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Could your weight have more to do with happy gut bacteria than counting kilojoules?
What if everything we “know” about food intake and body weight is wrong? Recent history suggests fat intake isn’t the key it was once thought to be. Could kilojoule counting be incidental as well? According to a growing number of unconnected researchers the key to body weight (and overall health) is inflammation and a major key to inflammation is the make up of the population of microbes making their home in our innards – specifically too many of the type of bacteria that produce chemicals know as endotoxins that cause our inflammation level to soar and not enough of the types that support healthy digestion. Organic gardening researchers have long been telling us that to produce the healthiest plants we need to feed the soil microorganisms so they can nurture the plants (rather than trying to feed the plants directly), and it is starting to look to some people as if the same holds true for the human organism: we need to feed the gut microorganisms the right stuff so they can support, rather than poison, us. This article refers to ongoing research that supports the gut microorganism/inflammation/body weight connection including that something in orange juice can counteract the ill effects of eating a refined junk food diet by feeding the “good” bacteria, why some people can eat far more kilojoules than is recommended and never gain weight (different kinds and balance of gut microorganisms), the long term effects of chronic inflammation (insulin resistance, weight gain, metabolic syndrome, chronic diseases), and some specific foods that support a healthy population of gut microbes (wholegrains for their fibre, bitter melon, yoghurt and other fermented foods, fruits and veggies rich in flavonoids and other phytochemicals).