Intestinal florae are amazing little creatures that do so many incredible things for your body. And that’s why I feel the need to bring them up again today—especially on the heels of yesterday’s conversation about the ongoing “diet wars.”
See, I’m a little bit worried for probiotics right now. In recent years, they’ve become the new darlings of the mainstream health community. And I’m starting to find them hyped everywhere—not just popular yogurt brands.
And you know what that means? It means that when some so-called “expert” decides to kick probiotics off of their pedestal, they’re going to fall to the ground hard. And get dragged through the mud (unnecessarily) in the process.
I’ve seen it happen so many times before. (Remember what I told you about vitamin D just last week?)
So I’m going to take every opportunity I can to report the facts about probiotics. And today, I’d like to tell you about the results of one incredible study in particular.
A group of Harvard researchers found that dietary changes can completely transform your gut’s microbiome—in a single day. Their study appeared in a recent issue of the journal Nature. And it’s a pretty big deal.
For one thing, it’s the first time research has shown just how adaptable the human gut really is.
We’ve known for a while that long-term eating habits can affect makeup of bacteria in your digestive tract. But this research shows that the bacteria inside us can change in the short term, too.
Specifically, the study looked at microbial differences among men who followed to extreme diets for five days. One group ate meat and cheese products only. The other group ate only fiber-rich foods, like granola, rice, beans, fruits, and veggies.
Without getting into the merits or drawbacks of either diet, the findings were absolutely fascinating. They showed that the guts of the meat-and-cheese-only men ramped up the population of “bile-tolerant” strains of bacteria. (This is significant because bile is responsible for fat digestion.) Meanwhile, levels of carbohydrate-digesting bacteria lowered. All within a single day following the diet.
But that’s not all. Within just three days of these diet changes, the bacteria also started behaving differently, and activating completely different sets of genes. This means that you can effect changes throughout your whole body within days—for better or worse. Just by changing the way you eat.
Needless to say, this is extremely intriguing to me. My patients report feeling better within days of starting my New Hamptons Health Miracle. And a lot of the same patients often wonder why they gain three pounds if they go off their diet even for a day.
I always explain that it can take about 72 hours to “reset” after falling off the wagon. And this new discovery may offer a big clue as to why diets tend to work this way.
It may seem like nothing’s happening those first few days on or off of a diet. But the fact is, everything is happening. And it all starts in your gut.
If you subscribe to my monthly newsletter Logical Health Alternatives, then you know just how deep this connection runs. I discussed the link between gut bacteria and weight gain in detail in last month’s issue—along with my tried and true strategies for keeping your microbiome in good working order.
But if you missed it, you can still read that article in my archives by signing up today. And you should. Because believe me, it will change the way you think about weight loss forever.
“Diet rapidly and reproducibly alters the human gut microbiome.”Nature. 2014 Jan 23;505(7484):559-63.