Friday, April 3, 2015

Can the health of the lining of your intestines affect the size of your waist?

How big your waist is can tell you something about your risk for cardiovascular disease, the bigger the waist, the more of a risk.

Most people would also prefer to have a slim look.

Why do some people have a big waist? Is it just because they eat too much of the wrong food, or could there be another reason as well?

When researchers assessed intestinal permeability in normal to overweight women, they found something interesting(Gummesson A, et al, 2011).

Intestinal permeability is an assessment of how big particles the intestinal lining will let through and allow to be absorbed into the blood.

The researchers found that the women with a bigger waist also had increased intestinal permeability. They also found that visceral fat and liver fat were also increased with increased intestinal permeability.

If you want to keep a slim waist and stay healthy it is important to keep your gastrointestinal tract healthy.
There are several things you can do to improve your gastrointestinal function. I will write more about that later, but an easy thing you can do is to take a probiotic formula which there are many. Use one which is based on scientific evidence verifying the benefits.

The probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii has shown to exert an anti-inflammatory effect on intestinal epithelial cells (Sougioultzis S, et al. 2006). Saccharomyces has shown to significantly reduce the frequency and duration of acute diarrhea in children (Billoo AG, et al. 2006. Kurugol Z, et al. 2005). There is evidence that Saccharomyces reduces the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea in children (Kotowska M, et al. 2005).

Gummesson A1, Carlsson LM, Storlien LH, Bäckhed F, Lundin P, Löfgren L, Stenlöf K, Lam YY, Fagerberg B, Carlsson B. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Nov;19(11):2280-2. doi: 10.1038/oby.2011.251. Epub 2011 Aug 18. Intestinal permeability is associated with visceral adiposity in healthy women.

Published with permission by Didrik Sopler, Ph.D., L.Ac : Dr. Marsh has worked with and referrers patients to Dr. Sopler for co-management for years . . . He is quite simply San Diego's top functional medicine consultant.

What can an avocado a day do for you?

Avocados contain a lot of fat, including a certain type of fat called monounsaturated fatty acids, which are beneficial. How beneficial are they?

The reviewed research compared a low fat diet (24% fat) with two moderate fat diets (34% fat) (Wang L, et al. 2015). The difference between the two moderate fat diets was that one included one fresh Haas avocado a day, while the other one included high oleic acid canola oil to match the fatty acid content of one avocado.
All of the diets provided similar foods except there was more whole grain bread in the low fat diet to make up for the calorie difference between the two moderate fat diets.

This was a randomized, crossover, controlled trial which means that the same participants ate all the diets, but at different times with a washout period in between.

The 45 participant were overweight or obese and ate each diet for 5 weeks.

They were tested for several cardio-metabolic risk factors and the results were very interesting.
The diet which included an avocado a day provided additional lowering of LDL-cholesterol, LDL-P (LDL-particle number) and non-HDL-cholesterol compared with the other two diets. LDL-P is considered to be a more accurate assessment of cardiovascular risk. The amount of the small LDL-cholesterol particles should not be too high.

It was also interesting that the other moderate-fat diet provided more benefits than the low fat diet which included more whole grains. So much for the goodness of whole grains.

It is also worth noticing that in the two moderate fat diets, 6-7% of energy from saturated fat was replaced by mono unsaturated fatty acids and in the low fat diet 6-7 percent of the saturated fat was replaced by grains.

Wang L, Bordi PL, Fleming JA, Hill AM, Kris-Etherton PM. Effect of a moderate fat diet with and without avocados on lipoprotein particle number, size and subclasses in overweight and obese adults: a randomized, controlled trial.

J Am Heart Assoc. 2015 Jan 7;4(1). pii: e001355. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.114.001355.

Published with permission by Didrik Sopler, Ph.D., L.Ac : Dr. Marsh has worked with and referrers patients to Dr. Sopler for co-management for years . . . He is quite simply San Diego's top functional medicine consultant.