Losing inches around the waist is one of people’s constant struggles. Some have tried everything from exercise to plastic surgery. However, scientists recently discovered that gut flora also plays a part in defining the measurements of this body area, as hard to believe as it may sound.
We want to pass on to you some scientific findings that connect the environment of bacteria in our intestines to how our abdomen looks.
Gut Flora 101
This is how experts refer to the set of bacteria that live in our gut. Each of us hosts about 100 billion, almost all of which inhabit the colon. They develop from birth and are normally harmless when they maintain a balance. However, they can cause trouble when they lose their fragile balance if they undergo some alteration that makes them multiply or disappear.
They constitute a sort of second DNA since each of us carries approximately 40 trillion bacterial cells, while our bodies are only made up of 30 trillion other types of cells.
The role they play in the human body
Since they’re so plentiful, gut bacteria contribute significantly to human health, as their main function is to absorb all the nutrients found in food. And their job doesn’t end there. They’re connected to our bodily functions in a manifold of other ways:
- They encourage vitamin production, such as Vitamin B, K complex, and different amino acids.
- They capture the necessary minerals, such as magnesium and iron.
- They help our body defend itself against viruses and other dangerous bacteria, “teaching” gut bacteria to identify which strains belong to the body and which are invaders.
- They metabolize certain carbohydrates, making them digestible for humans. Plus, they ferment those they cannot metabolize and coordinate a correct bowel transit.
- They’re associated with human longevity.