Intestinal Health – the Four “R” Program: Part IV – Obesity

mid section view of a man sitting on a bench in a park

In Part I of our four-part series, we looked at the gut and how bacteria plays a part in a good way and a bad one as well as the treatment for it – the Four R Program - four steps to creating a healthy gut:  Remove, Replace, Reinoculate, Repair.

In Part II, we looked at bacteria specifically in relation to our gut health and what it does to create havoc in our system, not just our gut.

In Part III, we dealt with yeast and fungi in relation to the gut and the treatment options that are available to deal with these two gut busters.

In Part IV, we’ll look at how obesity plays a part in overall gut health.


Research has found that obesity has a microbial component that alters caloric yield from ingested food. Altering the gut microbiota may also improve insulin sensitivity and glucose intolerance.

What causes this?

Bacteria (Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes classes – Clostridiasp., Streptomyces sp., Lactobacillus sp., Mycolplasma sp., Bacillus sp., Bacteroides sp., and Prevotella sp.) known to increase caloric extraction from food are present. Basically, one thing leads to another – bacteria takes away what the body needs, coupled with a Western diet and lack of exercise, which leads to inflammation, leading to affects on the body i.e. diabetes, cancers, etc.

Jeff Leach with the Human Food Project states in his article Anthropology of Microbes, “In chatting with the researchers from Shanghai (about a 26 year old man at 300+ pounds who lost weight with a low-fat, high carb diet and found to have elevated levels of Enterobacter cloacae subsp. or B9), it’s clear that our B29 microbe is not the only heavy-duty endotoxin-producing bacteria that is contributing to obesity and associated metabolic disorders in mice and humans. Several members within the larger Enterobactereriaceae family (within the phylum Proteobacteria) will emerge as opportunistic pathogens as well. Opportunistic in that they only cause significant damage to the host under elevated conditions which are brought on by a western diet and lifestyle (apparently). . . .therefore, ipso facto, elevated levels of Enterobacter cloacae subsp. (B29) in your gut in the presence of a high fat diet maycause an increase in your circulating levels of LPS endotoxins which will in turn increase your levels of inflammation which will definitely contribute to a cascade of metabolic disorders including, but not likely limited to, obesity and type 2 diabetes.” (

What are the treatment options?obesity_SS_131375909_081613-617x416

In order to alter the gut for microbiota:

  1. balance of predominant bacteria using the 4R protocol (below)
  2. remove opportunistic bacteria, especially Bacillus sp.
  3. supplement with Bifidobacter sp., and S. boulardii
  4. reduce refined carbohydrates
  5. address all the GI imbalances.

In case you forgot the the 4 R’s to intestinal health, they are:

1. Remove – offending foods, medications, gluten and reduce poor quality fats, carbohydrates, sugars and fermented foods.

2. Replace – what is needed for normal digestion and absorption i.e. betaine HCI, pancreatic enzymes, herbs to aid in digestion (licorice, marshmallow root), fiber and water.

3. Reinoculate – with favorable microbes (probiotics i.e. Lactobacillus sp.) and supplement with prebiotics (i.e. inulin, beta glucan and fiber).

4. Repair – mucosal lining by giving support to healthy intestinal mucosal cells, goblet cells and to the immune system i.e. L-glutamine, zinc, vitamin C.

What are your thoughts concerning obesity and the effect it has on gut health?