about a cotton swab?   We already know that kids who grow up on farms with early exposure to animal dander and poop have fewer allergies. Perhaps it’s all by the same route. More diversity.

www.What Will Work for me.   I’m getting a lot more casual about the dirt in my environment. I’m trying to still wash my hands and my fruit/vegetables, just to get off all the pesticides and viruses I picked up off the door nob. But the mud from my yard….may be just what I need. What I want to learn is how to interpret the variety of bacteria when I test it, and I haven’t found a good source to help me sort that out. That is still a work in progress.

 

Pop Quiz

 

  1. You get beneficial bacteria from your mother’s stool at the moment of birth. T or F

True, get over it.

  1. Vaginal delivery results in a very different bacterial biome from c-section delivery. T or F

True

  1. C-section babies get their bacteria from the nurses in the delivery suite, their husbands, the doctor and the nurses assistant, instead of from mom. T or F

True

  1. Breast feeding exclusively appears to provide added benefit for colonic diversity and abundance, a benefit lost with modest formula supplementation.   T or F

Again True

  1. In the future, it may be standard of care to swab a mother’s vagina and rectum to pass on bacteria to a baby at birth, if the baby was born by c-section.

May be. Makes perfect sense. And time is of the essence.

Beta-Glucans and Immune Function

Beta Glucan: Immune Booster

Reference: Nutrition Journal 2014

Published:  Nov 16, 2015

Ever heard of the immune boosting effect of mushrooms? Of course. Shiitake mushrooms from Japan or Lengzhi         from China have been used in Asia for millennia to boost immune function. They exist in the cell walls of yeast, fungi and some seaweeds.. They play an important role in the building blocks of the cell wall of yeast and fungi.   We are familiar with cellulose, the building block of wood and trees.   That is a β-glucan linked from the 1 to the 4 positions of adjacent glucose molecules.   It plays no role in immune modulation, but it sure holds trees together nicely.   The β-glucans we are interested in are linked at the 1-3 position.   What we call starch or glycogen is made of glucoses hooked together at the 1-4 or 1-6 site. So, β-glucan is only slightly different than cellulose (wood) or glycogen (human) or starch (potato, rice, bread). They are all glucose molecules hooked together at different places on the glucose molecule. Humans can neither digest or synthesize β-glucans, hence we have to recognize them as foreign.

And that is precisely what your immune system measures and evaluates – the different structures and connections of glucose on the surface of various invaders – bacteria in particular. It only makes sense that your immune system would get a boost. Yeast have β- glucan on their surface.   We don’t want yeast to invade you.

Β-glucan becomes a useful tool to “boost” your immune system.  And yeast becomes the means by which we can “manufacture” it as a supplement.

What do they do inside you? Well, your gut M cells (FBI of the gut) identify them, capture them, transport them into your Peyer’s patches in your gut from whence they are transported to local lymph nodes, spleen and bone marrow.   In the bone marrow you can show that granulocytes get activated and proceed to go out and kill tumor cells.  But wait, there is more. You also activate the B cell branch of your immune system that makes antibodies.   That requires you to absorb bigger chunks of β-glucan that are too big to dissolve in water. And your phagocytes (those cells that gobble up bacteria whole) get equally turned on with β-glucan.   This means that just about every arm of your immune system gets activated, turned on, focused.

Is there research to support that taking β-glucan as a supplement will reduce illness? Well yes.   Auinger showed decreased colds in a randomized, controlled trial from Europe in 2013. Graubaum showed the same in 2012. He gave 100 subjects β-glucan for 26 weeks and demonstrated a significant reduction in colds and progression of colds to severe symptoms.

And then there is cancer.   We don’t have good randomized studies yet, but tons of testimonials claiming otherwise unexplained improvement. Testimonials shouldn’t be taken as proof, but they should be taken seriously as cause for curiosity. The mechanisms make sense. And cancer succeeds by tamping down the immune system, reducing fever and generally hiding from the immune system. Β-glucans reawaken that masking effect.

Now, the European Food Safety panel has evaluated the efficacy of β-glucan for the prevention of colds and rejected the claim based on criticism that the questionnaire used to evaluate cold symtpoms has not been validated.   So, there you have it. There is pretty good evidence that it works, with in vivo experiments down to the bone marrow. There are statistical studies showing less colds, but using research methods that don’t quite pass muster.   And you have a couple thousand years of Chinese and Japanese healers noting that it works. You decide.

WWW. What will work for me.   Well, I’m stymied by the number of colds I get when I travel. Sitting on an airplane with 300 other people in close quarters seems to be risky. I’m going to try it this winter. And I think it makes sense for anyone with cancer to add Shiitake mushrooms or β-glucan supplements to their regimen. Maybe not every day, but at least once a week.

