Eat less, move more. That’s been the mantra of the weight loss movement for decades.  But as those who have fought the battle of the bulge will tell you, there’s a lot more to obesity than just too much junk food or too little willpower.

Na to musíte mít žaludek (It Takes Guts), r. : Leora Eisen, Kanada

It Takes Guts, d. : Leora Eisen, Canada

Even when genes are taken into account, scientists have struggled to explain why one person can eat cake and stay skinny, while another munches on carrots and can’t shed a pound. Now, exciting new research reveals there is a missing piece to the obesity puzzle, one that is highly complex and intensely personal: gut microbes.

Inside our intestines, there’s an entire ecosystem – our own “inner rainforest” –  made up ofmicroorganisms so small that millions could fit into the eye of a needle. But these tiny bugs that live in our gut are proving key to human health and the obesity epidemic. Some of these bacteria are nasty pathogens that lead to diseases. As a result, conventional wisdom has given all bacteria a bad rap – until recently, when researchers began proving what one science writer calls a  “subversive” idea: bacteria are actually our biggest allies. By targeting them as the enemy, we’ve damaged our bodies’ own biological systems, including weight control.

Microbes help us digest food, harvest calories, provide us with energy, produce crucial vitamins, regulate appetite, protect our immune system and fend off the bad guys. But because of our modern lifestyle, including a highly processed Western diet and overuse of antibiotics, some of the species of bacteria that once lived in our gut are on the verge of extinction.

 

Screening of the film “It Takes Guts”: Thursday, October 20th, 4:40 PM, FAPPZ

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