Mixed microbes

We have a number of strategies available to us to achieve natural, nearly effortless, weight loss. These strategies include:

  • Wheat/grain elimination—that eliminates gliadin protein-derived opioid peptides that stimulate appetite; amylopectin A, the carbohydrate of wheat and grains that is responsible for their extravagant blood sugar-raising potential that causes insulin resistance and weight gain; wheat germ agglutinin that adds to gastrointestinal (GI) inflammation and thereby intestinal permeability or “leaky gut.”
  • Sugar elimination—The proliferation of processed foods means wild over-exposure to sugars that, like the amylopectin A of wheat and grains, leads to insulin resistance and the expansion of fat stores. Fasting blood insulin of someone who is not insulin resistant and has control over weight? 1-4 mIU/L. Fasting blood insulin of someone who is insulin resistant and cannot lose weight? 100, 200 mIU/L or some other high level. High levels of insulin cause fat storage and block weight loss. Reducing insulin and increasing the insulin sensitivity of liver, muscle, and other organs is therefore a pivotal issue in weight management.
  • Addressing common nutrient deficiencies that contribute to insulin resistance—Persistent insulin resistance adds to weight gain and prevents weight loss. Addressing lack of magnesium, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and iodine synergizes to reduce insulin resistance that allows release of excess fat weight.

As I have previously discussed, too many people fall victim to thinking that calorie reduction, pharmaceutical weight loss drugs, and bariatric procedures are effective solutions for weight loss even though they are plagued by serious problems including virtually guaranteed weight regain. These are not durable solutions, but gateways to long-term health disasters. For example, lose 30 pounds with one of the new GLP-1 agonist weight loss drugs, costing you around $15,000 for a year’s worth of injections, of which 10 pounds is muscle that thereby reduces your basal metabolic rate. Stop the drug after a year (as few can afford the $1500 per month cost forever, after all), regain 24-27 pounds, even if you maintain a reduced calorie intake. Most of the weight regained is fat, not muscle, and you end up being more pre-diabetic or diabetic, have higher blood sugars, blood pressure, triglycerides, have worse fatty liver, more abdominal fat, etc. than at the start. Your risk for numerous diseases such as heart disease, breast cancer, and dementia is greater. You have also likely shortened your lifespan by a few years. This is the disaster the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA have created, aided and abetted by the ignorance and shortsightedness of most mainstream doctors.

The tragedy in all this is that a return to the slenderness of the 1950s and 1960s is readily achievable by anyone. Just don’t expect the solutions to come from your doctor, the local healthcare system, or pharmaceutical industry who have no stake in your health or weight loss, only in selling you a product or procedure. That is the painful truth of modern healthcare: it has nothing to do with health, everything to do with profit.

Anyway, back to new strategies to amplify your weight loss success. As you see from the above discussion, insulin resistance is a driving force behind weight management. Add “metabolic endotoxemia” to the list of important factors impacting insulin resistance. Recall that endotoxemia refers to the increased entry of bacterial endotoxin, i.e., a breakdown product of microbial death in the GI tract that enters the bloodstream, “endotoxemia.” We know with good evidence that endotoxin in the bloodstream drives insulin resistance and thereby adds to weight gain, especially in abdominal visceral fat stores, and blocks your ability to lose weight. This is especially true if microbial sources of endotoxin, i.e., so-called Gram-negative enteric—fecal—microbes that contain endotoxin in their cell walls, invade the 24-feet of small intestine, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO, since the small intestine is, by design, permeable to allow absorption of amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. This leads to a 2- to 4-fold increase in endotoxin blood levels that adds to insulin resistance and weight gain. This situation is epidemic: by my estimation, based on the existing evidence, this applies to 1 of every 2 people or 50% of the population.

How to reduce endotoxemia and thereby regain better control over weight? Easy: reduce the burden of fecal microbes in the small intestine. You can achieve this with antibiotics such as rifaximin (Xifaxin that the pharmaceutical industry is hawking for “treatment” of irritable bowel syndrome that is virtually synonymous with SIBO). But a better solution, in my view, is to simply restore microbes we’ve nearly all lost that 1) colonize the small intestine, and 2) produce bacteriocins, natural antibiotics effective against the species of SIBO.

Because nearly all modern people have lost these critical species due to overexposure to antibiotics and other factors, fecal microbes have been allowed to overproliferate, then ascend into the small intestine, yielding endotoxemia and weight gain. The solution: restore these lost microbes. Among the most important: Lactobacillus reuteri and Lactobacillus gasseri, both able to colonize the stomach, duodenum, jejunum, and ileum—i.e.,the small intestine—and produce a number of bacteriocins. So far, following this strategy as my “SIBO Yogurt,” around 90% of people engaging in this strategy have eradicated their SIBO (as evidenced by normalization of breath H2 gas tested by the AIRE device).

As I often point out, the solutions to health, including weight management, do not lie in pharmaceuticals or procedures, but in restoring the natural situation for human life. There are no obese deer, alligators, beavers, or salmon, all following their natural dietary script written into their genetic code. The same rule applies to humans: restore the natural situation to which we, as members of the species Homo sapiens, are genetically programmed and issues such as weight normalize naturally, effortlessly, and safely.