 

Pop Quiz

 

  1. β-glucans are closely related to glucose? T or F

True. They are branched strings of glucose hooked together in a way we can’t digest.

  1. In nature, β-glucans show up in mushrooms, fungi, yeast and seaweed. T or F

True

  1. Our gut immune system rejects β-glucans and refuses to digest them. T or F

False. We don’t digest them, that’s true but we take them up and ship them all over our bodies, even to our bone marrow where we turn on our immune system to recognize them.

  1. There are pretty good studies that show they reduce the symptoms of the common cold. T or F

True, if you accept the questionnaire that has not been validated as good enough.

  1. There is no evidence that β-glucans are toxic.

Yup.

  1. If you had cancer, there are plausible mechanisms shown to explain why so many people claim to have great results with β-glucans in slowing down their cancer.

True. With a lot less toxicity than many of our current chemo drugs.

 

Insulin Index is the Way to Understand Weight Loss and Diabetes Control

The Insulin Index: The Best Way to Manage Diabetes and Weight Loss

Published: Nov 9th 2015

Reference:   AJCN Miller, AJCN Holt and Miller,   Diabetes Blog,

What’s the Insulin Index? It’s the measure of how much your insulin goes up in response to a standard dose of any given food, when compared to a standard dose of white bread (1000 kjoules worth or about 250 calories.)   We know white bread provides you with very easily digestible carbohydrates, and has a “high” glycemic index. We want to know how much insulin you secrete in response to foods, because that is what really controls diabetes and weight gain/loss.

Dr Miller has developed this idea over the last 20 years and now has over 180 foods posted on line. You can easily look up many lists.   The core finding is essentially that the more sugar (which is a pure carbohydrate of two kinds: glucose and fructose) and carbohydrate (which is mostly glucose in very long strings that have to be broken down to simple glucose) foods have, the higher the insulin release. The wild card to be put in here is that protein itself becomes insulogenic when eaten in large quantities.   That is because your liver is quite competent at converting extra amino acids into glucose. You can only use so much protein to build or replace muscle. After that, the building blocks of protein, amino acids, are easily converted into glucose, and that spikes insulin.

How does that convert into information you can use?   Well, the highest insulin index foods will be those made from pure glucose.   Hence Jelly Beans (117) and Pancakes (110) will be very high compared to white bread (100).   But so will baked beans (88) and boiled potatoes (88).   That happens because those are foods filled with carbohydrates – imagine a baked potato is nothing more than a bucket of Mardi Gras necklaces in which each bead is a glucose. When you eat food made from those carbohydrates, your body can unzip those strings of carbs very effectively and rapidly, and that leads to the release of insulin. These are also foods that have been altered from their native state, altered by farmers to be larger and more carbohydrate filled, and finally, cooked in a fashion to make the carbohydrate much more accessible.

Now, what is intriguing is that a lot of low fat dairy ends up being very insulogenic. Low fat yogurt, for example has a glycemic index of 31 but an insulin index of 84.   Skim milk has a glycemic index of 29 but an insulin index of 60. Low fat cottage cheese has a glycemic index of 10 but an insulin index of 52.   Why?   Dairy doesn’t have glucose in it in a pure form but rather in the form of lactose, that takes a while to digest. But the extra protein floods in rapidly.

And what is the role of fat? It’s insulin neutral so has little effect.

How do I synthesize all this information? I believe our metabolism was shaped by millions of years of eating green plants which have carbs tightly wrapped up in fiber. These got digested in our colons, very slowly.   We still have those foods.   We call them spinach, asparagus, cucumbers, broccoli, eggplant – any green vegetable that grows above ground. Civilization has led us to grow and manufacture foods that are richer in carbs than we have ever seen before. They get digested in our small bowels. They used to be seasonal, and available only I the fall, but are now available year around. They cause a dramatic spike in glucose, which causes a dramatic spike in insulin. During most of human history, that was very beneficial because that led you to store calories in September and October so that you had a calorie reserve for January and February.

WWW. What will work for me.   I measure my insulin and glucose and those of my clients and find this to be very true. Many folks, trying to lose weight and control their diabetes, can’t succeed because they are eating too much protein. When you shift them to more fat, and more green vegetables, their insulin goes down and you can measure it. They lose weight, their diabetes gets better. They use less insulin, if they are taking it as a medication. I’m fascinated how sabotaging dairy is for weight loss. At least low fat dairy.   In my home, we have the full fat stuff, or whipping cream.   I suspect the admonition to drink low fat dairy and eat low fat yogurt is exactly opposite what we should be doing.

