Can germs help us lose weight? In a study published in the journal Nature, Chinese researchers show that weight regain after dieting is linked to microbiome. The latter includes all microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and non-pathogenic fungi that live in the intestines.
Jean-Michel Leserve is a nutritionist at the Institut Pasteur de Lille and author of the book “Excess weight, is it in the head or on the plate?” Published by Quae. According to him, regaining weight after a diet will worry almost 90% of people.This is due to many psychological (stress), physiological (reduced energy intake), behavioral (compensation due to frustration) and environmental (pollutants) factors.”.
Genetic factors affect germs. It is also affected by neonatal factors. the study Longitudinal study of parents and children. showed that at age 11 in children delivered by caesarean section, the risk of being overweight or obese increased by 83%. In fact, the intestinal microbiota is obtained from the mother through vaginal secretions. Beyond these uncontrollable factors, germs are extremely sensitive. Many elements, whether food (spices, salt, certain sugars, fiber, foreign substances (particles foreign to the body)), or non-food such as sleep, stress, physical activity can modify it…
The germs make it possible to assimilate the food. In particular, it helps regulate eating behavior by acting on satiety. But disturbed germs can lead to disease.
Three microbiota mechanisms can influence weight gain. “Due to some bacterial functions, microorganisms are able to stimulate lipogenesis. It is the formation of fat cells. It can also promote the loss or storage of energy and thus, in this case, weight gain. Finally, an imbalance of the microbiota, or dysbiosis, contributes to a chronic inflammation called low grade. It then promotes insulin resistance and makes weight loss more difficult.“, explains Jean-Michel Lecerf. Further, Study published in 2009 It was suggested that a type of bacteria was associated with greater weight loss.
Therefore, one way to lose weight is to rebalance the microbiota with antibiotics or probiotics. “There is still a lack of data on the causes of dysbiosis. But we know that germs are very resilient and tend to go back to their starting point. So if you are giving probiotics or prebiotic foods (Which feed the bacteria), I think you have to do it consistently“, says the doctor. Another treatment consists of transplanting stool from a healthy donor into a sick person. It has proven effective in treating some serious but rare infections.
Also read: Intestinal microbiota: the thermostat that modulates body temperature
Bad relationship with food
So, how do we act on losing weight, when approximately 80% to 90% of diets fail in the medium and long term? For Jean-Michel Leserve, “Diets should be avoided. Set yourself moderate, reasonable goals for improving your diet and physical activityHe also insists on the importance of the psychological aspects of reformulating his relationship with food and its image.
Factors leading to thinness are ubiquitous in society. This makes people, from an early age, limit themselves. “I’ve already met young girls who have restricted themselves from eating fat and sugar for fear of gaining weight. How do you expect them to have a peaceful relationship with food as adults?“, the doctor revolts. According to him, we must learn again to eat with pleasure, within certain limits, including fatty foods.
chasing”There is a criminalization of our eating behaviours. Messages like “five fruits and vegetables a day” can cause guilt and scare people, even if they aren’t fake.According to him, there is a need to evaluate health discourses further in the way they affect people. There are social and psycho-behavioral determinants that need to be addressed from the roots and working on the food supply. The doctor should conclude: “We must take into consideration sharing, fun, cultural and human aspects when eating“.
Also read: What if our gut flora made us addicted to sugar?