Fermented foods & probiotic supplements: friend or foe?
Diet & diabetes news this week raised again the notion that our gut bacteria populations can have a lot to do with how many calories from fat we absorb, and appear to have a connection to obesity and metabolic syndrome.
The offending bacteria hale from the Firmicutes phylum and, if I've got this right, Lactobacilli, the kind we eat in yogurt & kefir, some other fermented products, and in the probiotic supplement in my refrigerator are part of the Firmicutes phylum.
Logically, if we are actively consuming lots of fermented foods like kefir & yogurt, or taking Lactobacilli in supplement form, this would tend to boost the percentage of Firmicutes in our gut.
Maybe this isn't a great thing.
Anecdotally, I started making kefir when I got some grains from my chiropractor. Not long after I realized I had mildly elevated fasting blood sugars. I started monitoring my blood sugar in the AM. Numbers have been very consistent, not better despite ditching sugar, grains, and rarely having fruit, EXCEPT right after a 24hr fast and for a few days after. Then, right back to fasting sugars in the 90's.
I really like the kefir that I make, which I ferment to super sour to achieve a very low lactose content, and I thought it was good for my gut. Now I'm not so sure. Would love to hear if anyone else has wondered if their fermented food habits may be doing more harm than good.