The most well-known genera of bacteria in commercial probiotics are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. They are also among the most common in the body, along with several other ones which are not commercially available, but which we can manipulate with supplementation. We will talk about these in length in the SupraBiotic™ and Primer™ write-ups.
Unfortunately, Lactobacillus belong to the Firmicutes phylum which has been found to be associated with weight gain and obesity (18-20). Just a 20% increase in Firmicutes (which Lactobacillus is usually the primary genus) with an equal decrease in Bacteroides results in an increased energy harvest of 150 calories per day in humans (21). That is equal to 15lbs of fat per year! The Western style diet promotes these negative changes in microbial proportions (22). Thus, one can plainly see why it can be so difficult to get lean, as well as how easily obesity has become an epidemic.
Interestingly, smoking cessation produces the same negative changes in bacterial composition, while gastric bypass surgery improves it (23-24). The well-known effects on weight with both of these further highlights the negative body compositional effects of this intestinal dysbiosis.
In addition, probiotic treatment with several Lactobacillus species that are in a great number of commercial formulations, including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus fermentum, and Lactobacillus ingluviei , have been directly associated with weight gain and obesity (25). Type-2 diabetics had significantly more Lactobacillus, with L. acidophilus being particularly bad in this regard (26). Further, L. Reuteria and L. Sakei have been found to be positively associated with obesity and body mass index (27-29). They probably don’t tell you that on the label.
More powerful evidence of the profound effect of the microbiota on body weight and metabolism come from studies on “fecal transfer”. And, yes, that is exactly what it sounds like – transferring poop from one subject’s intestine to another’s.
In twins, transfer of an obese microbiota to lean mice was accompanied by an increase in bodyweight, fat mass, and a dysbiotic alteration of the Firmicutes:Bacteroides ratio to reflect that of the obese model (30). A similar transfer replicated the obese phenotype with increased weight gain, lipogenesis, adipogenesis, overeating, and lower satiety, as well as inflammation and hyperglycemia in formerly lean, healthy subjects (31, 32).
On the other side of the coin, transferring the intestinal microbiota from lean donors increases insulin sensitivity in individuals with metabolic syndrome, as well as reversing obesity and gastrointestinal issues (33). It also reduced markers of metabolic syndrome, inflammation, and oxidative stress in animals challenged with high-fructose diets (34).
Obviously, while it highlights the science, doing a fecal transfer is not terribly practical, appetizing, or readily available -- unless maybe you are in California.
Fortunately, there is good news. While several species and strains of Lactobacillus have been found to promote weight gain, several have also been found to protect against it. And, of course, we only used the good ones. Furthermore, Bifidobacterium research has shown only positive effects to a rather remarkable extent. And, as mentioned, we can also manipulate levels of the good bacteria that are not commercially available, as we will detail in the SupraBiotic™ and Primer™ write-ups.
Right now, let’s get to talking about how we can get rid of the bad bacteria already inside you.
See "Full Science Write-up" here http://neobium.org/product-line/shock-therapy/#1 for references.