Experts have recently discovered why yo-yo dieting is effective up to the point when people find it hard to maintain a healthy weight.
The latest experiment in mice has revealed that the gut microorganisms, such as protozoa, viruses, and bacteria, are altered by obesity at first. Therefore, although you lose a lot of weight, the body is somehow encouraged to regain it.
More precisely, calories are stored as fat, meaning that the body develops a different metabolic response to this weight gain. Nutritionists underline that this response is not healthy because it is triggered by the altered gut microbiome.
It is worth mentioning that up to 95 percent of people who lose minimum ten percent of their weight tend to regain it within twelve months, plus a few extra pounds. However, the scientists believe that this problem can be solved by treating the altered gut microbes.
According to Eran Segal, a computational biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science and the lead author of the study, yo-yo dieting fails due to the weight regain, not because it is not efficient.
It means that even if you lose some weight, you will gain it back within several months. He explains that microbiomes are the reason why we regain the weight loss. During the study, the scientists fed mice with high-fat chow at first, so they became obese.
Then, they used normal chow, and the mice lost some weight. Nevertheless, when they fed the mice again with high-fat chow, they became obese again, gaining extra weight too.
Based on the findings, the researchers concluded that yo-yo dieting proved to be less healthy in those mice, compared to the specimens which had been obese just once. More precisely, yo-yo dieting caused in the mice a higher body fat, dangerous cholesterol levels, and severe metabolic problems, including glucose intolerance and insulin irregularities.
To tackle this problem, recent medical advances aim to restore a patient’s missing or lost microbiomes through a transplant of healthy intestinal flora taken from healthy donors. Also known as fecal transplant, this medical procedure has proven effective in treating chronic intestinal conditions, such as Clostridium difficile.
Plus, doctors hope that fecal transplants will treat other obesity-related conditions, including Type 2 diabetes.
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