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Eating fat does not upset the gut microflora
The scuttlebutt out there is YOUR GUT MICROFLORA are contributing to metabolic problems.
The reason for this thinking………….
The gut residents of people with metabolic problems, ARE DIFFERENT from the healthy. Actually pretty much anytime you compare gut flora of the healthy, with the “sick” – they’re different. It happens in obesity, Parkinson’s, depression etc.
When scientists take bacteria, from obese mice and obese humans, and transplant them into mice, that are germ free i.e. they have NO BACTERIA. The germ free mice ALWAYS become FAT.
Putting two and two together……..
The gut flora MUST somehow be to blame.
The elephant in the room
A germ free mouse is NOT exactly normal or HEALTHY.
The absence of a microflora, leaves the animal with some serious problems, because well the gut microflora DO STUFF.
First off – they’re involved in gut and immune development.
So a germ free animal has issues, in both these departments.
The neighbourhood matters
In germ free mice, the gut barrier leaks like a sieve i.e. hyper-permeable and the immune system is weak and pathetic.
Mmmmm so squirting in truck loads of bacteria, into these compromised animals, might not be all that representative of “reality”.
Well, this is what a group of French researchers speculated.
And, they’re RIGHT.
Those “different” bacteria in obese animals and humans, are NOT up to quite as much mischief, as is commonly construed. Actually, they’re GOOD GUYS !
Moving into a healthy gut
To prove the point, the team transferred bacteria obtained from animals eating a high fat diet, into the guts of normal healthy mice and watched what happened.
The so called fat microbiota, did impact who was who in the zoo.
Bacteria belonging to the Firmicutes tribe, moved in.
This was not a big surprise, since Firmicutes are typically associated with obesity/metabolic syndrome. The surprise was that it turned out, NOT to be a BAD thing.
“Fat” microbiota are GOOD
Their presence was metabolically beneficial, both in mice fed normal chow and especially in mice, chowing down on high fat dinners. When the fat microbiota, “moved” in, fasting glycemia and hepatic gluconeogenesis, dropped.
This can be seen here……….
Translated, sugar levels in these mice, were better controlled !
And there were no signs of inflammation or fat accumulation in the liver, problems usually associated with these kinds of faecal transplants, into germ free mice.
Curious, the team wondered….
What are the fat microbiota doing ?
They started their investigation, by looking at which genes were turned on/off inside the animal’s liver.
They did find gene expression patterns had been changed by the fat microbiota.
Interestingly, the liver metabolic changes, had nothing to do with the genes controlling sugar production per se. Instead the pathways that had been altered, were those involved in the production of fat. At this stage, the details of how this happened are unclear, but it did happen.
De novo lipogenesis i.e. home made production was curtailed.
And this, improved sugar homeostasis.
Not metabolic mayhem. So what does it mean ?
The gut microbiome is a lot more COMPLICATED and good guys and bad guys, are relative.
Clearly who is in your gut MATTERS.
Who takes up residence is a reflection of your diet, your genes and your body chemistry.
And when it comes to health, the state of the gut is the deciding factor. Gut inflammation and/or disruption of the gut barrier is the bigger risk. Rather than worrying about who is who in the zoo, focus on creating an environment that will help the “right” bacteria, thrive.
One thing we know helps is FIBRE. Click here to learn more.
If you want to make a mouse fat, just feed it MORE FAT. But fat is now not supposed to make you fat, so what gives ? These high fat diets are missing something
Your weight has very little to do with how lazy you are, but it may still be related to laziness levels….. not yours, but that of your “friends”..
Your metabolism is influenced by your genes, plus the genes of your trillion odd gut bacteria – it might be these genes that are making you fat.