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Gut Bacteria: How important are they for your overall health?

DIGESTIVE NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Ange Sinclair – Founder of Digestive Detective:

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Photo credit: Kiril Pipo 2015  The Gut Microbiome –

Hippocrates was the father of Modern Medicine and his famous quote ”All Disease Begins In The Gut” still rings true today.

We have ten times more bacterial cells than human cells in our body. Ten Times! We now know that not only do these gut bacteria influence our digestion, but they also affect many other areas of our health.

What Areas of Your Health Can Gut Bacteria Affect?

Other areas of your health that gut bacteria can affect include the following:

Weight Loss: Research shows us that gut bacteria can affect our weight by extracting energy from the food we eat and can increase the absorption and storage of fat. Obese people have less microbial diversity in their bacteria than lean people.

Immune Health: Your immune system is your interface with the outside world. With 80% of our immune system residing in our gut, the interaction between our gut cells and bacterial cells play a role in how our immune system develops. If you suffer from auto-immune conditions, arthritis, allergies, acne, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic fatigue these can all be attributed to the gut.

Brain Health: Gut bacteria regulates how we think and feel. It also plays a crucial role in anxiety, depression and mood disorders. However, researchers are no closer to finding the mechanisms yet. Gut bacteria plays an important part in the production of neurotransmitters – serotonin, dopamine and GABA – so it makes sense that inadequate maintenance of our gut bacteria results in a lack of adequate production of the neurotransmitters needed for healthy brain function.

What Can You Do to Improve Your Gut Bacteria?

The more diversity you can bring to your gut bacteria through food, the better your overall health will be. Rather than eating the same old foods over and over, mix-it-up with foods you have not tried before. Try to include forty types of new fresh whole foods every week. Lots of different coloured vegetables and fruit is ideal. Also include some fermented foods – sauerkraut, Kim Chi, beet kvass, kefir, miso, yoghurt.

Take a Probiotic Supplement

If you don’t take a probiotic supplement, then it’s time to start. It’s also an excellent idea to start reducing factors that deplete bacteria, such as:

  • Overconsumption of processed and refined foods.
  • Overconsumption of sugars and excess starches.
  • Chemical use in our home.
  • Overuse of chemicals in makeup and personal hygiene products.
  • The lack of sleep and too much exercise.

The good news is that gut bacteria can change and adapt quickly so if you implement these changes you should notice improvements in a week.

About Our Digestive News and Review Columnist – Ange Sinclair

AngeAnge Sinclair, founder of Digestive Detective is a Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist. She has a special interest in Digestive Disorders. She helps you beat the bloat, purge your pain and find the root cause of your problem using nutrition, herbal medicine and supplements.

Visit Ange’s website to take her quiz to see if you are ready to change your health, or connect on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

Disclaimer: The information published in this column are the author’s professional knowledge and opinion. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

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