Improve Your Gut Microbiome Today For The 4rs
There are a number of factors that contribute to the health of your gut microbiome, including your environment, the amount of exercise and sleep you get, and of course, stress. But the number one factor that determines what microbes live in your gut is your diet.
In Functional Medicine, there is a very successful protocol called the 4Rs, which stands for Remove, Replace, Reinoculate, and Repair. There are many resources for learning more about the 4 Rs. I like Raphael Kellman, M.D.s book, The Microbiome Diet: The Scientifically Proven Way to Restore Your Gut Health and Achieve Permanent Weight Loss.
The beautiful thing about the 4Rs protocol is that it doesnt have to be followed in order. Once you remove the processed foods and toxins from your diet, you can start doing all of the remaining 3 steps together. Unless you suffer from a serious digestive disorder or other condition, you can follow the 4Rs on your own. Or, find a practitioner who can tailor the protocol to your specific needs.
Here are my suggestions for following the 4Rs and improving your gut microbiome starting today:
How Long Does It Take To Heal Gut Dysbiosis
Did you know that a healthy gut may be able to help you navigate age-related hormonal changes? Each of us has trillions of microorganisms living in our gastrointestinal tract. Keeping all of those microorganisms happy and settled is the key to a healthy gut. When your system gets off balance, this condition is referred to as gut dysbiosis. At Pellecome LLC, our Gut Integrity products may be able to help.
What Is The Microbiome
The microbiome is made up of many trillions of bacteria living in and on your body. Everyone has a unique microbiome. Your geography, health status, stress level, age, gender and everything you eat can affect the composition of your microbiome and the types of bacteria found in your body.;
While some bacteria are harmful and can lead to infection, the bacteria found in your microbiome are crucial for regulating key bodily functions. These helpful bacteria can be found in your mouth, lungs, nasal passages, skin and brain, but your large intestine contains the highest concentration, with more than 100 trillion microbes calling your gut home.;
Until recently, researchers were aware of the microbiome but didnt fully understand the role it plays in regulating aspects of our health. Now we know our diets have a large impact on the types and abundance of bacteria found in the gut. By changing the foods you eat, you can influence your microbiomes balance.
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Should You Take Probiotics
Each year, Americans spend more than a billion dollars on probiotic supplements. Do they work? The juryâs still out. Not all probiotics are the same, and everyone has different microbiomes. A supplement thatâs helpful for someone may not have an effect on another person. Talk to your doctor. Probiotics are usually safe for healthy people. But those with health conditions may need to steer clear.
Can Some Peoples Gut Bacteria Recover From Antibiotics In Around Six Months
Some research released in 2018 found that it took around six months for our gut flora to get back to normal after antibiotics . The media picked up on it, and so a lot of people today think that you get your old gut back precisely six months after antibiotics. This study is just one of many though, all with different results.
If youre feeling overwhelmed by all this information, you can get some strategic help with our no obligation symptom checker.
Its possible that your gut bacteria might never return to normal. But that doesnt mean that you cant take steps to increase your diversity. Everyone can benefit from taking care of their gut, but if youve taken antibiotics recently theres an even bigger reason to do it.
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Is There Anything I Can Do To Prepare My Gut Health For The Coming Onslaught
Yes! If your gut is healthy to begin with, it will take more to knock it out of whack.
Prepare yourself now by making choices that feed the beneficial organisms in your gut microbiome and enhance gut health.
- eating;prebiotic foods;such as jerusalem artichokes, garlic, onions and a variety of grains and inulin-enhanced yoghurts
- eating;resistant starches, which are starches that pass undigested through the small intestine and feed the bacteria in the large intestine. That includes grainy wholemeal bread, legumes such as beans and lentils, firm bananas, starchy vegetables like potatoes and some pasta and rice. The trick to increasing resistant starches in potato, pasta and rice is to cook them but;eat;them;cold. So consider serving a cold potato or pasta salad over Christmas
- choosing fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables
- steering clear of added sugar where possible. Excessive amounts of added sugar flows quickly to the large intestine, where it gets gobbled up by bacteria. That can cause higher gas production, diarrhoea and potentially upset the balance of the microbiome
- remembering that if you increase the amount of fibre in your diet , you’ll need to drink more water or you can get constipated.
For inspiration on how to increase resistant starch in your diet for improved gut health, you might consider checking out a;cookbook;I co-authored .
Following A Healthy Lifestyle Is The Path To A Healthy Gut Microbiome
Changing your gut microbiome by way of improving your diet may be a worthy effort. The current study findings indicate that people should eat as many;Mediterranean diet foods;as possible, says OToole.
Future research may explore the effects of the microbiome in younger people, and try to develop pure cultures of bacteria to restore the missing microbes in the guts of frail older people who consume a restricted diet, he adds.
