Bugs In Your Gut

Word Count: 635 words Approx. Reading Time: 2.5 – 3 minutes reading time

It may sound like science-fiction to many, but your gut bacteria may have more of an influence than we think. A recent study involving mice and microbiomes shows a link between our gut bacteria and appetite, showing that what we eat today has a future effect on our cravings and hunger tomorrow!

Bugs in our Gut

Our guts are immensely complex systems that contain many species of bacteria; in fact, bacteria genes outnumber human genes by 100 to 1!  Many gut bacteria manufacture special genes called peptides that can regulate and influence hunger. An interesting study shows that people who desire chocolate have a different microbial breakdown, despite eating identical diets. Another study shows that mice raised in a germ-free environment prefer more sweets and have more sweet receptors. While more research is needed, this shows how important the food we choose to consume is to not only our overall health but also our craving and food tastes.

But, Our Brains Too?

Scientists have long known that microbes live inside us. Still, it is only recently that science sees a connection between our mental health and microbiome and the role it plays in diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and autism.

Evidence shows that the bacteria in our stomachs influence our minds, also contributing to depression and isolating feelings. Scientists discovered differences in the amygdala, a region that is responsible for processing social emotions, between mice and germ-free mice. One study shows that mice that were given fecal transplants from depressed humans also became ‘depressed,’ giving up when captured much earlier than the control mice, showing how our gut microbiomes influence our mental state.

Additional studies show that children with autism have different patterns of microbial species in their stool, signifying that there is a link between our stomachs and our minds. As much of the studies have yet to prove cause and effect fully, more research is needed. Still, scientists are confident that bacteria play an essential role in our mental health.

What’s Next for Research

Doctors hope to continue to gain a better understanding of how our microbiomes influence our brains to treat psychiatric and neurological conditions better and clear up some of the misconceptions about the science. More clinical trials are needed to assess the influences guts have on various conditions.

What Can We Do About It?

Understanding how an ecosystem of microbes impact our stomachs and our overall health is an important step in educating ourselves to the importance of diet throughout life. As we are germ-free when we are born, our gut bacteria are influenced by the environment and what we consume. This means that we can change our microbiomes, reducing inflammation and positively influencing our mental health.

What You Can Do to Alter Your Microbiome

Well, studies show that one of the most important factors in reducing disease and improving the gut microbiome is diet. Good thing it is one of the most accessible factors that you can control in your life. Understanding the adverse effects a western diet has on your health and gut is vital to both your physical and mental health. A study of mice shows that after just 12 weeks of a western-style diet made them both obese and diabetic, doubling their weight – only 12 weeks! Their colons were dominated by pro-inflammatory bacteria, and their entire bodies showed signs of inflammation. Do you still want that bowl of Cheetos now?

The Bottom Line

Our guts play a more significant role in our overall health than we had known. With more attention to our diets, we are able to positively change our microbiome. By eating a diet rich in leafy greens, lots of vegetables, and removing packaged and processed foods, your gut will thank you, and it looks like your brain will too

Christopher James Lawrence is a Co-Founder of the Healthy Transformations Program with Dr. Mike Breen.  He is also the Chief Value Officer and Founder of Change My Life Coaching and Co-Founder of Change My Business Coaching — a fast growing whole-life, leadership and business coaching company, and the only one of it’s kind.  He is also the author of “Go Beyond Passion: Discover Your Dream Job”.  Christopher is a Certified Master Coach Practitioner (CMCP), trainer and facilitator, and a passionate public speaker that truly cares about the success of each and every single person he comes into contact with. You can reach him here.

 

Testimonial from Mary Anne

“Because of my history I didn’t stand a chance at the time as it related to food and gut health. But now, it’s so rewarding to be able to eat healthy foods that I couldn’t eat before. It makes the enjoyment of eating them so much more meaningful. I really feel that Healthy Transformations has Saved my life in so many ways.” ~ Mary Anne

Do You Have Inflammation?

The GARBAGE Marketing of Weight Loss

[VIDEO] Lisa and Karen's Story

(upbeat music)

 

Lisa – When did we meet? Several years ago through friends.

 

Karen – We’re now ex-neighbors, but we are friends for a long time now. A dozen years or so, maybe longer.

 

Lisa – And when I was in the process of selling a house, and buying a house Karen was there for us. (chuckles) I’m Lisa, I’m a teacher but I’m also a mom of two kids and a wife and yeah, that’s me.

 

Karen – I’m Karen Jardine, I’m a real estate agent with CIR, and I have a chaotic and unusual lifestyle. So part of the reason I joined was also to help keep that under control.

 

Lisa – I think, well we first noticed it on Facebook and so we were quite interested in finding out more information about it. When they talked about the information about reducing inflammation, I had a big problem of a lot of bloating and so, for me, it was hopefully I could solve that problem for the rest of my life. So that was my big interest of coming to Healthy Transformations in the first place.

 

Karen – And I started, what brought me to Healthy Transformation, was a mortgage broker actually recommended it. It’s someone I know, like, and trust. So I actually picked up the phone, I called him, and said, “What do you know about these people?” And then I met you, Christopher, as well as Dr. Breen, and he said, “I know Dr. Breen very well. “I would recommended him 100% and anyone Dr. Breen would recommend, I would be 100% on board with whatever he said.” So as soon as it was that, I had clicked my little interested, Lisa clicked her interested, showing the power of social media. And I got the text saying, “Are you going?” And we went.

 

Lisa – I think the easiest part was, for the program, coming to Healthy Transformations, was coming to the meetings. At first they were a little challenging, ’cause about the sharing. I wasn’t good at sharing sometimes but I think after a few meetings went along, it’s like, you know, these guys are pretty cool. And they shared with us, so it left us, well, myself, be a little more open. I think that actually was one of the best parts. I’m going to miss coming to the meetings, which is why I’m continuing on with the grad program after.

