I hope you agree that the connection between healthy gut microbiota and obesity/diabetes is fascinating and worth spending time on. I’ve gone from speculation to studies in mice to human studies. Hopefully, the stage is set for the story of one man’s success to carry some weight and put flesh on the bones of this discussion. Enter Liping Zhao, a Chinese microbiologist, who was studying the microbiome. Hearing about Gordon’s mice and other compelling studies, he decided to test the theories on himself. He was significantly overweight and had high blood pressure and lipid abnormalities. (Metabolic syndrome aka pre-diabeties) He began eating a diet high in prebiotic foods including some traditional Chinese fermented foods. He lost almost 50 pounds, lowered his blood pressure and normalized his lipids. He was also carefully monitoring his gut microbes which changed from an unhealthy to a healthy mix.
He then treated a morbidly obese young man who lost 113 lbs. in 23 weekson the same regimen. His microbiome initially showed 35% of a harmful species called enterobacter cloacae which dropped significantly on the new diet while good bacteria increased and the young man’s markers of inflammation also became normal. Liping Zhao has now successfully treated many “patients” but prefers to quietly continue his scientific work.
There’s much more that could be said about the science behind all of this, and perhaps you will be motivated to do some reading. In the next post or two, I’ll make some practical recommendations about keeping the gut microbiota healthy.