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Tag Archives: flora
The weight loss industry is now and forever will be alive and strong as individuals struggle to keep the pounds off. The majority of motivation may be aesthetics, but the need to shed the excess body weight goes well beyond simply feeling good about your counterpart staring back at you in the mirror.
I become discouraged with loud and large celebrities who look to spearhead the movement of embracing obesity as being comfortable in their own skin. Being comfortable and happy with yourself is no doubt a justifiable desire, but pushing personal acceptance of obesity is reckless to say the least.
This is not about looks or appearance either, although the message of “accepting you for you” will incorrectly cite this. This is about an outright unhealthy state for the body to be in, and the cascade of consequences that follow. Body fat is not a static or silent tissue; rather quite the contrary. Adipose tissue or body fat is actually a highly active metabolic tissue that when in excess disrupts hormonal signaling (including those responsible for appetite, blood sugar and sleep regulation).
It is also a pro-inflammatory tissue, meaning the more you have the more inflamed you will be throughout the body. This lends it’s hand not only to elevated pain levels, but it increases the common denominator behind virtually every condition known (from plantar fasciitis to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s); inflammation.
The bottom-line here is that it’s not about the looks from a quantity and quality of life standpoint. We are talking about a truly taxing state to ask a body to operate in, especially over time, with a list of concomitant issues that far exceeds the few listed above.
This brings us to today’s topic, which is not meant as a standalone solution to the issue, but rather another piece of the intelligently assembled, holistic puzzle.
If you’ve read any articles on this site before, you know we rightfully place an abundance of emphasis on intestinal health or “the gut.” The major player in this system and thus our overall health is our intestinal flora, or the “probiotic” good bacteria that populate our digestive tract.
Researchers have discovered that there is a certain type of bacterial organism (firmicutes) that is more prevalent in obese individuals as opposed to the majority of bacteroidetes found in their lean counterparts. This makes sense as firmicutes are notorious as “fat loving” bacteria with a higher propensity to digest complex carbs, extracting the energy from food and ultimately storing it as fat.
These bacteria communicate directly and indirectly with our brains, and if we are dominated with a strain of flora that thrives off of carbohydrates, the message is sent to our brains to crave and potentially overconsume these fat generating foods. What’s more, we’ve just learned that higher levels of these firmicutes actually turn on genes (epigenetics) that not only increase the risk for obesity, but diabetes, dementia, and cardiovascular disease.
In an individual’s personal war on obesity this serves as a powerful foundational weapon. As previously stated, obviously a variety of lifestyle strategies must be implemented to successfully attain and maintain a healthy weight. However, this piece of information should be universally utilized in order to better control cravings from within, optimize metabolism for the goal at hand, and further substantiate a quality probiotic (and a healthy intestinal tract for it to flourish within) as one of the cornerstones to optimal health and longevity.
There exists a growing body of fascinating research that continues to point to the gut as the seat of all health or disease. This notion has been around since Hippocrates, and thankfully appears to be taking center stage as more frustrated patients search for what they’ve been lead to believe are solutionless health problems.
We’ve touched on the various aspects of why this is so important in previous posts, and virtually everyday with patients in the office. Today we will break down yet another eye opening correlation between gut dysfunction and neurodegenerative disease.
You should know by now that the gut is home to billions of vital bacteria. The bulk of these bacteria are coated in something called LPS (lipopolysaccharide). This is all good for the function of these bacteria and thus us, provided they stay in the gut and are not allowed passage into our bloodstream.
The only way LPS gains access into our blood is if we have intestinal permeability or a “leaky gut.” This can occur for a plethora or reasons including gluten consumption (for everyone, not just Celiac sufferers), habitual antacid or anti-biotic use, or glyphosate (the unwashable, carcinogenic herbicide that laces your GMO food) exposure.
Once the intestinal wall is permeable or leaky, items that should not get into the blood and thus the rest of your body, get in. This creates an immune response and a cascade of issues from there. The test used to determine whether or not someone does indeed possess a leaky gut does so by determining whether or not these LPS are present in the blood, because as we stated they should remain self contained in the digestive tract if all is well.
