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The Secret to a Thinner, Happier, Healthier You: Build a Better Gut

The Secret to a Thinner, Happier, Healthier You: Build a Better Gut Read Transcript

(background talking)

- [Narrator] The ClevelandClinic's Doctor Mark Hyman,

is one of a growing numberof physicians who believe

the path to wellness lies inour intestines, specifically

the relationship between thegood and bad bacteria there,

something called gut flora or microbiome.

- Many of the thingsfloating around in your blood

are informational moleculesproduced by bacteria

that control your biology.

So, that's how the gutmicrobiome can be linked

to everything that's goingon with us in terms of

chronic disease, from cancerto heart disease to diabetes

to dementia, to autism, toautoimmune disease, to depression

and much more.

- [Narrator] Scientistsat America's top medical

institutions are churning out mounds

of data on the microbiome.

The bottom line, as the gut goes

so goes the rest of the body.

- This is the MayoClinic's microbiome lab.

Scientists here examine human feces.

Sounds a little gross,but it tells them exactly

which bacteria are in thepatient, how much of it,

and, what bacteria might be missing.

- [Narrator] Doctor PurnaKahsyap and his team found more

than a thousand differentspecies in the intestines

of the healthiest people,very important considering 80%

of our immune system resides there.

- All of our guts havedifferent kinds of bacteria and

the more different kinds ofbacteria we have, it's more

diverse, and the lessdifferent kinds of bacteria

we have it's less diverse.

And so, as you can imagine ifyou're more different kinds

of bacteria that's generallyconsidered to be good for us

because they will be able totackle intruders much better

than if you have lessdifferent kinds of bacterias.

- [Narrator] In addition tothe variety, the healthiest

people also measure high amounts--

trillions of good bacteria and some bad,

all total 3 pounds worth,

ten times more bacteriathan regular cells.

Doctor Heidi Nelson sees this

as a complex and delicateecosystem that demands balance.

- We think of the microbiomein the gut a little bit like

a garden you have to tend to.

You have to weed it, youhave to put seeds in,

you have to water it.

There's a lot of things youdo. It's not usually one thing.

- [Narrator] Since like allliving creatures, bacteria eat

and expel certain things.

Doctor Nelson explains whyhaving too many or too few

can lead to disaster.

- If you have a build-upof certain bad nutrients,

let's take for example hydrogen sulfide.

We know that some bacteriaproduce hydrogen sulfide

and others remove it anduse it, but if you have

too much hydrogen sulfide,that could, in some people

be the cause of thebreak of DNA that starts

the chain reaction ofcolon cancer developing.

- [Narrator] Not enough goodbacteria or too many bad,

can make us sick and overweight.

According to Johns HopkinsGastroenterologist Doctor Gerard

Mullin, author of TheGut Balance Revolution,

certain bacteria increaseghrelin, the hormone

that causes hunger.

- And when the gutmicrobiome is in a state

of disruption, then weactually have a higher

appetite and we crave more food.

- [Narrator] Certain badbacteria can also cause

the body to crave particularfoods like sugar or bread.

Similarly, gut dysbiosissuppresses leptin,

the hormone that tells us to stop eating.

And it gets worse.

- The gut microbiome alsochanges the way we metabolize

fiber in foods, and can makeus absorb more of our calories

in foods in an unhealthy gut environment.

- [Narrator] A newly discoveredbacteria can possibly

determine whether someoneis either slim or obese.

In fact, research proves thinpeople carry more diverse

gut bacteria than overweight people.

Scientists found people indeveloping countries have more

of this bacteria than Americans.

- There's inflammation thatoccurs when we have an unhealthy

balance of gut bacteria. Itcould really lead to injury

in the gut, a more permeablegut, which some people

call leaky gut, and thereforewhen that inflammation

becomes more systemic, thenwe get insulin resistance

and we accumulate fat more readily.

- [Narrator] In a landmarkdevelopment, researchers

at Washington Universityin Saint Louis, studied

gut microbiomes from human twins.

While they had identical DNA,

one was obese, and the other thin.

Scientists took bacteria from each twin

and put it into germ-free mice.

The animals with the obesetwin's microbiome also

became obese, while theother mice became thinner.

Researchers noted the thinhuman and mice carried more

diverse bacteria thantheir heavier counterparts.

- There's a lot of associationswith the microbiome

and, in children, and theincreased incidence of obesity

and metabolic syndrome amongstthe pediatric population.

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