 

Pop Quiz

  1. The insulin index measures how much insulin my body makes in response to different foods. T or F
  2. True
  3. Foods very high in simple glucose like pancakes, have very low insulin indexes. T or F
  4. Exactly false. If you said true, go to jail, go directly to jail and read the article again. Dramatically opposite
  5. Dairy is an insulogenic food. Why?
  6. It has low level of pure glucose but a flood of animal protein, which can also set off insulin.
  7. Insulin serves as my storage hormone, saving calories to burn later in the year when the times are leaner. T or F
  8. For the last 65 million years of mammalian history. Changed recently in the last 10,000 years with agriculture and dramatically in the last 100 years with industrial civilization
  9. To lose weight, I have to get my insulin level down, so that I stop storing calories.
  10. It’s easier to control my diabetes if I’m not shifting calories in and out of fat cells all the time and just use them slowly as they show up.
  11. Perfect, which is what green plants will do for you as they are digested very, very slowly by the wonderful biome of helpers in your colon.

 

The Devil in Milk: The A1 Casein vs A2 Conundrum

The Devil In Milk: the A1 vs A2 Protein Story

Sept 21, 2015

Reference: The Devil in Milk by Keith Woodford Diabetologia Elliott

Did you know that there are several forms of milk? The protein casein is not the same in every cow. Most European cows have what is called A1 casein. Most Asian cows have A2 casein. Casein is about 30% of the protein in human milk, but 80% in cows’ milk. At position 67, A1 milk has a histidine amino acid, A2 has a proline amino acid.   Beta-casomorphine-7 (BCM-7) is a 7 amino acid peptide that is released when you eat A1 milk, but not when you eat A2 milk.   BCM-7 is a morphine type chemical that can be blocked by naloxone.

Now, there is all sorts of interesting epidemiology around milk. For example, you can show that populations that drink more A1 milk have more insulin dependent diabetes in them in children, and more heart disease in adults. You can also find that Samoan children, raised in Samoa don’t get insulin dependent diabetes, but raised in New Zealand, they do. If you take mice that are genetically sensitized to getting diabetes, and feed them either A1 or A2 milk, you can show that 47% of the mice fed A1 milk got insulin dependent diabetes, but non of the A2 fed mice did. And if you feed them A1 milk, but block BCM-7 with naloxone, they still don’t get the diabetes they otherwise would have developed.

Now, this is where this topic goes down a “rabbit hole” of controversy. Most of the big dairy money in the world that trades milk internationally, uses A1 milk. That means they are in deep trouble if this data is true. A1 milk might be dangerous for you. The dairy trade would collapse. That would mean it would be in “big milk’s” best interest to deny, degrade, denigrate, obfuscate and attack anything they can about this issue. And they have. It is possible to change over a dairy herd from A1 to A2, but it takes about 10 years of time to breed new cows and get the genes into them with proper breeding.   It can be done. It just takes 10 years.

And there continues to be data about the dangers of A1 milk. There was a patent application in New Zealand claiming that autism has a strong correlation to the consumption of A1 mild.   That application was made by the company denigrating the original research, and then withdrawn and never published in the medical literature. Oh, the intrigue!   So, more epidemiology: the Masai in Africa have A2 milk, and drink 7 liters a day. No heart disease. In Europe, the Finns drink only A1 milk and have lots of heart disease. The French have mostly A2 milk, and have half the heart disease. On and on…

What’s happening in Wisconsin?   There are some herds in Wisconsin that are being converted by using A2 bulls.   Some of the alternative media is beginning to run articles on it.   New Zealand seems to be leading the pack in developing an A2 herd. But there remains controversy. And some of that controversy appears to be research that proves the opposite, but was in fact, intentionally sabotaged with BCM7 protein, and should be actually takes as proof of the fact it was trying to unseat. Isn’t the intrigue a riot? Like a detective novel.

WWW.   What do I think of all this?   I believe there to be some truth to it all. Not certain how deep, but I trust passionate truth tellers more than corporate monied interests. Between Johne’s Disease in cows (paratuberculosis that I think may be the cause of Crohn’s Disease) and concerns about how proteins are altered with pasteurizing, I don’t drink much milk.   If I could find A2 milk from a single herd that was Johne’s free, I might reconsider.   I’m certainly going to think about it and pay attention to it. And likely to tell more clients to avoid milk, unless it’s A2.

 

Pop Quiz

  1. Our current milk supply in America is digested into a product that has morphine like qualities to it?   T or F

True

  1. American Milk is primarily A1 milk which is a genetic variation off the original aboriginal milk, now found in Asian and African cows, called A2 milk (even though it was the original).   T or F

True. You are now getting the gist of this article.

  1. There are epidemiological studies connecting A2 milk to heart disease and insulin dependent diabetes. T or F

False. That’s backwards, it’s A1 that is connected to those two.   And autism, and Crohns, and, and, and…

  1. You can convert a herd of cows to being A2 cows by using only an A2 bull for about 10 years.   T or F

True. And it’s happening right now in a bunch of Wisconsin herds.

