Your Gut Could Be Making You Fat

By Josephine Lee, MS, DC

Is your gut making you fat? This answer may be “yes” for many of us. I have observed that many of my patients who have consulted with me over the years for weight problem have been found to have many food allergies. When they stopped eating the allergic foods, they lost a significant amount of pounds!  The reason for this amazing miracle is the link between inflammation and weight gain.  When we are not able to properly digest certain foods, the large food molecules enter our blood circulation and cause an inflammatory response since our body produces inflammatory chemicals to neutralize these foreign molecules.  These chemicals can block the cell’s insulin receptors that lead to insulin resistance. We now know that people with insulin resistance have a hard time using sugar in the cells. All this excess sugar just flows around in the blood and eventually, turns into fat by the liver and stores in the fat cells!

Inflammation perpetuates this condition and leads to more and more fat gain.  Therefore, if we can reduce the inflammation, we can control and reduce the fat gain. Simple!  There are many factors involved in increasing inflammation in the body, and food allergy is a major culprit.  In a study published in a diabetes journal in December 2007, overweight children were compared to normal weight children. The researchers measured three inflammatory markers—C-reactive protein, plague in the carotid arteries and delayed food allergy marker IgG— in these children and found that the more inflammatory markers these children had, the fatter they got.  The conclusion points to the role food allergy plays in obesity.  Getting rid of food allergy reduces the inflammation and can lead to weight loss.

In my practice, I have seen many patients regain their health and lose unwanted weight by eliminating foods that they are allergic to from their diet. How do you determine food allergies?  There are many effective tests that I can employ to unveil these inflammatory troublemakers.  Since most of the allergies are caused by a few foods namely — gluten grains such as wheat, eggs, soy and dairy — I use a simple saliva test for antibodies for these four foods. Once we determine which food to eliminate, the rest is easy. Just stop eating them. Long term chronic food allergies can cause the digestive system to become inflamed and sluggish.  In addition to a healthy diet, digestive enzymes, nutrients, herbs and probiotics supplement can restore normal function to the digestive tract and reduce the inflammation.  Once inflammation is under control and the gut can digest and absorb food nutrients, your body will be able to get rid of the extra poundage and achieve a higher level of health.

I will be presenting a lecture on the relationship between food allergies and weight gain at the Nutrition Seminar that Nutrition Clinic is hosting on February 6 (see ad in this issue of Health Planet). I will discuss how you can shed the extra weight and heal your gut by addressing food allergy problems.

Dr. Josephine Lee practices as a nutrition consultant and a chiropractic physician at Nutrition Clinic in Ballwin, Missouri.  If you have any comment or questions, please contact her at Nutrition Clinic, 116 Holloway Road, Ballwin, MO, 63011. Phone: 636-386-3333.