The game changing correlation that has been observed in numerous studies is the presence of LPS in the blood and a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. MS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s; even Autism all have been shown to also carry the presence of LPS in the blood. To take it one step further, in many cases the level of severity of the condition is in proportion to the volume of LPS detected in the circulatory system.
For those that still have a tough time correlating intestinal issues to much beyond heartburn, constipation or diarrhea, this is yet another wake up call. The gut has been called the second brain and is in close two way communication with it via the vagus nerve. The linkage between the two and direct impact one has on the other is becoming more and more well documented.
As always, at this point the question becomes what are you going to do about it? We already know that knowledge without application is useless. Get ahead of the curve and be sure to build the foundation for health and longevity by fortifying, healing and sealing that gut if for no other reason than the fear of the devastating diseases mentioned above.
This is something we do weekly with those motivated and open minded patients, with exciting and hope restoring results. This is something we live ourselves.
As always, if you would like to learn more about this empowering knowledge or get to work on fortifying your own foundation for a better quality and quantity of life, make a move and reach out today (321-848-0987). It is our passion on both a personal and professional level, and we’re here when you’re ready to take control.
ESSENTIAL SUPPLEMENT OF THE MONTH
- WHAT ARE THEY?
- The beneficial or “good” bacteria that reside in your digestive tract.
- 80% of your IMMUNE SYSTEM lives in your gut, and a large portion of this is due to the presence of this bacteria.
- They aid in digesting food, particularly hard-to-digest foods and foods to which some individuals are more sensitive.
- Without proper digestion we are not receiving the nutrients and fuel that we are consuming the food for. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies lead to systemic repercussions.
- Support your immune system
- The “gut” is one of the four main barrier systems in your body to protect you from outside invaders whose presence can lead to things conditions like AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES.
- Mounting research pointing towards a strong relationship between your gut health and brain health. Inflammation or permeability (aka “leaky gut”) in the gut has been shown to lead to the same in the brain.
- This is why there is a growing correlation between gut health and conditions like DEPRESSION and ALZHEIMER’s
- Promotes vaginal health in women
- (the same “good” bacteria that populate the gut also populate the vaginal region)
- Antibiotics, drinking or swimming in chlorinated water, chronic blood sugar spikes, consuming inorganic, GMO and processed foods all wage a war in your healthy gut flora (aka probiotics)
- FOOD SOURCES:
- Fermented (UNPASTURIZED FOODS: sauerkraut, kimchi, various UNPASTURIZED dairy)
As we’ve stated in the past, it would be ideal to keep the number of supplements to a minimum while obtaining all the externally derived nutritional support from our diet. However, due to poor quality of our food source as well as the hazards we are exposed to, certain supplements would be advantageous to our wellbeing. A couple of months ago we started this list with a daily dose of high quality Omega 3 fatty acids. (https://clarkechiropracticwellness.com/2014/03/12/supplement-series-the-good-fats/)
The second supplement that virtually everyone can benefit from is a high quality probiotic. This term has become somewhat of a buzz word in the mainstream as more and more research emerges backing the benefits behind making sure your “good” bacteria is at a premium.
As with all supplements, you want to make sure you’re spending your money and efforts on a quality product. Certain strains of bacteria are more likely to survive the stomach acid bath en route to your intestines, so you want to make sure those are included on the label.
You also want to be wary of certain foods (yogurts are notorious for this) that falsely tout the added benefit of various live cultures or strains of bacteria. If a product is pasteurized, which most dairy is, the beneficial bacteria which they use as a selling point have most likely been destroyed by the heating process. Unpasteurized is becoming a selling point like organic or gluten free so if it doesn’t make mention of it, assume it’s pasteurized.
In addition to the immune and digestive benefits (which should not be understated) the gut – brain connection is a major reason why a good probiotic makes my list of essentials. We carry and take the brand pictured at Clarke Chiropractic and Wellness. However, if you have questions about another brand or supplement, your inquiries are always welcome.