Insulin resistance in obese people may be exacerbated by the lack of a specific antibody in the gut microbiome, according to new research from the University of Toronto. When mice deficient in immunoglobulin A (IgA) were fed a high-fat diet, their insulin resistance took a turn for the worse. The researchers then applied this insight to humans by looking at the stool samples of bariatric surgery patients, taken before and after their procedure. The subjects’ levels of IgA, which help regulate bacteria in the gut, were higher following surgery, indicating that it is associated with diet and leading researchers to link obesity to a high-fat diet, and lower levels of IgA in the gut to insulin resistance and gut inflammation. Though further study is needed, this could mean that boosting IgA in the gut through weight loss could help protect against insulin resistance.
A Better Belly
The best ways to keep your gut happy and healthy:
- Eat more fiber. Americans get only 15 grams of the daily 25 grams recommended by the FDA. Add oomph to your plate with fiber-rich exotic fruits, like mangos.
- Talk it out. Research has shown that certain forms of psychotherapy, like cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnosis, may help alleviate GI discomfort.
- Take to the mat. Traditional forms of yoga have been found to provide relief from IBS symptoms.
- Get moving. Exercise has been linked to a greater diversity of bacteria in the gut. A 2018 study found that a six-week, three-times-per-week cardio program increased markers of healthy gut microbiota.