Why Is The Gut Microbiome Important For Your Health
Scientists have found over 1,000 different species of bacteria in gut microbiome samples, although each individual only has around 160 of these species in their gut.
Three phyla or groups of bacteria make up the most abundant members of the gut microbiome.
; Bacteroidetes, including Prevotella
; Actinobacteria, including Bifidobacterium
The precise mix of microbes in your gut directly influences your health. This is because some microbes are beneficial and others harmful.
Healthy Microbiome Tip #: Keep It Fresh
Sure, being a picky eater might make your dinner rotation simpler. Yet the truth remains that more fresh fruits and veggies, combined with a diverse range of meals, means a healthy microbiome.Similar to doing only one kind of cardio or performing one weight-lifting routine, eating the same set of meals wont necessarily hurt your gut flora, but it wont help them either. Thats because youre only fueling a small amount of gut bacteria, while ignoring or even starving others.
Every week, try at least one new leafy green or bright-colored vegetable. Likewise, snack on new fruits and nuts between meals, and make your plates as colorful as possible when you sit down to eat. ;;;;;
Rest Your Digestion For 12 Hours
If your digestive system is constantly processing what’s coming in, it never has enough time to send waste out. By allowing your digestion to rest for 12 hours overnight, it has time to clean itself up. Ideally, you’d have an early and light dinner by 7 p.m. and then wait until 7 a.m. the next morning to “break your fast,” but follow whatever 12-hour time frame works for your schedule.
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What Does The Gut Microbiome Do
The gut microbiome has a number of jobs, including:
; extracting nutrients from food
; digesting fiber and proteins from food
; making vitamins B and K
; shaping the immune system
; protecting the body from pathogens
One key job the gut microbiome performs is to digest fiber from the food you eat, as your body cant digest fiber on its own.
Your microbes turn fiber into molecules, or metabolites, such as short-chain fatty acids .
These metabolites are important for a range of things, including gut health, blood sugar and blood fat control, appetite control, and the immune system.
Gut microbes can also digest protein and make B vitamins and vitamin K.
Researchers estimate that your gut microbiome can produce thousands of different metabolites.
Studies in mice have shown that animals lacking a microbiome dont develop a normal immune system, highlighting how crucial your gut microbes are.
They work together with your immune cells to protect you from infection and disease.
Your microbes also stop the growth of pathogens in your gut. They do this by competing for the space, maintaining the health of the intestinal barrier, and by producing molecules that kill invading pathogens.
Cut Out Sugar And Avoid Processed Foods
Youre sweet enough already! Fast digesting sugars, otherwise known as Monnosaccarides, are digested so quickly that your little microbes dont get a chance to take a bite out of them! If you eat too many simple sugars too regularly, you run the risk of literally starving your microbiome to death. Additionally, hungry microbes will resort to munching away at the lining in your intestine, which can lead to inflammation. Try to alter your diet to include more foods with complex sugars, to ensure a happy and healthy microbiome. Heres a list of some sweet foods that will keep both you and your gut happy!
- Sweet Potatoes
Also make sure you keep out an eye for dreaded hidden sources of monosaccharides. Sugar can sneak into foods you would never expect them to be. Keep an eye on sugar levels in things like smoothies, nut butters, protein bars, salad dressings and even in a gut-favourite yogurt!
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Take A Deep Breath Of Fresh Air
We might be able to repopulate certain kinds of bacteria in our guts just by getting some fresh air. About a third of gut microbiota is made up of spore-forming bacteria that slough off and persist in the soil for hundreds of years. When we breathe and swallow air containing these ancient bacterial spores, they can repopulate our guts.
If we go to places where humans have been, there will be spores of these gut microbes, says Rook. Im sure I have organisms in my gut derived from Julius Caesar, because he would have passed through London, where I now live.
Some beneficial microbes we encounter in nature arent derived from human microbiota, but they still affect it. One experiment found that immunizing mice with an inert bacterium called Mycobacterium vaccae, which is typically found in soil where cattle have grazed, prevented stress-induced colitis despite microbiota changes characteristic of the inflammatory bowel disease. It also seems to protect against anxiety and depressive;behaviors.
How To Build An Infants Microbiome
Making sure your babys microbiome develops properly starts with nurturing your own gastrointestinal system during pregnancy. Its not just your genes that will pass down to your growing baby, but also your microbes. The invisible community living in and an on you that helps me thrive will also form the foundation of your babys gastrointestinal and immune systems.
Microbiome seeding is generally regarded to start at birth , through the vaginal canal, skin-to-skin contact, and breastfeeding. Eventually, the surrounding environmentother moms, dads, siblings, dogs, the ground, naturecontinues to contribute to this microbial biodiversity .