For most people, good gut health can be achieved by practicing commonsense health habits, says DePaolo. Get a good nights;sleep, eat your;fiber, take a;probiotic;if you want, eat fermented foods, try to eat fruits and vegetables and;exercise;a little bit, and your microbiome will be good. Gut health doesnt have to be complicated.
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Collecting Multiple Days Of Dietary History Prior To Each Microbiome Sample
For observational studies where dietary intake is considered as a confounder for the microbiome outcome of interest, the decision to collect dietary data is driven by different factors than when dietary intake is the exposure of interest. We do not think that all microbiome studies need to collect dietary data. In many well-designed microbiome studies it may not be necessary to collect dietary data and the decision to collect dietary data should be weighed carefully with the researchers’ hypotheses and planned analyses. In observational studies where diet will be a clear confounder that cannot be controlled for through other study design parameters, investigators should collect detailed information about diet.
How Do You Repopulate The Gut With Good Bacteria
The best way to repopulate your gut with good bacteria is to feed the ones that are there already.
We all have somewhere around 1000 types of bacteria in our guts, making up a community of about 100 trillion microbes. The more types of bacteria you have down there, the lower your risk of disease and allergies. We know this from many animal tests and human studies comparing the microbes of people with and without particular diseases.
Recent examples include:
Modern life does a number on your gut bacteria. Scientists who have lived and worked with traditional hunter gatherer cultures around the world and tested their microbiomes have found that they have a far higher diversity of bacteria than people in developed countries.
The Hadza people of Tanzania have a gut microbiome diversity about 40 per cent higher than the average American and about 30 per cent higher than the average Brit .
While probiotics can certainly play a role in restoring a dwindling microbiome, the latest research tells us that their long-term effects are minimal if we dont eat the right diet to keep them alive. Find out more about probiotics on our blog How long does it take for probiotics to start working?
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Other Ways To Change Gut Bacteria
There may be other ways to change your gut microbiome and treat things tied to its balance. For example, fecal transplants change your gut bacteria to treat things like;C. diff;and ulcerative colitis. A device called deep transcranial magnetic stimulation uses a coil put on the scalp to stimulate the brain and change gut bacteria. It shows promise for treating obesity.
9) Jose Luis Pelaez Inc. / Thinkstock
11) AntonioGuillem / Thinkstock
12) ; olgakr / Thinkstock, skyjo / Thinkstock, MartinFredy / Thinkstock
UConn Today: How Bactera Keep Us Healthy.
Integrative Medicine: A Clinicians Journal: Part 1: The Human Gut Microbiome in Health and Disease.
ACP Microbe Institute: Microbe Magic, The Good Bacteria.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Prebiotics and Probiotics: Creating a Healthier You.
Crohns & Colitis Foundation: Gut Microbiome Points To Cures and Treatment for IBD.
International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: Gut Bacteria and IBS.
Cleveland Clinic: How Gut Bacteria May Help Curb Your Heart Disease.
University of California, Los Angeles: Changing Gut Bacteria Through Diet Affects Brain Function, UCLA Study Shows.
Journal of Neuroscience: Gut Microbes and the Brain: Paradigm Shift in Neuroscience.
Endocrine Society: Magnetic Brain Stimulation Causes Weight Loss By Making Gut Bacteria Healthier.
Mayo Clinic: What Are Probiotics?
Current Diet Assessment Practices And Their Limitations In Diet
The advent and increasing availability and affordability of sequencing technology has resulted in an explosion of diet-microbiome literature. This is easily illustrated with a PubMed search of âdietâand âmicrobiome.â In 2009 there were 100 papers published and in 2019 there were 2,204 papers published that were identified using these search terms. As of January 2020, there are 9,544 papers that are returned on PubMed using these terms, and of those over half were published in the last 3 years. This increase in publications has been accompanied by a growing awareness of the limitations we face while attempting to measure and analyze the highly complex interactions between microbes, dietary exposures, and host phenotypes.
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Is There Any Benefit To Fasting Longer Than The Natural 810 Hours Of Fasting We Get While Sleeping
The simple answer is yes. Research has found that fasting periods ranging from several hours to a day support the health of the gut microbiome. One mouse study found that alternate-day fasting promoted bacterial clearance.6 The process of bacterial clearance allows the gut to regain the ideal balance of bacteria. It was also found that during fasting, bad bacteria tend to starve more quickly than healthy bacteria, leaving more opportunity for good bacteria to colonize.
There has also been evidence to support that a sixteen-hour fasting window with an eight-hour feeding window has beneficial effects. Researchers divided mice into two groups and fed them the same chow; however, one group was restricted to an eight-hour feeding window while the other could eat as desired.7 The study found that although the mice were eating the same amount and type of foods, the group of mice that ate during all times of day gained weight. To connect the weight change to the microbiome, stool samples were collected every four hours to assess changes. The researchers found significant differences in the microbial composition of the two groups stool. This leads us to believe that our microbiome is connected to changes in weight and that the microbiome is significantly altered when there is no fasting window.
