Bacteroidetes bacteria, microbes that are good for the gut, by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

April 6 2014

The phylum Bacteroidetes is made of three large classes of bacteria that are present in the environment, including in soil, in sediments, sea water and in the gastrointestinal system of animals. The Bacteroidales class are the most well-studied, including the genus Bacteroides (a common bacteria in the feces of warm-blooded animals including humans), and Porphyromonas, a group of organisms inhabiting the human oral cavity. Members of this genus are opportunistic pathogens. Rarely are members of the other two classes pathogenic to humans.

Friendly bacteria in the gut
There are a number of bacteria that are friendly and helpful to humans. If you wish to know learn about these friendly bacteria, visit the following web pages: acidophilus bacteria, bifidobacterium. or the web page probiotics. If you wish to buy friendly bacteria, visit the probiotic page. By ingesting friendly or good bacteria, it is possible that they could displace the harmful bacteria in the gut.

Bacteroidetes and weight
Levels of two types of good microbes or bacteria in the gut that help to break down foods are different in obese and lean people and mice. There are trillions of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, but two groups called the Bacteroidetes and the Firmicutes are the most dominant and their proportion varies in lean and obese mice and humans. The proportion of Bacteroidetes bacteria is lower in obese mice and people than in lean people. Levels of Bacteroidetes rise as body weight is decreased. There may be a microbial component to obesity. But scientists do not yet know if people start out with lower levels of Bacteroidetes or Firmicutes, which may make them prone to obesity.

Celiac disease children have different bacteria in their gut
The levels of Bacteroides, Clostridium and Staphylococcus are higher in fecal samples from celiac patients than in healthy subjects. The numbers of Bacteroides-Prevotella, Clostridium histolyticum, Eubacterium rectale-C. coccoides, Atopobium, and sulfate reducing bacterial groups are also higher in fecal samples from celiac infants.

Supplements
I'd like to ask if you could recommend any food and/or supplements to boost the amount of Bacteroidetes in the gut? I had been having great success losing weight on a low carbohydrate diet. But a month ago, I took a course of Augmentin antibiotic to get over a sinus infection. Since then the weight loss has stopped completely.
   I have not looked into this topic in detail to know food influences the growth of this bacteria in the intestines but it could be similar to other probiotic bacteria. I understand there could be some products sold over the counter but I have not personally purchased any or suggested them to patients.