Because you pass your own microbes on to your baby during delivery and through your breast milk, youll set the stage for your babys microbiome development and long-term wellness.
Our top recommendation for mothers is Seeds Daily Synbiotic. Seeds special 2-in-1 capsule and algae microsphere delivery system protect against stomach acid and safeguard viability through digestion. Its liquid prebiotic suspension acts as an additional barrier to oxygen, moisture, and heat .
We also love that Seed is as committed to planetary health as they are to human health. They offer a sustainable refill system that starts with a glass jar and continues with monthly refills . The biodegradable packaging grew from mushrooms and;decomposes in soil within 30 days.
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Add Probiotic Foods Into Your Diet
What are probiotic foods? These are foods that contain microorganisms that have a health benefit.
There are several different kinds of helpful microorganisms that are added to foods like yogurt, or are naturally found in other fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi that give them a health-promoting effect. Give one of these foods a try in the new year.
You might be wondering if probiotic supplements are as beneficial as probiotic food. So far there isn’t enough evidence to say that so stick with food.
If You Can Breastfeed For At Least 6 Months
A babys microbiome begins to properly develop at birth. However, studies suggest that babies may be exposed to some bacteria even before birth .
During the first 2 years of life, an infants microbiome is continuously developing and is rich in beneficial Bifidobacteria, which can digest the sugars found in breast milk .
Many studies have shown that infants who are fed formula have an altered microbiome with fewer Bifidobacteria than infants who are breastfed (
A number of studies have shown that vegetarian diets may benefit the gut microbiome, which may be due to their high fiber content.
For example, one small 2013 study found that a vegetarian diet led to reduced levels of disease-causing bacteria in people with obesity, as well as reductions in body weight, inflammation, and cholesterol levels .
A 2019 review noted that plant foods are rich in specific nutrients that can increase levels of beneficial bacteria and decrease harmful strains of bacteria to support gut health .
However, it is unclear if the benefits of a vegetarian diet on the gut microbiome are due to a lack of meat intake or if other factors may also play a role.
Vegetarian and vegan diets may improve the microbiome. However, it is unclear if the positive effects associated with these diets can be attributed to a lack of meat intake or if other factors may be involved.
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Discovering Microbes That Predict Covid
The COVID-19 pandemic has inspired me to shift my research and explore the role of the gut microbiome in the overly aggressive immune response against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
My colleagues and I have hypothesized that critically ill SARS-CoV-2 patients with conditions like obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease exhibit an altered gut microbiome that aggravates acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Acute respiratory distress syndrome, a life-threatening lung injury, in SARS-CoV-2 patients is thought to develop from a fatal overreaction of the immune response called a cytokine stormthat causes an uncontrolled floodof immune cells into the lungs. In these patients, their own uncontrolled inflammatory immune response, rather than the virus itself, causes the severe lung injury and multiorgan failures that lead to death.
Several studies described in one recent review have identified an altered gut microbiome in patients with COVID-19. However, identification of specific bacteria within the microbiome that could predict COVID-19 severity is lacking.
To address this question, my colleagues and I recruited COVID-19 hospitalized patients with severe and moderate symptoms. We collected stool and saliva samples to determine whether bacteria within the gut and oral microbiome could predict COVID-19 severity. The identification of microbiome markers that can predict the clinical outcomes of COVID-19 disease is key to help prioritize patients needing urgent treatment.
How Can You Cultivate A Healthy Microbiome
Ive told you the bad newsbut dont panic, because theres plenty of good news, too! Thats because were discovering that we can cultivate a hardy microbiome thats strong enough to withstand the daily hits it takes. So no matter what the world dishes out, your microbes can keep doing their jobs.
Whats more, its easier than youd think to nurture your microbiome. Here are my eight simple and powerful tips for tending your internal garden.
Your gut microbiome needs careful tending, especially in todays challenging world. Luckily, with enough TLC, you can keep that little universe inside you going strong. When you do, itll reward you by banishing your bloat, helping you lose weight more easily, and keeping you healthy and happy.;
To get you started, heres my recipe for home-made kimchiI hope you AND your gut bugs enjoy it!
Keep Positive and Stay Healthy!
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How To Improve Gut Health Naturally
At any given moment, there are trillions of bacteria living in your gut. Known as a microbiome, this culture of microscopic organisms is essential to gut health, playing a role in everything from the digestion of food to the regulation of metabolism. Whats more, research suggests the condition of your microbiome can also impact your mood and your ability to fend of illness.
Although the market is saturated with expensive probiotics that can give your microbiome a boost, it turns out you can actually change your internal ecosystem simply by adapting your lifestyle.
