Your Poop May Reveal Why Your Diet Does Not Make You Lose Weight

Testing a person’s stool and gut bacteria prior to starting a new diet may help determine if a particular weight loss diet will be effective for a person who wants to lose weight.

New Nordic Diet

Researchers of a new study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that an increasingly popular fiber-rich diet may not be effective for everyone.

The New Nordic Diet focuses on traditional food eaten in Nordic countries, which include Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Iceland. The diet is high in plant-based food and includes dark greens, berries, cruciferous vegetables, root vegetables, apples, and pears.

The diet emphasizes fish and lean protein such as small amounts of dairy and wild games. Consumption of wild foods that include garlic, mushroom, and moss is also encouraged. The diet likewise contains less fat and less sugar than the amount found in the average Western diet.

“The Nordic diet is a healthy dietary pattern that shares many elements with the Mediterranean diet,” Frank Hu, professor of nutrition of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Healthsaid.

Gut Bacteria’s Decisive Role In Weight Loss

Study researcher Arne Astrup, from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues found that the success of the diet for weight loss depends on a particular combination of bacteria present in the dieter’s intestines.

The study demonstrated that certain species of bacteria play a decisive role in a person’s ability to lose and regulate weight. The results of the body shed light on why a high-fiber diet such as the Nordic diet does not always result in weight loss.

The Study

For the study, Astrup and colleagues randomly assigned 62 overweight individuals to follow either the Average Danish Diet or the New Nordic Diet. New Nordic Diet is more fiber-rich than the Average Danish Diet.

The researchers used the results of the participants’ stool samples to divide the group into two different gut bacteria groups.

The researchers looked at the Prevotella and Bacteroides bacteria in the intestines. Half of the participants belonged to the high-volume Prevotella-to-Bacteroides group, while the others were determined to have low Prevotella-to-Bacteroides ratio.

After the 26-week diet period, all the participants were asked to follow the New Nordic Diet for another year.

The researchers found that the New Nordic Diet worked best for those in the high-volume group, losing an average of 3.15 kilograms more body fats with the New Nordic Diet than with the Average Danish Diet.

“In summary, subjects with high P/B-ratio appeared more susceptible to lose body fat on diets high in fiber and wholegrain than subjects with a low P/B-ratio,” the researchers wrote in their study.

The article was originally published here. 

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