Lacking Friendly Flora Linked to Obesity

By: Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

An emerging body of scientific data suggests that a lack of friendly flora in your digestive tract contributes to storing excess fat and becoming overweight.  Researchers tested this in pregnant women1, measuring the gut flora over the course of their pregnancy (in both overweight women and normal weight women).

Women who were overweight at the start of pregnancy were found to have a higher baseline level of hostile flora.  And those women with the worst gut flora profiles gained the most weight during pregnancy.

It is likely that an imbalanced digestive tract is present in virtually any person who is overweight and having trouble losing weight.  Taking friendly flora or taking other steps to improve digestion may be vital to promoting normal metabolism of calories. 

This also provides further information on how obesity risk may be passed from mother to child.  The first colonization of flora is from mother to child.  If mom is not balanced, then one’s child is at higher risks for problems thereafter.  Back in March I pointed out a related study that showed children lacking good digestive bacteria at birth were much more likely to become overweight by age 7 compared to children with healthy levels of friendly digestive bacteria.

Referenced Studies:
  1. ^ Friendly Flora is Important for Weight Management  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,  Maria Carmen Collado, Erika Isolauri, Kirsi Laitinen and Seppo Salminen

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