GUT FLORA AND METABOLIC SYNDROME
A recent study of the Old Order Amish from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania was done to determine how the bacteria found in the gut (aka "flora") related to several aspects of health. The results of the study were amazing. It was learned that at least 25 different species of bacteria affect people either positively or negatively depending on whether they are there or not. In other words, the presence of certain bacteria was proven bad, while the presence of other bacteria was shown to be good. Likewise, the absence of certain bacteria in these people's gut bode well for them, while the absence of certain others bode ill. And what were the two specific health factors being looked at? BMI and Metabolic Syndrome.
BMI stands for Body Mass Index, and short of underwater weighing (or looking honestly at yourself in the mirror) is probably the best cheap and simple way of determining whether you are overweight, and just how overweight you are. Metabolic Syndrome is essentially an early form of Heart Disease and DIABETES, which is loosely characterized as having any two of the following.
- High Blood Pressure
- High Triglycerides
- A Large Waist / Central Obesity (Women greater than 35 inches, and Men greater than 40 inches) or a BMI over 30
- Increased Fasting Blood Sugar
- Increased C-Reactive Protein (the best blood-borne marker of INFLAMMATION)
- Reduced HDL (so called "Good" Cholesterol) or increased LDL (so called "Bad" CHOLESTEROL)
- Small Amounts of Protein (Albumin) in the Urine
The bottom line is that there are no drugs that are going to "fix" or prevent this problem. A smart diet of WHOLE FOODS and fermented foods (as well as PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENTATION) is huge as far as your health is concerned. However, you need to be aware that for some serious cases, you may need to take some more "extreme" measures (HERE, HERE, & HERE). To see the big picture regarding the role of GUT HEALTH in overall health, just follow the link.