Evil Fat Hatin’ Microbes Must Die!

by Denis Faye | December 23, 2011

Ho, ho, ho. Season’s greetings. Happy Festivus. Et al.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get down to business. New research has unearthed an impossibly convoluted way to fight obesity, but before I share it with you, here are a couple quick anatomy lessons.

Lesson one: There are several kinds of adipose tissue (body fat) but the two that apply here are white fat, which is the normal stuff around your gut and butt, and brown fat, which you find in odd places like your neck. Brown fat is considered “good fat” because it promotes the burning of white fat when it gets cold.

Lesson two: Your large intestines are home to billions of bacteria, some vital to life, others destructive to life. It’s your job to eat healthy and maintain the balance between the two. It’s a big responsibility, but I think you’re up to it. I believe in you. Go eat some probiotic yogurt.

Now that we’re all edumacated and junk, we can discuss today’s study. According to the Journal of Proteome Research (which I’m sure you’ve probably already read this month), scientists cleaned out the intestinal bacteria from a bunch of mice and discovered that it seemed to cause their brown fat to fire up and burn more calories. Furthermore…

The research also uncovered major differences in the interactions between males and females and their intestinal bacteria that might help explain why the obesity epidemic is more serious and rapidly developing in women. 

Those and other findings may point the way toward approaches that kick-up the activity of brown fat in humans to prevent or treat obesity.

That’s just swell. Basically this means that by futzing with intestinal bacteria (a wildly complex ecosystem on your gut that influences your wellbeing in countless way, many of which we haven’t discovered yet), we might be able to, in turn, futz with a weird kind of neck lipid that might have some impact on fat loss. Awesome, go for it.

While you guys do that, I’m going to publish a study in another medical periodical, the Journal for Obvious Solutions that Science Ignores Because They Don’t Lead To Pharmaceutical Sales. In this study, I’m going to research another organ that might play a key role in the war on obesity: your mouth. Here’s my hypothesis: Stop putting crappy fried foods and refined carbs in it and you’ll lose weight. 

That said, it is the holiday season, so if you eat a couple cookies, it’s not the end of the world. Just don’t gorge yourself. Your brown fat hatin’ large intestinal bacteria will thank you.

illustration source: www.bam.gov

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9 thoughts on “Evil Fat Hatin’ Microbes Must Die!

  1. AlfaSunshine

    Oh man you lost me at Journal of Proteome Research…Merry Christmas…I’m off to have my Shakeology morning snack…Hope that covers whatever you were gonna talk about after you said Journal of Proteome Research…really liked the article up to that point. All the best in the New Year to you and yours. Play Tennis!

  2. Anonymous

    Care to give an opinion on this book:Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health?
    Saw it on another fitness blog and wanted some feedback from a trusted source =)

  3. D Faye

    Anon –

    Hmmmm… although that book looks pretty gimmicky, I see its value. Unless you have a gluten intolerance (and not a lot of people do), I don’t think it’s necessary to cut out wheat and I think you can lose weight without doing it. However, Western society eats waaaaaaaaay too much wheat, especially refined flour, and too much of any food or nutrient can cause problems. Refined flour and bread products, specifically, can cause all kinds of weight problems because they aren’t an efficient way to get carbs.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if you did this diet and lost weight, but I think you’d also get good results dropping your grain intake to 1-2 servings a day and sticking to whole grains – or better still, sprouted grains, which are much more nutrient-absorbable.

  4. Anonymous

    D Faye,
    Thanks for the input. The biggest part of this book for me is not the weight… The linking to diseases outside conventional wisdom such auto immune diseases and others.. On the surface it seems to make some sense. Wheat disrupts the bodies PH levels and causes the body to compensate. In the example of bone density it would cause the calcium to be drawn out causing reduced density. Of course any acidic foods would also cause this… The greater question is science sound and if it is are the conclusions also with regards to the conditions it links to over ingestion of wheat. Of course moderation is a good prescription for most people as you said.

  5. D Faye

    I’d probably need to read the whole book – or at least those chapters – to comment in this much detail. But I will say that the body has a remarkable system for maintaining its own pH balance. For most people, it would take A LOT of unhealthy eating to truly throw it off, in my opinion. As long as you’re staying hydrated and your digestive juices are working properly, you should be okay on that front.

    It’s like the phytic acid thing. Sure, phytic acid (which you’ll find in wheat) can bind to some minerals and inhibit absorption, but to have any impact, you’d need to be eating a starvation-level diet.

    I have a hard time blaming a little wheat for either of these. That said, I think balance is important.


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