Beneficial bacteria and a diverse and healthy diet are two of the main contributors for promoting weight loss and sustaining a healthy weight. Both human and animal studies have found that people with a normal or healthy weight have significantly different gut bacteria species and diversity than overweight or obese people. Obese people have a less diverse gut flora, which adds to the argument that a more diverse diet leads to a more diverse gut flora.
There are two main families of good bacteria in the gut: bacteroidetes and firmicutes. Research has shown that body weight seems to be related to a balance in the ratio of these bacterial families. In these studies, people suffering from obesity had more firmicutes and fewer bacteroidetes, compared to people of a normal weight. Dr. Pacholec offers a Gut Health Consultation at both her St. Petersburg, FL and Lutz, FL locations in which she performs specialized testing to assess this ratio of these bacteria. The results of this analysis will help her customize a medical weight loss plan to help get the ratio back into normal parameters. This will help her patient not only lose weight, but sustain a healthy weight down the road.
Lactobacillus is another important bacterial genus which has been shown to inhibit the absorption of dietary fat and increases the amount of fat excreted with feces. Consumption of Lactobacillus in a pharmaceutical grade supplement has also been associated with a decrease in belly fat. The species of Lactobacillus that seems to have the greatest effect on weight loss is Lactobacillus gasseri, which has been shown to prevent obesity in studies with laboratory rodents. In a Japanese study of 210 overweight people suffering from belly fat, the researchers provided a probiotic for 12 weeks. Participants who took the supplement for the full 12 week period had reduced body weight, reduced fat around their organs, a reduced Body Mass Index (BMI) and decreased waist and hip circumference. Participants who stopped taking the probiotic gained back all of their belly fat within a month. The specialized testing that Dr. Pacholec uses at both her St Petersburg, FL and Lutz, FL locations also analyzes the presence of Lactobacillus in a patient's gut, which helps her create a customized medical weight loss plan, specific for that patient.
Probiotics may also regulate proteins and hormones associated with fat storage and energy reserves.
The Western Diet
The Westernized lifestyle, including diet is associated with high incidences of chronic diseases, such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes. The Westernized diet is characterized by the over consumption of highly refined, omnivorous diets of poor nutritional quality. They are energy dense, high in animal protein, total and saturated fats and simple sugars, but low in fruits, vegetables and other plant-based foods. This type of diet leads to poor diversity in the composition of the gut bacteria. The gut bacterial population is responsive to acute dietary changes, so altering a diet low in nutritional quality to a more diverse plant-based diet can help revitalize the gut bacteria and lead to better health in the short-term.
Probiotic Rich Foods
In addition to a high quality, pharmaceutical grade probiotic supplement, Dr. Pacholec recommends her patients to eat probiotic rich foods to aid in medical weight loss and increase the health of their gut microbiome. Fermented and pickled foods are rich in probiotics and digestive enzymes, so they promote better absorption of nutrients and help balance the gut microbiome. A list of Dr. Pacholec's favorite probiotic rich foods is below:
Schedule a Gut Health Consultation with Dr. Pacholec at either her St Petersburg, FL or Lutz, FL locations for your next appointment to discuss other ways in which you can increase the health of your GI system. A healthy, balanced diet has many more benefits than just losing weight!
Your “Gut Health” plays a significant role in many health conditions such as:
In patients with leaky gut syndrome, the permeability of the intestinal lining is increased, forming larger “holes” which allow for large proteins like gluten, chemical waste and harmful bacteria to pass into the bloodstream, therapy eliciting inflammation; foreign body reactions and many chronic health issues.
Some physical signs that you may have leaky gut syndrome are:
Some causes of Leaky Gut Syndrome are:
Treatments for Leaky Gut
L-Glutamine is an amino acid which has an affinity for the cells that line the gastrointestinal tract. This is one of the most effective treatments you can use to treat and prevent leaky gut syndrome. This amino acid supports intestinal mucosal health by encouraging optimal nutrient absorption and by repairing the intestinal barrier between the mucosal lining and the bloodstream. Repairing this barrier helps to prevent “holes” or gaps from forming in the intestinal lining, which decreases the likelihood of bacteria or their byproducts from entering the bloodstream. As an additional perk, it is also beneficial for losing weight quickly, burning fat and building muscle! Because of these properties, L-Glutamine has been used for decades by body builders and gym enthusiasts. L-Glutamine can be purchased on its own, or it can be found in products like OptiCleanse, GlutaShield or GI-Revive. These products use L-glutamine along with other beneficial nutrients to offer more comprehensive support for the whole GI system. Dr. Josh Axe offers an in-depth overview of L-Glutamine on his website, which can be found here: https://draxe.com/l-glutamine-benefits-side-effects-dosage/.
The second most important supplement Dr. Pacholec recommends for treatment and prevention of leaky gut syndrome is a high quality and diverse strain of probiotic containing between 25-50 billion CFU. This will help to strengthen the integrity of the intestinal lining, nourish the cells that create the mucosal lining and decrease inflammation. Dr. Pacholec highly recommends the Ther-Biotic Complete formula from Klaire Labs which contains 25 billion CFU of 12 strains of beneficial bacteria.
Dr. Pacholec’s 3-month protocol to repair: Leaky Gut Syndrome:
Click on the links to learn more about each product!