  1. One little amino acid substitution at position 67 out of over 200 amino acids is all it takes to make this mystery mysterious?   T or F

True. Amazing, isn’t it. But the same can be said for Sickle Cell and many other conditions.

 

FIAF – how to Control Your Weight with Fat

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.

Pop Quiz

  1. Your gut bacteria help you digest food and extract calories from types of food you can’t digest.   T or F

True

  1. Skinny people have different gut populations that overweight folks? T or F

Also true

  1. You can change the population balance of bacteria in your gut by eating different balances of fat, sugar, carbs, fiber….   T or F

True

  1. FIAF stands for Fat Induced Adipose Factor. T or F

False. Go back and read the hyperlink

  1. Lipoprotein Lipase is a hormone that instructs your body to store fat. T or F

Bingo. And FIAF inhibits it.

 

Artificial Sweeteners Make your Fatter

Artificial Sweeteners Make your Fatter

Reference:  Nature Sept 2014 Nature Suez

All right, you are a little overweight and want to slim down a touch.  Instead of fully sugared soda, you decide to get just the zero calorie soda instead, sweetened with an artificial sweetener.  You won’t gain weight, right?  In fact, you can drink that all day long and not put on any pounds because you aren’t eating any calories. Right?

Wrong!

Increasingly we are aware that our behavior is driven by forces other than our conscious, advanced brain.  In fact, it’s pretty well established that it’s hormones that drive our eating behavior.   We used to say you got fat because you were a lazy slob and didn’t exercise enough, ergo – your personality is flawed and it’s your fault that you are fat.  If that were true, you would lose weight when you ate less and exercised more.  Well, that approach has failed.  We now know that to lose weight you have to manage your hormones, most notably your insulin, which requires you changing the foods that make your secrete insulin.  Insulin and leptin are the hormones that drive your eating, and your weight gain.

So what does this study show?   Very interesting.  This happened in mice, not humans (yet) but it raises a new principle that is an open door for further inquiry.  Mice, fed water sweetened with sugar versus artificial sweetener were followed for a variety of metabolic effects.  What Dr Suez found was startling.  The artificial sweetener mice became glucose resistant, the first step to diabetes.   The source of that resistance was in their gut bacteria, not in their own chemical structure.  That wasn’t all the scientists did.  With that finding, they found that they could prevent the effect by killing off the colonic bacteria by treating with antibiotics.  Further, they could transfer the glucose resistance to germ free mice by doing a fecal transplant and giving the germ free mice the colonic bacteria that caused the glucose resistance in the first place.    Finally, they identified the metabolic pathways that were altered in the bacteria that altered their host’s glucose tolerance, and found that those same pathways exist in humans.

Did you get that core idea?  An alteration of gut bacteria caused glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.  That’s diabetes, or the first step.  The sequence is then as follows.  When you are glucose intolerant, your insulin level rises.  Insulin causes your fat cells to take up calories and your liver to make more fat.  Those calories aren’t available for activity so the body feels hungry and eats more food.  You gain weight.   And the net effect was all started by changes in colonic bacteria, brought about by the artificial sweetener.

One more time, we have to run the sequence of events that leads to obesity.  It’s exactly opposite to what the American Diabetes Association teaches when it says it’s your fault for eating too much.  The too-much-food-theory is NOT primary cause, it’s a secondary effect. What is primary is eating the wrong food that causes hormonal responses.  In this case, the hormonal response is actually metabolic changes in your gut bacteria.   Your colon is not just a waste dump, but a vibrant, active organ that controls much of your metabolism.

The cool thing is that you can change your behavior. Stop using artificial sweeteners.  Just stop.  Stop.  Quit.  Drink Water.

WWW.  What will work for me.  Water.  Tea.  Sour flavors.  Just no artificial sweeteners.   (Stevia was not measured, and being based on a plant is an unknown quantity.  I’m still using Stevia. Trying to make it less.)

 

Pop Quiz

  1. Mice that eat water sweetened with artificial sweeteners have no metabolic effect.  T or F

Go to top of page and re-read this article.  They became glucose intolerant

  1. When you are glucose intolerant, you gain weight.  T or F

True.  May be chicken or egg, but with high insulin, you more easily push calories into storage.

  1. The primary cause of the glucose resistance in these experimental mice was in their gut bacteria.  T or F

True

  1. The glucose resistance could be transferred to other mice that had been grown in a perfectly germ free environment, simply by giving them a fecal germ transplant.  T or F

True

  1. The same pathways that cause this glucose intolerance are present in humans, but not tested yet in humans.  T or F

True