Obesity and Bacteria: What’s the Connection?

Learn About the Unseen Allies That Keep You Healthy and Happy

We are learning more about  how good bacteria that occurs naturally in the gut can affect our overall health and well-being.

Six out of ten Americans are overweight or obese leading to increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other diseases. Research shows that overweight and obesity are also directly associated with low levels of good bacteria in the gut.

Diet directly influences which kind of bacteria are populating our gut. Poor diet leads to  bad bacteria in our gut which impacts health problems such as obesity. Are changes to the gut microbiota a cause rather than a consequence of obesity? We don’t know yet. However, studies demonstrate that carbohydrates found in the Mediterranean diet (particularly the non-digestible carbohydrates such as beans) can improve microbiota in the gut and help treat obesity.

Another complicating factor is that bacterial diversity in the gut tends to decrease with age, meaning a high quality probiotic or prebiotic supplement could be particularly effective in individuals over age 50.

Consult with a Registered Dietitian to better understand your specific requirements for a healthy lifestyle. For more information contact Dr. Algert here.