Dr. Pacholec can provide a full gastrointestinal wellness check-up when you make an appointment at either of her Lutz or St Petersburg offices. During this visit, she can provide laboratory testing to assess food allergies or intolerances, parameters of inflammation, and gut bacterial health. She will use the information gathered from this assessment along with the patient's symptoms and medical health history to create a customized treatment plan. Treating chronic illness, such as leaky gut syndrome, can help a patient burn stubborn fat and contribute to medical weight loss. It may also help regulate hormone imbalances and create an overall sense of increased well-being. So what are you waiting for? Call either the Lutz or St Petersburg office to schedule your next appointment today!
The world of nutrition supplements can seem overwhelming when strolling down the vitamin isle in the grocery store. There are so many different brands, dosages and formulas available that often we find ourselves blindly selecting a nutrition supplement and hoping it is the right one that will benefit our health in some way. We tell our doctors, “yes, I am taking calcium” or “yes, I take vitamin C every day” but we also find ourselves wondering why our bones are still aching or why we continue to get sick. Aren’t these supplements supposed to prevent or even cure these issues? Well, unfortunately not all supplements are created the same, and the efficacy of the supplement depends on many different factors, from manufacture to sale.
In a 2015 investigation, the NY State Attorney’s Office found that 80% of herbal supplements sold from Target, Walgreens, Walmart and GNC locations across the state of New York contained either a minimal percentage or no traces of DNA from the active herbal components and contained a high proportion of DNA from unlisted contaminants, such as household plants and powdered rice. The presence of these unlisted contaminants is especially detrimental for people with allergies, who may have adverse reactions to these products.
In contrast, suppliers of pharmaceutical-grade supplements ensure pure ingredients and correct dosages by conducting scientific studies, selecting high quality ingredients, establishing a high quality manufacturing process, and utilizing ingredients in their most bio-available form.
Continue reading below to find out what makes all these supplements so different, and why pharmaceutical-grade supplements, such as the ones Dr. Barbara Pacholec prescribes at her Lutz and St Petersburg locations, can actually improve your health when compared to similar over-the-counter (OTC) products that more often than not, only result in expensive urine.
Pharmaceutical-Grade Supplements Must Meet Strict Guidelines for Purity and Quality
Other than price, one of the biggest differences between pharmaceutical-grade supplements and OTC brands is the level of government regulation over their manufacture and sale. OTC supplements are marketed for Food Grade consumption, which means the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is only responsible for making sure these supplements are safe to eat. They do not test for purity, strength or quality and allow many different additives, colors and filers to be included in the manufacture of these supplements, which can decrease the purity and overall efficacy of the nutrient or herbal extract.
On the other hand, pharmaceutical-grade supplements undergo rigorous third-party testing by research laboratories for purity, quality and strength. The manufacturing process must meet stringent guidelines set forth by the US Pharmacopeia to ensure quality and purity. The research laboratories often conduct independent studies to test the efficacy of the products on either lab animals or with human trials. The key difference here is that a vitamin which is in its purest form will be absorbed better by the body when compared to a vitamin that has many different additives applied to it. Additives make the vitamin unable to bind to key receptors in the body, and ultimately the vitamin ends up being excreted without having much effect.
Pharmaceutical-Grade Supplements Contain the most Bio-Available form of the Nutrient
Pharmaceutical-grade supplements contain active, raw nutrients which are absorbed quickly and effectively by the body when ingested. Examples of this include Pyridoxal-5’-phosphate, which is the active form of Vitamin B6, methylcobalamin, which is the active form of Vitamin B12, and L-methylfolate (5-MTHF), which is the active form of folate. When you see these ingredients listed on a nutrition label, it means that you are buying high quality supplements which are already available in their most active form, so can be quickly absorbed by the body. This is especially important for people with severe allergies, or those who are immune-compromised as they cannot convert inactive ingredients to active forms through biochemical conversions within their own bodies.
Pharmaceutical-Grade Supplements are Administered in Correct Dosages
Since pharmaceutical-grade supplements are more active and contain pure ingredients, they are also generally more potent than OTC products. This means they need to be administered under the supervision of a medical practitioner to ensure they are being taken in an effective manner. Each tablet, capsule or suggested dose of powdered nutrient is rigorously tested to ensure dosages remain uniform. OTC products do not undergo this level of quality control, and many studies have found that the dosages between individual capsules or tablets is not standardized and therefore, may be negatively impacting the overall effectiveness of the supplement. This is one of the reasons why some health professionals refer to OTC products as resulting in “expensive urine.”
If you want to see real results from your supplements, do your research before you buy blindly at the grocery store. Dr. Pacholec offers an extensive range of supplements, which she has thoroughly researched herself to ensure they are the best ones for her patients’ health and well-being. Make an appointment at either her Lutz or St Petersburg location to discuss which supplements may be best for you. Begin your journey towards better health today!
Barbara Pacholec, MD
Dr Pacholec is Board Certified in Bariatric Medicine and Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. She has run a successful practice specializing in medical weight loss, hormone replacement therapy and anti-aging/regenerative and functional medicine for the past 20 years in Lutz, FL in Tampa Bay. In January 2018, she opened a satellite practice in St Petersburg, FL which also specializes in medical weight loss, hormone replacement therapy, and anti-aging/regenerative and functional medicine.