T Nation

Gut Flora


Just read an article in New Scientist regarding gut flora

1 october 2005

they quote [mice] studies that seem to suggest that the bacteria in your gut are hugely responsible for the absorbtion of food.

Now obviously this is nothing new, but the essence of this article is that there is a huge difference between individuals.

So those obese people who swear that they never eat anything, may just have the most efficient gut flora around. And those hardgainers may just be lacking the right microbes.

ref [proceedings of the national academy of sciences, vol 102, p 11070]

now Lonnie Lowery and JB never mentioned that :wink: [no offence fellas, love your work]


People don't get fat because of bacteria in their intestinal track...unless "bacteria" is now a code word for "cheeseburger" or "KFC" along with a shit load of inactivity.

Yes, intestinal flora are needed for digestive health, which can translate into increased immunity and a more efficient metabolism. However, obesity, outside of hormonal dysfunction, is the result of not moving enough while taking in more energy than the body needs.

Most people who claim they never eat anything also fall into the category of those who skip meals thinking they can "starve" the fat off of themselves, and then they gorge on one or two meals a day, don't exercise regularly, and then wonder why their asses keep getting wider.

Many hardgainers who claim to eat all day fall into the category of those who may eat a lot on Monday, eat "so-so" on Tuesday, eat a great breakfast on Wednesday but starve the rest of the day until dinner, and then eat two meals on Thursday. They then don't understand why they can't gain weight. They don't understand the concept of consistency and/or don't understand that they may need more daily calories than they even eat on their best day.



I know the calorie equations, and have read everything JB, Lonnie Lowery and Lyle Mcdonald have written, but this may be a new angle, an untapped area for progress and supplementation.

Don't stamp on the idea until you find out more.


Flora and bacteria in your stomach help break down your foods in your stomach. Poor breakdown or absorption of food caused by flora is a small factor, the only outcome of an imbalance in stomach bacteria is poor nutrient uptake, and improper food breakdown, which can only cause you to expel what has not been digested properly.

It is seen in those with IBS, a decent way is to increase the healthy bacteria in your stomach which must have a balance with the unhealthy bacteria in your stomach. This is Lactobacteria, live active bacterial culture, found in yogurt. I have IBS and eat yogurt in the morning to try and soothe the symptoms, though a higher concentration of active cells is required. You can also try digestive aids, but they are usually very minimally effective (digestive enzymes)

However using a comparison such as the one you have presented is weak, as with IBS, lack of intestinal flora makes it hard to gain weight, I have found gaining weight not complicated, I have been able to gain 10 pounds in a month easily, energy in, energy out.

If you do have trouble gaining, eat more calories. Say your intake is 2500 calories a day and you upped it to 3000, and with no results you gained nothing? so put it to 5000. I agree with the prof on that, its about eating, not irregularity, as most people do, I know so many "hardgainers" and if you saw the way they ate, you would understand.

Protein isnt everything, you need fats and carbs, both simple and complex. It really isnt complicated.

And believe me, when you weigh around 280 at 6'7 and your daily food intake to maintain your weight is almost 5000 calories. Imagine trying to eat 7000 cals a day? Well its possible. Excuses are for losers, solutions are for winners.