This intrigued me so I did some Googling and found some interesting info. I found many articles and studies discussing the microbiome. This is the collective population of the bacteria that call the human body home. It is estimated there are trillions of little bacteria that live off us, many of which are necassary for our survival. I also found a mouse study where certain gut bacteria led to an increase in body fat.
Ok, maybe gut flora can contribute to an increase in body fat but how would diet change effect gut flora. I am speculating but I feel if we decreased our consumption of certain foods, the bacteria in our gut that thrived off those foods would eventually decrease. Here is an extremely informative blog post regarding the science behind flatulence. So grains, beans, and carb dense veggies are consumed by bacteria in our gut and the by product is methane gas. Those foods are either eliminated or greatly reduced in the paleo diet. I'll say, my body produces much less methane since I've made my diet change and others have had the same experience. Read this quote from Leroy on our blog a while back:
"....BIG thanks to Chuck for bringing up the whole flatulence thing last week. He speaks the truth…it has drastically decreased."Could it be one of the keys to losing body fat is to eliminate foods that make you fart? Pardon my rudeness but I couldn't hold that word in any longer (pun intended). Many who have made the paleo conversion have noticed that they pass gas way less and seem to be able to eat a lot of the right food without the problem of adding on body fat. Adding in fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and saurkraut may also help to get the gut bacteria environment back to something that is more optimal.
Are the bacteria in the mouse study and the bacteria that ferment the food in our colon related? I don't have that answer. What I can tell you is the more I read the more it becomes obvious that the human body is a complicated machine with thousands, if not millions of interconnected systems. What has happened in recent history is nutritional science (or lack there of) has ignored what evolutionary science knows about how the human diet developed over hundreds of thousands of years. I hope science keeps striving to understand the intricacies of how the multiple systems work together and how food may effect that. Until they figure it out, let's just stick the fuel that allowed the human machine to thrive without chronic illness and chronic obesity for hundreds of thousands of years. Your waistline and friends will certainly appreciate it.