SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

September 7, 2013

Gut flora and obesity

(New study points to the broadening of the medical mind into scientific, new possibilities with regard to what  happens in the gut.  Pity, really since understanding of this activity has been extant for well over a century.  It actually could be reduced loosely to five little words “you are what you eat.” Comment to follow)


Latest research

Study suggests gut bacteria affect obesity


The trillions of bacteria that live in the gut — helping digest foods, making some vitamins, making amino acids — might help determine whether a person is fat or thin.

The evidence is from a novel experiment involving mice and humans that is part of a burgeoning fascination with gut bacteria and their role in health and diseases like irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s syndrome.

  • In this case, the focus was on obesity. Researchers found pairs of human twins in which one was obese and the other lean. They transferred gut bacteria from these twins into mice. The mice with bacteria from fat twins grew fat; those that got bacteria from lean twins stayed lean.

The study, published online yesterday by the journal Science, is “pretty striking,” said Dr. Jeffrey S. Flier, an obesity researcher and the dean of Harvard Medical School, who was not involved with the study. “It’s a very powerful set of experiments .”

Dr. Michael Fischbach of the University of California in San Francisco, who also was not involved in the study, called it “the clearest evidence to date that gut bacteria can help cause obesity.”

“I’m very excited about this,” he added, saying that the next step will be to try using gut bacteria, by transplanting feces from thin people, in an attempt to treat obesity in humans.

“I have little doubt that  ‘that’ will be the next thing that happens,” Fischbach said.

But Flier said that it is far too soon for that.

“This is not a study that says humans will have a different body weight,” if they get a fecal transplant, he said. “This is a scientific advance,” he added, but many questions remain.

Dr. Jeffrey I. Gordon of Washington University, the senior investigator for the new study, also urged caution. He wants to figure out which bacteria are responsible for the effect so that, eventually, people could be given pure mixtures of bacteria instead of human feces. Or, even better, learn what the bacteria produce that induces thinness and give that as a treatment.

  • The part of the study that most surprised other experts was an experiment indicating that, given the right diet, it might be possible to really change the bacteria in an obese person’s gut so that they promote leanness rather than obesity. (Now you’re talkin’)
  • The investigators discovered that given a chance, and in the presence of a low-fat diet, bacteria from a lean twin will take over the gut of a mouse that already had bacteria from a fat twin. The fat mouse loses weight. But no matter the diet, bacteria from a fat mouse do not take over in a mouse that is thin.

Although researchers suspected gut bacteria might play a role in human obesity, it has been difficult to get convincing evidence. Although there often are differences in gut bacteria in fat and lean people, they could be a cause — or an effect — of obesity. And gut bacteria vary from person to person.  (Right,  because gut bacteria is as unique to individuals as are thoughts,  habits and diets;  we are all different)

(My Comment:

More than any other factor, it is what one ingests which shapes the health, energy and well-being of any individual, both internally and externally.   One’s nutritional intake dictates the health of all the organs and bio-systems including stomach, brain, gut and all the millions of cells in their charge.  


One who by birth, choice or accident lives naturally with a full compliment of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and clean, fresh and pure water, will, quite logically manifest radiant health with all systems go!  As it was with our ancestors, only an accident of some unexpected nature  or encounter with an inopportune force (fall from a cliff or tree — perhaps a wild tiger, violent storm, etc.) could bring one down.   Health is a natural state.   The body takes perfect care of itself, no help needed. . . if it’s needs have been met. 


Unfortunately, in today’s modern world, many things can and do go wrong.  With so many, many today,  the body’s needs are not being met.  Our nation, and perhaps multitudes on the global scale as well, are no longer being provided with wholesome foods.  Only fifty or so years ago, all food was primarily “organic”.  But with the corporate venture into modifying our food crops genetically we are being infused with foreign  or alien (to natural foods) essences which are not appropriate for us, do us harm and yet have taken up permanent residence within us as there is no way to eliminate this vile injury we are subjected to.  We are even deprived of the right to know with labeling laws what we are eating in order to help ourselves make the best choices.  It is our right.  But Congress and our leaders don’t heed our very loud demands. 

