When most people think of body fat, they think of cellulite and love handles (subcutaneous fat), but visceral fat, which is much less visible is actually far more dangerous. Visceral fat or abdominal fat, also known as organ fat or intra-abdominal fat, is located inside the abdominal cavity, packed in between organs (stomach, liver, intestines, kidneys, etc.). An excess of visceral fat is known as central obesity, or “belly fat”, in which the abdomen protrudes excessively. There is a strong correlation between central obesity and cardiovascular disease. Excess visceral fat is also linked to metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, inflammatory diseases, and other obesity-related diseases. Diet and exercise will of course help to keep your visceral fat levels to a minimum, however, new research shows that there are other factors involved, specifically the health of your digestive tract.
New Research Shows Leaky Gut May Increase Visceral Fat
New research from Sweden has uncovered a novel connection between intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut) and visceral fat. Women with higher markers of leaky gut also had higher levels of visceral fat and liver fat, and larger waist circumference, which suggests that this condition may promote the accumulation of visceral fat, as well as impact the related metabolic dysfunction.
So what exactly is leaky gut?
It is a condition that occurs due to gaps in the membrane lining your intestinal wall. These tiny gaps allow toxic substances that should be confined to your digestive tract to escape into your bloodstream – hence the term leaky gut syndrome. These toxic substances can come from numerous sources, such as Candida yeast overgrowth, undigested food particles or waste products, and they basically irritate your intestinal lining, eventually compromising its integrity and allowing a flow of toxic particles to “leak out” into your bloodstream. The leaking particles, in turn, prompt an inflammatory reaction from your body that can cause a wide variety of symptoms.
Most often leaky gut syndrome is associated with inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, or celiac disease, but even healthy people can have varying degrees of intestinal permeability. In fact, the aforementioned study involved healthy women, not those with a health condition that would normally signal a problem with leaky gut.
Why is this important?
Because it means you, too, could have a leaky gut that is predisposing you to carry higher levels of visceral fat, which in turn could increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease and other chronic diseases as well as increasing your waistline and packing on unwanted pounds.
How Can You Avoid Leaky Gut?
Your body contains about 100 trillion bacteria — more than 10 times the number of cells you have in your entire body. It’s now quite clear that the type and quantity of micro-organisms in your gut interact with your body in ways that can either prevent or encourage the development of many diseases.
Virtually anything that can upset the balance of bacteria in your digestive tract can encourage damage to your intestinal lining that can lead to leaky gut. It’s a very fragile system, and it’s important to realize that your gut bacteria are very vulnerable to lifestyle and environmental factors, such as:
• Processed Foods
• Antibiotics (including antibiotics given to livestock for food production)
• Chlorinated and Fluoridated water
• Agricultural Chemicals and Pesticides
• Refined Grains
All of these factors throw your gut flora out of balance, and, as you can see, many of these factors are pervasive and can be difficult to avoid. However, it’s not impossible. Simply altering your diet to avoid processed foods and focusing on whole organic foods will make a big difference. The decision to change your diet alone will dramatically reduce the amount of sugar and fructose you consume, as well as automatically limit your exposure to antibiotics and agricultural chemicals.
How can you tell whether your health is already starting to suffer from a damaged digestive system?
The following symptoms are all signs that unhealthy bacteria have taken over too much real estate in your gut, and you may be suffering from leaky gut:
• Gas and Bloating
• Constipation and Diarrhea
• Sugar Cravings and Cravings for Refined Carbs
The Important Role of Probiotics
If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, or if you have increased belly fat, you probably need to add some healthy probiotics (good bacteria) to your diet in the form of a high-quality probiotic supplement. Probiotics are essential for optimal digestion of food and absorption of nutrients, and they help your body produce vitamins, absorb minerals and aid in the elimination of toxins.
Dr. Salerno’s Probiotic Supplements
Dr. Salerno’s Ultra Probiotic Factor is a high potency (225 billion CFU) probiotic that contains a blend of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species. Ultra Probiotic Factor is ideal for situations that call for high potency probiotics for short term use. Ultra Probiotic Factor is conveniently manufactured in individual stick packs and travels well.
Dr. Salerno’s Probiotic Factor contains natural support for maintaining healthy flora balance in the gastrointestinal tract, and is recommended for long-term use.
Guaranteed Potency at Ingestion
Because probiotics are live cultures, product freshness becomes a top priority. Dr. Salerno’s Ultra Probiotic Factor and Probiotic Factor are carefully handled and manufactured often throughout the year, ensuring optimal product freshness for maximized potency at ingestion. We are so confident of our freshness that we guarantee Ultra Probiotic Factor and Probiotic Factor to be at full label strength at ingestion!
Convenience: No Refrigeration Needed!
Take it with you throughout the day! Unlike most probiotic products, Dr. Salerno’s Ultra Probiotic Factor and Probiotic Factor have been scientifically formulated for room temperature storage, allowing you to conveniently carry the product with you to work, school, and on-the-go!
Dr. Salerno’s Other Recommended Products for Leaky Gut Syndrome
Fiber Factor – Healthy for long-term maintenance of bowels, Dr. Salerno’s blend of all-natural ingredients is specially formulated to be safe and effective, providing just the right amount of bulk for normal digestive system function.
Vitamin D-K Factor – Vitamin D has been found to decrease intestinal permeability and protect against effects caused by leaky gut syndrome
ref: Intestinal permeability is associated with visceral adiposity in healthy women. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Nov;19(11):2280-2. doi: 10.1038/oby.2011.251. Epub 2011 Aug 18.