The Current

Gut bacteria could be the key to weight loss, not calorie intake

Gut Check. It may not be what you eat but what bacteria you produce in your gut that is preventing you from shedding some pounds. Ongoing research into our personal eco-system - our microbiome - suggests that the real answer to ideal weight is growing in our guts.
Author of the "Diet Myth", Tim Spector says gut bacteria could help us tailor diets to help people manage their weight. (Nastassia Davis/Flickr)

Sometimes life just doesn't seem fair. Especially, when you're watching what you eat.

Perhaps you've had the experience of sitting at a restaurant, green with envy, as a skinny diner nearby happily tucks into a burger and fries.

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Meanwhile, it seems you merely have to look at your plate of leafy greens, and the pounds still pack on.

If it seems as if there's something invisible tipping the scales.  Well, there may just be. Researchers honing in on weight problems have been seeing promise lately... in our guts. Namely, in the millions of tiny microbes that live inside us. 

It Takes Guts – Your Gut is Like a Rainforest

6 years ago
Duration 1:02
Inside our intestines, there’s an entire ecosystem — our own “inner rainforest” — made up of microorganisms so small that millions could fit into the eye of a needle. But these tiny bugs that live in our gut are proving key to human health and the obesity epidemic. 1:02
 A documentary airing on CBC TV's The Nature of Things tomorrow night examines the relationship between our inner microbes, and our expanding waistlines... and much more. 

The documentary is titled, "It Takes Guts," and it's directed by Leora Eisen who joined Anna Maria in our Toronto studio.

Tim Spector is a Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King's College London, and Author of "The Diet Myth". He was in London, England.

"It Takes Guts"  airs on CBC Television's The Nature of Things Thursday night at 8pm. 

Is hearing all this making you rethink what you eat? Are you someone who struggles with your weight, no matter what you eat? 

Send us an email. Post on our Facebook page, or tweet us @TheCurrentCBC.

This segment was produced by The Current's Sarah Grant.