Change your gut bacteria and change your weight?

Hi, it’s Dr. Jeffrey mark. Today I’d like to talk to you about gut bacteria, microbiome and weight loss. So I’ve been asked frequently, what gut bacteria can help with weight loss. I tell people that there aren’t magic bacteria that directly cause weight loss, but there are bacteria that can help regulate how much weight you have, and also the balance of your microbiome.

The microbiome is made up of bacteria, fungus, viruses in your gut, and they help regulate your immune system. And we also know that they help you metabolize and break down food and absorb food and fats. Your large intestine prefers short chain fatty acids, which is a type of fatty acid that nourishes the colonocytes or the intestinal cells.

The various gut bacteria have a role in terms of balancing the immune system, and also playing a role in how much inflammation is going on, which affects nutrition, affects blood sugar and insulin resistance, which in turn, affects your weight. There’s also other aspects such as brain access, where if you have a lot of stress and you have a lot of cortisol that also affects the gut lining in terms of how much blood flow goes to the intestinal tract, which helps nourish the cells and also extract nutrients.

So the microbiome mentioned contains bacteria, fungi and viruses, but affects the microbiome includes antibiotics and these effects can last for up to two years, changing the types of bacteria that are present. Also, stress in terms of cortisol and in terms of your immune system, and also what you eat in terms of nutrition. If your diet consists primarily of sugar and simple carbohydrates, this diet will attract a certain type of bacteria. If you have a different carbohydrate diet composition  such as consuming more resistant starches, such as unripe bananas, cold baked potatoes, or root vegetables , this diet will attract a different type of bacteria or lactobacillus species.

Specifically, there are at least two bacteria that may influence weight regulation more directly than some of the others. The first is called akkermansia muciniphila and the second is Christensenella minuta. So how does  akkermansia muciniphila  help maintain gut health and   healthy weight ?  Akkermansia muciniphila  feeds on the mucus of the intestines. When it does eat up some of the mucous lining it promotes the colonocytes or the intestinal cells to make more mucin which is a very good protective barrier so you can increase the gut barrier so that bad bacteria are kept out while good bacteria are allowed to thrive and nutrition is allowed to come through. These are good bacteria because they have a positive influence on the nucleus lining and the colonocytes and the GI tract and microbiome. They produce acetate, a short chain fatty acid that I had mentioned earlier, that is the preferred fuel for the colonocytes or the colon cells and helps the body fat stores and appetite. As I mentioned, certain prebiotics can help with the attracting akkermansia muciniphila  and these prebiotic foods include cranberries, concrete grapes, black tea, fish oil, bamboo shoots, flax seeds and rhubarb extract.

Christensenella minuta   is another type of bacteria that can influence and regulate weight as well. It’s found more abundantly in normal weight or lean people. And the science so far demonstrates that this bacteria in abundance may have a protective effect against obesity.  Christensenella minuta  is more strongly associated with your genetic makeup. And this bacteria may be more common in family groups or other types of relatives that have a similar genetic background. It’s interesting to note that as humans, 90% of our genomes are identical to each other. But if you look at the genetics of a microbiome, less than 10% is  found to be alike or identical with others around you.

The microbiome also changes in different locations even in the same dividual so if you were to travel to another part of the United States or another part of the world, your bacteria would change because of what you eat and what you fire in the soil, air and foods around you. So how do you maintain a healthy microbiome which should help you maintain the correct balance of inflammation, nutrition and weight?

One of the things to do of course is exercise. Exercise helps reduce the stress levels it can help modulate the cortisol, which as I mentioned will influence you know, blood flow and extraction of nutrients from your GI tract and exercise helps you have a healthier blood sugar level so that insulin resistance is less likely to develop.

The types of food that you meet, as I mentioned, also play a large role using taking prebiotics,. Probiotics that contain a prebiotic can attract bacteria such as lactobacillus and bifidobacterium bacteria. These can also be helpful. Other prebiotic fibers such as glucomannan and other prebiotic fibers such as triphala, and inulin can promote healthy bacteria as well.

Other dietary considerations would improve eating the rainbow colors and getting phytonutrients which are also very helpful. Antioxidants  and phytonutrients promote healthy gut bacteria. So red color foods include apples, cherries, cranberries, onions, tomatoes, and cabbage. Yellow foods include apples, bananas, lemons, ginger, yellow onions, and corn. orange fruits include oranges, apricots, mangoes, carrots, turmeric, and yams. Green foods include brussel sprouts, green tea, olives, green apples, artichoke greens, and cabbage and blue shirts include blueberries, blackberries, prunes, purple grapes, purple cabbage, and purple kale.. All these are very high amounts of antioxidants and will sustain good gut bacteria.

In summary to the question of what bacteria should you take to help with your microbiome and weight loss? We’ve listed a few that may be helpful but there’s not a magic specific bacteria because they do work in communities. And the community of bacteria is the microbiome which is fairly unique to one individual with, like I mentioned, less than 10% of people having similar identical microbiomes even in twin studies, they’ve shown that differences that accounts for twins can be seen in differences in their microbiome. So the key here is to cultivate a healthy microbiome. And the three things that you can do involve nutrition as we discussed above.

Firstly,  good prebiotics and probiotics that will encourage the growth of lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium , and certain strains of bacteroides for an appropriate balance in the microbiome. The second thing is of course exercise to help you maintain a healthy mindset, stress and cortisol. The third thing is having enough muscle mass to help you regulate blood sugars and guard against insulin resistance. Having a good mindset also helps do the reduction of stress and cortisol. The cortisol also plays a role in terms of storage of sugar and fat because your body thinks that in a stress fight or flight situation, there is no guarantee in the next meal will be so that there’s often a storage effects of having more body fat that comes on if you happen to eat during the time of the stress and also maintaining a healthy immune system, trying to avoid imbalances such as certain types of foods that are inflammatory. Most people have been affected with gluten and glyphosate as a pesticide used for wheat production and harvest. Also, of course, trying to avoid antibiotics, which unfortunately are fairly ubiquitous in terms of certain use and livestock.

I made a list of products below that have useful prebiotics, probiotics, and nutrients that support a healthy microbiome, and in turn, may help with maintaining a healthy weight. For more information on the microbiome, weight loss and anti-aging. You can contact us at All Functional Health . So take care and stay healthy.


Jeffrey Mark, M.D.

Probiotics for a balanced microbiome, inflammation, and weight: Probio 350Probio PlusProBio 100ProBio 30 SB, ProBio Daily,

Phytonutrients and Non Dairy probiotic: ProBio Rainbow

Prebiotics to support butyrate, short chain fatty acids, and growth of lactobacillus : PomBioX

Nutrients for increased muscle: Rejenivive with HMB, HGH Restore, Epicatechin


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Jeffrey Mark, M.D.


Jeffrey Mark, M.D.
Helping clients with compassionate and comprehensive medical care for over 25 years with 5 board certifications in functional medicine, gastroenterology, internal medicine, anti-aging/ regenerative medicine, and obesity medicine . IFMCP, ABIM Gastroenterology, NPAS Internal Medicine, ABAARM, ABOM.