What Is The Human Microbiome
Each of us has an internal complex ecosystem of bacteria located within our bodies that we call the microbiome. The microbiome is defined as as community of microbes. The vast majority of the bacterial species that make up our microbiome live in our digestive systems.
According to the;Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at the University of Colorado, the human microbiota consists of the 10100 trillion symbiotic microbial cells harbored by each person, primarily bacteria in the gut. The human microbiome consists of the genes these cells harbor.
Our individual microbiomes are sometimes called our genetic footprints since they help determine our unique DNA, hereditary factors, predisposition to diseases, body type or body set point weight, and much more. The bacteria that make up our microbiomes can be found everywhere, even outside our own bodies, on nearly every surface we touch and every part of the environment we come into contact with.
The microbiome can be confusing because its different than other organs in that its not just located in one location and is not very large in size, plus it has very far-reaching roles that are tied to so many different bodily functions. Even the word microbiome tells you a lot about how it works and the importance of its roles, since micro means small and biome means a habitat of living things.
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It May Help Fight Cancer
Researchers are working to harness the power of the microbiome in cancer treatments. With immunotherapy, your bodyâs immune system destroys cancer cells. Research shows that the microbiome helps these drugs work better by sending signals to immune cells. Scientists are working on creating microbiome medicines that can be given alongside cancer treatments.
Does A Gut Reset Work
Oftentimes, 3-day gut resets involve adopting habits that are generally beneficial for human health. Eating a healthful, balanced diet and eliminating potentially harmful foods may help people feel better in a variety of ways.
However, scientists have not investigated whether a 3-day gut reset can permanently change a persons microbiome or create lasting health improvements.
Research has shown that short-term dietary changes do alter a persons gut flora. In a 2013 study , researchers found that bacteria responded rapidly to a sudden change to a plant-based diet.
This suggests that a 3-day gut reset may positively influence the microbiome during the diet. For lasting benefits, however, it may be necessary to implement longer-term changes to diet and lifestyle.
According to a , the Mediterranean diet can increase the amount and diversity of beneficial bacteria in the gut, whereas other types of diet may decrease it. The latter include:
- the Western diet, or Standard American Diet
- gluten-free diets
The Mediterranean diet includes many of the features of a gut reset, focusing on healthy fats, vegetables, and other sources of fiber. A 3-day gut reset may help a person transition to a diet that includes more of these foods.
If a person wants to try a 3-day gut reset, it is a good idea to plan ahead. Gut resets often require sudden and significant changes to the diet, so it can help if a person prepares by:
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Your Genes Dont Matter But Your Gut Microbiomes Genes Do
As a society, we have been quick to place the blame for everything from our weight to our moods on our genes. We say things like She can drink wine and eat chocolate every day and not gain weight because she is French. The truth is human beings all have similar DNA. So why is it that some people are healthy when they consume chocolate every day while others maintain a strict Paleo diet and struggle with digestive symptoms or worse? Its because, unlike our genes, our microbiomes genes are vastly different.
The good news is that you can change your gut microbiome. You see, the average lifespan of a bacterium in your microbiome is 20 minutes! So, you have the opportunity every time you eat to begin to change the population of your gut microbiome. This is good news because it means that rather than having to subscribe to theories such as the Paleo diet, which assumes our genes evolve so slowly that we all need to eat like cavemen, we can begin to change our gut microbiome one meal at a time and even achieve a healthy gut very quickly.
What Should You Eat To Improve Your Gut Bacteria
Every person is different, but if you want to improve your microbiome, some broad principles apply to all.
Eat a wide and varied range of plant-based foods. I recommend aiming for 30 plant points every week, says Rossi, which means eating 30 different plants. These should include fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. A healthy gut has a diverse community of microbes, each of which prefers different foods, so the more variety in your diet, the more diverse bacteria will thrive in your gut.
Eat more fibre. Most people eat less than they should. Fruit, vegetables, pulses, nuts and wholegrains feed healthy bacteria, which ferment the fibre and in the process produce substances thought to be protective, such as short-chain fatty acids. We are advised to eat at least 30g of fibre per day, but increasing fibre intake by as little as 6g a day has been found to have an effect on gut bacteria. If your diet is low in fibre, a sudden increase can cause wind and bloating, so make gradual changes and drink extra water.
Avoid highly processed foods. They often contain ingredients that either suppress good bacteria or increase bad bacteria.
Probiotic foods live bacteria found in fermented foods such as yoghurt, kimchi and sauerkraut might encourage more microbes to grow. Eat them if you enjoy them. Find out how to make ferments on BBC Food.
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