 

Karen – The best part, I tend to agree. Because I found the best part, I thought there’s no way that we’re gonna sit and talk about food and that’s gonna be the best part. And it isn’t all about food. It’s about behavior, food, rituals, there’s so much more that we learned in the program. So I was really thrilled about the program itself and coming to the meeting. These are a group, every single person is different, a very diverse group. I think the meeting was actually the best part and the food part ended up being, I had lots to eat, and that was always the scare. But the meeting was definitely, definitely number one.

 

Lisa – Well, for me, the reason I initially came to Healthy Transformations was to get rid of the bloating and not to have that anymore ’cause I was tired of looking seven months pregnant when I really wasn’t.

 

Karen – Me too, by the way. Both of us together, we both complained about significant bloating.

 

Lisa – Quite uncomfortable. So that’s gotten under control and I am not seeing any of that anymore, thank goodness. It was nice to create for myself a better relationship with food and to understand, yes, that food is instructions for my body and I need to put in what my body needs. So I think through this program that taught me a lot as well. To be able to do that confidently. And, like I was saying earlier tonight in our meeting tonight, that I am a priority and that I am in-charge of what I put in my body.

 

Karen – Very similar, what happened with me was, I ended up losing about 20 pounds but that was never the goal. The goal was about bloating. I had severe issues, lactose intolerance, I’ve seen everybody under the sun. Lisa knows that I’ve been part of, from naturopaths to acupuncture. You name it, I’ve probably already did it. I’ve been to allergy specialist, and trying to figure out my stomach, and I’m severe lactose intolerant. It wasn’t just my stomach, my skin, et cetera. Dr. Breen assured me, on day one, that was going to go away and I didn’t believe him. I really, complete skeptic on that’s not gonna happen and he’s right. It’s nothing, zero, nada, no response to lactose. It’s crazy, I can’t believe it, I still am a little bit in awe that this has happened. The weight-loss was a benefit on top of it but it’s the bloating thing that was making my life so miserable. So, nice to fit in clothes again.

 

Lisa – Lots of good stuff.

 

Karen – You do!

 

Lisa – Lots of shopping to do. All year, lots of shopping to do.

 

Karen – Now we need to go get clothes that fit. (laughing)

 

Lisa – But I think one bonus too–

 

Karen – Skinny girl problems.

 

Lisa – Skinny girl problems. (laughing) I think one thing as well, over this past year is that my brain, my thinking has become much more clear. I’m very much more confident as a person to make decisions and great choices. Healthy gut, I guess, healthy brain.

 

Karen – I’ll take that one.

 

Lisa – Okay, I can’t remember what I (laughs)

 

Karen – The toughest part, for me, was the absolute beginning. The beginning, the first two to three months, was really, really, stressful for me. I didn’t realize that I did have such an addiction, I want to call it, to chocolate. My group heard me lament about chocolate over and over, and over, how much I missed chocolate. I could really take it or leave it now, but the first few months I didn’t just have chocolate. I was not having my dairy, I wasn’t getting enough calories. I was kind of miserable at the beginning. This is what you have to sort out. So that’s why you have Christopher, that’s why you have Dr. Breen. They’re onboard to help. I got sorted, two or three months, and it’s not an issue now. Nothing is, I find it quite easy.

 

Lisa – Yeah, it is easy for sure. For me, I like the chocolate too, but I’ve shifted my chocolate enjoyment to 85% chocolate, but very little, and that’s all I ever really need. But I think one of the tricky parts when we first started was the idea that we couldn’t have a treat. As we went through our meetings, it’s like, you know what? The treat is actually eating well and my body’s happy, that’s my treat. That’s what I’m realizing now. It just makes everything better. I did talk about how the meetings were easy. That was an easy thing as well, attending the meetings. But what would I say with someone who’s considering joining the program? I say just do it. Just do it, as that Nike ad says. But just do it, don’t think about what you have to lose but look at what you have to gain. And there is so much more to gain from it. For myself, gaining better understanding about food, feeling great, that’s very, very, very important. Clear mind, more confidence, and as a last one, losing weight. Even though I lost almost 40 pounds, which blows my mind, even to this day, that I lost that much. But I just feel great, that’s what’s important to me.

 

Karen – I had said that the program actually sets you up mentally, not just physically, on how to maintain a lifetime. That’s when we originally joined saying, if we could spend a year with this program and actually set us up for life, that we could feel better, was it worth it? And I think as the year is coming to a conclusion, it’s 100% worth it. Well worth time, effort, money, everything. It’s not just a change for today, or every other diet we do. You do a three month stint on Atkins, or you do a three month stint on something, this is a lifetime change. And we both agree that it’s been a challenge and then it’s been easy. It’s been actually quite easy.

 

Lisa – I agree.

 

Karen – I think we had a lot of help though.  (laughing)

 

Lisa – I don’t know, I already mentioned about going shopping. That’s important. I had a lot of shopping this year to do.

 

Karen – I want to just conclude and say, around the anything else, I’m really grateful to both Dr. Breen and to Christopher. They didn’t just come and put together a program, they wanted everyone to succeed. So each and ever person’s success was important to them, so very grateful to both of them for helping us.

 

Lisa – And as well, the accessibility to both of them and anytime we had questions, we can send our questions.

 

Karen – Questions, questions.

 

Lisa – ‘Cause it comes up all the time. I just sent one the other day to Dr. Breen ’cause I wasn’t sure. So having the availability and the support, and the support of the group as well, from everyone, Facebook and everything else that we’re connected to. So I think having all that support behind us got us through for sure.

 

Karen – Yup, 100% success.

 

Lisa – And we’re well on our way.

 

(whimsical music)