You know that feeling when you've just had a big meal and you can't imagine eating another bite? That's satiety, the technical term for feeling full. And like most things in your body, your gut microbiome plays a big role in how full you feel, or don’t feel for that matter. That's right, your gut bacteria are more than just a bunch of freeloaders living in your digestive system—they influence your satiety, and can actually help you feel fuller, longer. Here’s how…
The gut-brain axis
First, let's talk about the gut-brain axis. This is the communication highway between your gut and your brain, and it plays a big role in regulating your appetite and feelings of fullness. Your gut bacteria are part of this system, and they produce a number of molecules that can affect your appetite and food intake. For example, some strains of gut bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which have been shown to reduce appetite and increase feelings of fullness.
SCFAs FTW: it’s all about the butyrate
One of the most important SCFAs for satiety is butyrate. Butyrate is produced by certain bacterial strains, such as Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Anaerobutyricum hallii, Clostridium beijerinckii, and Clostridium butyricum. These bacteria are often found in high numbers in the guts of people who have a healthy weight. Studies have shown that people with obesity tend to have lower levels of butyrate-producing bacteria in their gut microbiome.
Butyrate isn't the only SCFA that can help with satiety, though. Other SCFAs, such as acetate and propionate, can also play a role. In fact, one study found that supplementing with propionate led to increased feelings of fullness and reduced food intake in overweight adults.
Akkermansia and satiety
Another strain of gut bacteria that has received a lot of attention in recent years is Akkermansia muciniphila. This little guy has been shown to help regulate glucose metabolism, reduce inflammation, and improve gut barrier function. And guess what? It may also help with satiety. Studies have found that people with higher levels of Akkermansia muciniphila in their gut have better glucose control and feel fuller after meals.
How to populate your gut with the right probiotic strains
So, how can you promote a healthy gut microbiome and boost feelings of satiety? Here are 3 tips to get your gut geared toward optimal satiety:
1. Eat a diverse diet
A varied diet rich in fiber, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can help support a healthy gut microbiome and promote feelings of fullness.
2. Probiotics and prebiotics
Probiotics are live bacteria that can help replenish and balance your gut microbiome, while prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that feed your gut bacteria. Both can help improve feelings of fullness and satiety. Polyphenol Booster is a prebiotic that helps shape the environment of your gut to help the beneficial bacteria thrive. Pair that with Metabolic Daily to optimize your metabolism. This multi-strain probiotic contains butyrate-producing strains Anaerobutyricum hallii, Clostridium beijerinckii, and Clostridium butyricum, as well as Akkermansia muciniphila.
3. Reduce stress
Chronic stress can disrupt the gut-brain axis and lead to overeating and weight gain. Practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing to help regulate your appetite.
In conclusion, the trillions of bacteria in your gut microbiome are more than just a bunch of squatters in your digestive system—among other things, they can actually help regulate your appetite and feelings of fullness. By promoting a healthy gut microbiome through the power of probiotics, diet, and lifestyle changes, you can improve your satiety and overall health. How’s that for #gutgoals?