As if this weren’t enough,  our food-stuff is no longer farmed by traditional standards which respect and honor the land and serve the people so magnificently with vital, nutrient-dense and life -enhancing components.  Now the soils are depleted offering less than 30% of what was normal, everyday output 75 and 100 years ago.  Each decade it worsens.   Soy and corn should not be eaten any more as they are almost totally GMO now.  Sad isn’t it, this is one of almost everybody’s favorite foods.  GMO’s are one aspect of it;  the  synthetic chemicals used on everything is the other major detriment to our health. This of course would include all the pesticides as well as fertilizers used copiously on our “food” if one can even call it that anymore.   So here America is, eating devitalized ‘food’ . . .the body isn’t being nourished, it is being starved.  One of the reasons it is always hungry.  So we are over-fed and simultaneously depleted. 


Yes, way back from the father of medicine right up through the present, there have always been healers who were bright enough to realize that the creator of such a huge system as our lovely planet and all it’s teeming life forms would have neglected anything like the ability to properly survive.  It wasn’t a question of faith, but of logic and the observation of the way things work.  They observed nature and wisely,  all learned from their own fore-bearers.  Some may tire of hearing it, but I delight in it – Hippocrates said “Let food be thy medicine.”  And truly wise physicians have always observed that.  Still do.  This manner of observing nature and preferring the natural forms (herbs, plants), is primarily found among the Alternative healing disciplines and Naturopaths and so on.  They are among us.  Smokinchoices has always preferred showcasing this type of thinking with regard to healing processes.  Categories 4 and 5 in FIND IT have a pretty nice listing of those we have shown here.

Don’t mean to overdo this synopsis of what’s wrong with all of us,  but we haven’t even reached the subject of what our members really should be eating.  How is anyone to know.  There is no authority anywhere.  And so many factions exist among advice-givers.  No one seems to agree with anyone else.  And our doctors mostly, don’t have a clue.  This article is evidence  on that.  I will say though, It is very good to know some doctors are having this excursion into  out-of-the-box thinking.   Very welcome indeed.  


There is so much more to it tho than a “low-fat” diet.  It’s taking the time to learn, scratch below the surface and beyond the labels.  Used to be we could trust them,  but everybody gets away with lies now and the FDA is no help.   They are allowing broad margins of  ingredients that state zero amounts.   Its frustrating and injurious. We need fats in our lives  The eggs of free-range chickens couldn’t be healthier – go for them as many as you want.  Avocado is fatty too, but such beneficial fat – – we need it.  A little extra-virgin olive oil (green color, in a glass bottle) is good for us, no need to overdo it!. But there is sesame seed oil,  avocado oil  and lets not forget the fat on that steer roast or steak which has been grass-fed – there is no finer fat for our bodies. Nor can we forget Coconut Oil for the brain and so much more.


We’ve always felt safe to eat fish – where’s the harm in that?  Unless salmon comes from a legitimate family of fisherman with a generational approach to fishing, I won’t eat it any more.  Anything which comes from the east is so contaminated (China, Taiwan, etc.) and filthy;  but then — here in our own country, so much of the stuff is now farmed and I won’t touch that, in my mind — even worse!  So, I’ve given up fish.  Never buy shrimp or lobster, etc and this is all stuff I loved.


Thats’s a question of choice really.  The elephant in that question kinda circles around  “but how much protein do I need?” Believe it or not, vegetarians do just fine without meat.  There is a certain amount of protein in all plant food.   With nuts and seeds and quinoa and lentils etc, there is no shortage.  Kinda fun and exciting really.  I was vegan for a number of years.The Paleo fascination eventually sank into my consciousness and hooked me.   So I ventured into that.   I truly admire what the movement has done and accomplished.  Athletes everywhere and whole families these days growing up “Paleo”.  It is very clean eating.  And not a lot of prejudice.  Like with vegans.  Can almost be a holier than thou thing going on if you know what I mean.    Maybe it’s my age, but I can’t seem to tolerate much animal protein.   My skin reflects it right away.  I notice more pain in joints, etc.  Then too, I’ve been juicing for some years now  and it far and away benefits me most. 

No matter one’s preference, anyone can accommodate all the necessary parts to a nutrient dense  way of eating that delights ones taste buds and allows the body to thrive and if clever and frugal, almost any budget.  It pays to remember some history to keep perspective balanced.  The Irish folks survived on potatoes alone for several years when their country went through some particular hard times.  I know they’re not Paleo, but there’s spuds in my larder – – I respect them and like ’em too. (tho I try to eat more of the Sweet potatoes than russets or red.) 

