We’re becoming increasingly aware of the importance of probiotics and the balance of good versus bad bacteria in and on our body. In fact, it is estimated that we’re outnumbered by bacteria, viruses & fungi by a ratio of 10:1; we’re comprised of approximately 70 billion cells versus 70 trillion microbes. So we are, in fact, more microbial than we are human!
Does that sound scary? Well it shouldn’t because we have a symbiotic relationship with our microbial ecosystem, called our microbiome, right down to the DNA level. It’s vital to our overall health, vitality and wellbeing and not just for digestive health either.
Almost daily, scientists are discovering more and more ways that an imbalance in our microbiome could be associated with every disease we can think of, and this is from Michael Snyder PhD, the director of Stanford University’s Center for Genomics and Personalised Medicine.
The area where bacteria have a huge impact is our gut. The digestive tract, also known as the second brain, is actually the centre point of the nervous, hormonal and immune systems so it makes perfect sense that we should be supporting the health and integrity of this part of our body as much as we can.
It’s well established that foods that don't agree with us, poor dietary choices, medications i.e. antibiotics, bacterial imbalance, alcohol, chronic stress, anxiety and depression and toxic overload can lead to a condition called intestinal permeability, also known as leaky gut. A long list of health conditions have been linked with having leaky gut and it was the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, who said over 2000 years ago that “all disease begins in the gut”, and research is now showing that he was right!
There is also a new understanding of mental health with a paradigm shift in neuroscience linking the health of the brain to the health of the gut. David Perlmutter, of the Grain Brain and Brain Maker, explores the idea that even depression is now considered an inflammatory disorder with a link between the microbiome, leaky gut and how this relates to disorders such as depression.
Some steps to take to help heal and optimise your digestive tract include:
- Remove foods and factors that damage the gut
- Replace with healing foods
- Repair with specific supplements
- Rebalance with probiotics
Some functions of Probiotics:
- Help balance your gut-associated-immune-system; 80% of your immune system is located in your digestive tract
- They produce B Vitamins, vitamin K2 and short chain fatty acids, which feed the cells of the lining of the digestive tract
- They are a factory for producing your happy hormones such as serotonin, dopamine and GABA Aid in the digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals
- They crowd out bad bacteria, yeast and fungi
- Support healthy bowel movements
- Gatekeepers of what’s allowed in to the blood stream
- Helps increase chemicals in the brain that help promote neurogenesis
HEAL YOUR GUT TO HEAL YOUR BRAIN