Weight loss without surgery

Imagine all the benefits of stomach-shrinking surgery, but without the actual surgery.

Impossible?

Not at all -- because cutting-edge new research shows that the real weight loss that follows surgery isn't caused by the procedure itself. It's caused by a dramatic shift in gut bacteria that takes place afterward.

Even better, the study also shows how you may be able to get your own gut bacteria to undergo that same fat-melting shift without going under the knife.

Researchers performed the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure on obese mice, which then lost 29 percent of their body weight -- just as expected. Then, they transferred the intestinal flora from those newly slim-and-trim mice to a set of obese mice that didn't have the surgery.

And what happened next wasn't expected at all, because these mice experienced a similar loss in body weight and even body fat.

Well, I should say it wasn't expected at all by most mainstream doctors -- but it's certainly what I would have expected, because I've seen these same results before, and not just in mice.

I've seen it in humans, including my own patients.

The balance of gut bacteria not only helps you to digest your food and extract the nutrients you need for good health. They also help decide what to do with each calorie you eat.

If you've got too many bad bugs, then every calorie you consume will seem to find its way directly to your waistline.

Get enough of the good ones, on the other hand, and you'll be a lean, mean digestion machine -- able to process foods so well that a momentary slip on the lips won't be forever on your hips.

This isn't to say that what you eat isn't important as well. Even a stomach full of the best bugs can't undo the damage of a donut addiction or fast food habit.

But if you find weight loss is a lot harder than it should be -- that eating right alone won't get the job done, and that even working up a sweat several times a week is giving you some disappointing results -- then the answer might be in your gut bacteria. (It could also be in your hormones, but let's focus on gut  bacteria today.)

And if an unbalanced belly is the reason you keep losing the Battle of the Bulge, than you've got an easy answer here -- and it's not weight-loss surgery.

It's to replenish your stomach with the bacteria needed for good digestion, and you can do that with a quality probiotic supplement. The key word here is "quality," because too many supplements contain the wrong strains, the wrong doses, or both.

And don't even waste your time with the supermarket strains found in yogurts and pre-packaged smoothies.

Instead, look for a supplement that contains the bacteria backed by studies on humans -- and has them in the right amounts.

I had the inside story on probiotics that you won't find anywhere else in my printed newsletter, Health Revelations. Subscribers, use the password in your current edition to go online and read the May 2012 issue.

Not a subscriber? Sign up today and get a password of your own that'll give you complete online access to all my back issues.