The most important thing to remember is that the purpose of eating is to nourish the body. SB priority #1.  To do that, one needs far more minerals than anything else and the only place you’re going to acquire them is from the plant world.  So find a way to enjoy them and demand that your body gets it’s fair share.  Mix it up a little.  If you find it obnoxious to eat that much veggies,  you may be a candidate for juicing like I do.  It is always, always preferable to get your nutrient from real, live, organic plants any day over and above pills.  Tho, I and almost everyone else too, takes some supplementation.  It’s just the world we live in, no choice.  

As is my habit, I run on and on too long, sorry.  Really wanted to congratulate some forward thinking docs.  They deserve noticing.  Kudos.   and I’m sure they’ll get there one day.   Jan)



  1. You can never run on too long for me, Jan. I love your comments. One question. What juicer do you use?

    Comment by Mary — September 7, 2013 @ 1:16 am | Reply

    • Nice to hear from you Mary. And thank you for your sentiment.

      Have been using Juicers for well over 50 years and guess I’ve tried many of them, starting with the Champion. I loved it, but was harder to break down and clean than others I’ve had. Mostly have used the better quality (more expensive) high-speed products after maximum juice and easy clean up. Investigation has taught me that for my recent needs, one needs a single auger, lower speed item which is capable of juicing many and varied types of food-stuff. Why?

      Because high speed denoted higher temperature and that conveys “heat” to the product being juiced, thereby destroying enzymes. My Gawd — all these years doing it wrong! If we destroy the enzymes – why even do it? Furthermore, I now was seeking a juicer which also could juice wheat-grass and that limited the field. Few will or can do this. Research paid off. I bought an OMEGA JUICER for fruits and vegetables which is also one of the few which does a good job with wheat-grass. I bought it online for about $230 or $240 and if I remember right, free shipping.

      Last year or so, I saw Dr Mercola was selling and recommending this item and was pleased that I had obviously made a good choice. Now he is selling what seems to be the same item, but think it has his own label now.

      I have been very happy with the Omega. It is quiet and easy to use. Wheat-grass is a snap.
      Clean-up is simple. The chute is smaller, so there is some sizing needed with a knife. I can feed several dandelion leaves at once with no cutting — just feeding the stems in and it pulls them down and through. A cucumber must be halved to fit in chute, but carrots and stalks of celery are fed whole right thru. If its too wide, you’ll know, so just use the knife where needed.

      I even tried one rated highly by Jon Gabriel in response to a querant. Also a single augur and touted as easy clean up with a self-cleaning mechanism. Maybe a $100 more, but justified -“I’m worth it” Sounded exciting. Tried it, had trouble making it work, finally did and ran into problems up front in the first hours. That’s all I needed. Took it back. Had a short name maybe 4 or 5 letters and I think it started with an H (like Hurom ??)

      Gee whiz Mary, guess I could have just responded – sure, I use an Omega. oh well, See ya

      Comment by Jan Turner — September 7, 2013 @ 12:48 pm | Reply

  2. I’m glad you responded fully, Jan. I always like the full story. I used to use a high speed juicer also then I used a slow speed one but it kept jamming and was hard to clean. I can’t remember the name.

    I went to a Lifestyle Expo in Sydney a few months ago and saw a demo of a Kuvings Silent Juicer which I liked. The style is quite different from the ones on the market at the moment.

    This one was very quiet and has a wider chute which I find appealing. There is a demo on Youtube which I’m checking out. It extracts Juice by squeezing and pressing instead of grinding so the enzymes aren’t destroyed.

    I’m giving it some thought.

    Comment by Mary — September 7, 2013 @ 10:02 pm | Reply

    • Thank you so much Mary for the feedback. An Expo in Sydney? . . . where do you live – in Australia? I don’t know if squeezing and pressing would do me any good with the Wheat-grass juicing. It is tuff to do which is why most juicers can’t handle it.

      You don’t mention the price on the thing. I’ll see what I can find. Thanks for the heads up. Take care, my friend. Jan

      Comment by Jan Turner — September 8, 2013 @ 12:13 am | Reply

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