The gut microbiota is very dynamic, so if you start taking up healthy food habits, it will respond and will modify very quicklyeven within 48 hours, says Corinne Maurice, an assistant professor at McGill University, who is also the Canada Research Chair in Gut Microbial Physiology and a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar for Humans and the Microbiome. But to improve gut health in the long-term, you need to stick to those healthy habits, because the benefits can disappear just as quickly. Heres expert advice on how to improve gut health naturally.
It May Help Control Blood Sugar And Lower The Risk Of Diabetes
The gut microbiome also may help control blood sugar, which could affect the risk of type 1 and 2 diabetes.
One recent study examined 33 infants who had a genetically high risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
It found that the diversity of the microbiome dropped suddenly before the onset of type 1 diabetes. It also found that levels of a number of unhealthy bacterial species increased just before the onset of type 1 diabetes .
Another study found that even when people ate the exact same foods, their blood sugar could vary greatly. This may be due to the types of bacteria in their guts .
The gut microbiome plays a role in controlling blood sugar and may also affect the onset of type 1 diabetes in children.
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Chronic Disease And Microbes
Patients with chronic illnesses including type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease exhibit a hyperactive immune system that fails to recognize a harmless stimulus and is linked to an altered gut microbiome.
In these chronic diseases, the gut microbiome lacks bacteria that activate immune cells that block the response against harmless bacteria in our guts. Such alteration of the gut microbiome is also observed in babies delivered by cesarean section, individuals consuming a poor diet and the elderly.
In the U.S., 117 million individuals about half the adult population suffer from type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease or a combination of them. That suggests that half of American adults carry a faulty microbiome army.
Research in my laboratory focuses on identifying gut bacteria that are critical for creating a balanced immune system, which fights life-threatening bacterial and viral infections, while tolerating the beneficial bacteria in and on us.
Given that diet affects the diversity of bacteria in the gut, my lab studies show how diet can be used as a therapy for chronic diseases. Using different foods, people can shift their gut microbiome to one that boosts a healthy immune response.
Be Conservative About Antibiotic Use
While antibiotics are invaluable for treating life-threatening infections, using them for routine problems can deplete the microbiota in ways that allow bad players to take over.
Considering what we now know about the role of gut bacteria in keeping us healthy, it should be considered malpractice for dermatologists to prescribe oral antibiotics for acne, says Robynne Chutkan, MD, author of The Microbiome Solution, who attributes her struggles with rosacea to antibiotics she was prescribed as a teenager. Even if they work, they can create other diseases that are arguably worse. Antibiotic resistance, for example, is an extremely serious consequence of overprescribing antibiotics for non-life-threatening;conditions.
Many experts recommend avoiding antibiotics except in cases of serious infection. When theyre necessary, protect your microbiota by taking -probiotics or a form of yeast called Saccharomyces boulardii .
Another source of unnecessary antibiotics is feedlot meat. Livestock raised in feedlots are fed antibiotics, including those designed for human use, both to prevent the spread of disease in their crowded conditions and to help them put on weight. When we eat these animals, were eating antibiotic residue, as well as possibly dangerous microorganisms that evolved resistance to the antibiotics. You can avoid this problem and support farmers who use more humane methods by choosing meat from animals raised on pasture.
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Easy On The Painkillers For Your Gut Flora
Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory are painkillers that can alter the gut microbiome and lead to an upset stomach.
Better known as NSAIDs, these medications are among the most commonly prescribed. They are used to treat pain by targeting inflammation, and are especially popular because they help relieve menstrual pain.
However, even though they can produce short-term relief, chronic use can damage your gut lining and make your gut microbes sad. They irritate your intestinal lining, causing inflammation and even bleeding too both of which are detrimental to this organ and your microbiome.
TIPSome of these painkillers, like ibuprofen, can be bought at your shop, others prescribed by your doctor.
Artificial Sweeteners Are Not On The Healthy Gut Diet Plan
Sugar-free alternatives have been branded as a better option than sugar, but when it comes to your intestinal health, this isnt strictly true.
Artificial sweeteners may be a convenient replacement for those with a sweet tooth, but they may not be as beneficial as originally thought. Some studies have shown that they can actually increase blood sugar and increase the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Its easy to reach for a non-sugar sweetener, but if youre trying to lower your sugar intake, its worth considering reaching for a piece of fruit, some dark chocolate, or simply forgoing the syrup in your latte.
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How To Restore Healthy Gut Flora
Probiotics can support a healthy microbiome. These foods and supplements contain live bacteria that can benefit our health.
The bacteria in your gut make up a very important ecosystem, and if this becomes upset, it can lead to abnormalities in its composition and diversity. There are many things in life which can have negative consequences on your gut bacteria and intestinal health.
Studies have shown that probiotics can help to restore gut bacteria to healthy levels which protects us from inflammation. Live fermented foods are great sources of natural probiotics that you can eat and drink. Researchers think these traditional foods may play an important role in human health.
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