It appears that the gut bacteria story is gaining scientific backing, specifically around the idea that certain bacteria levels can influence weight.
From: Scientific American.
Gordon and his team found several years ago that genetically obese mice (the animals lacked the ability to make leptin, a hormone that limits appetite) had 50 percent fewer Bacteroidetes bacteria and 50 percent more Firmicutes bacteria than normal mice did. When they transferred a sample of the Firmicutes bacterial population from the obese mice into normal-weight ones, the normal mice became fatter.
And now there seems to be a link between diet soda (artificial sweeteners, really) that affects the balance in these bacteria.
Also from: Scientific American.
In the Israeli experiment, 10-week-old mice were fed a daily dose of aspartame, sucralose or saccharin. Another cluster of mice were given water laced with one of two natural sugars, glucose or sucrose. After 11 weeks, the mice receiving sugar were doing fine, whereas the mice fed artificial sweeteners had abnormally high blood sugar (glucose) levels, an indication that their tissues were having difficulty absorbing glucose from the blood.
My takeaway remains the same as it has for years: it’s probably bad to deviate significantly from what’s natural, especially in areas that we don’t understand well.
As a result, I’m going to stop consuming diet soda again, and do my best to keep regular soda intake very low through consumption of water or unsweet tea as my main beverages.
I’ll probably also be looking at how to restore my bacterial balance back to a healthy state. If anyone has any knowledge in this area I’d enjoy chatting about it.
- Photo by Skip Sterling