Calories Don’t Count - Bacteria Causes Fat

Wednesday May 13th, 2015

Evidence now suggests that calorie-controlled diets do not help people to lose weight.

There has been much speculation over this throughout the last few years, but King’s College London’s leading genetics expert, Professor Tim Spector, now presents compelling evidence in his new publication.

Professor Spector has also provided a new theory about what causes obesity that has the potential to revolutionise society’s approach to weight loss. He is one of the scientists leading worldwide research into the trillions of bacteria that live in our stomachs, and believes they have remarkable power over our moods and health. He also claims that modern diets might have a negative effect on the bacteria.

As his specialist area is twins, Professor Spector has spent more than 20 years scientifically following 11,000 identical twins. He has examined information on their diet, lifestyles and health to find out the role of genetic and environmental factors in disease.

One of Professor Spector’s key findings suggest that if you put identical twins on high calorie diets in which they consume an additional 1,000 calories every day, they will have completely different weight changes after six weeks. Some will have gained up to 13kg, whereas other may have lost around 4kg, despite being on identical diets.

Professor Spector believes this is due to the bacteria in our stomachs. He has found that the variety and type of bacteria found there have a surprising impact on various aspects of our health.

He explains that although microbes are essential to how we digest our food, they also control the calories we consume and provide important vitamins and enzymes, not to mention maintaining our healthy immune systems.

Microbes in our gut are also connected to mental wellbeing, cardiovascular health and diabetes risk. Professor Spector’s book, ‘The Diet Myth: The Real Science Behind What We Eat’, was published this week. In it he argues that we can change our personal mix of stomach bacteria to make it one that keeps us healthy, happy and slim with the right diet and exercise routine.

Professor Spector also argues that exercise alone won’t lead to significant weight loss, nor will it help to keep it off. However, it is good for your stomach bacteria as well as your brain and heart.

He believes the bacteria are probably responsible for much of the current obesity epidemic. He says that the root of the problem may lie in the way our modern diet affects our gut bacteria.

Fifteen thousand years ago, people regularly consumed around 150 ingredients in a week. These days, we typically eat less than 20 separate food items, many of which are artificially refined.