Dont Give Up Cheese In The Name Of Gut Health
Could cheese be good for gut health? It seems increasingly likely. A study conducted by the American Chemical Society found that people who ate cheese had higher levels of a certain byproduct of gut bacteria thats been associated with a reduction in cholesterol. Theres a caveat, however: Maurice says its mostly unpasteurized cheeses that have those good-for-you microbes.
Find out 14 more foods you should stop demonizing.
Ways To Improve Your Gut Bacteria Based On Science
There are around 40 trillion bacteria in your body, most of which are found in your gut.
Collectively, they are known as your gut microbiome, and theyre incredibly important for overall health. However, certain types of bacteria in your intestines can also contribute to many diseases.
Many factors, including the foods you eat, can impact the type of bacteria found in your digestive tract.
Here are 9 science-based ways to improve your gut bacteria.
How Can Probiotics Help
They can make your immune system stronger. They may boost gastrointestinal health, too, especially if you have something like irritable bowel syndrome. Some probiotics also may help ease allergy symptoms and help with lactose intolerance. But because our gut microbiomes are unique, if and how they work can be different for everyone.;And some experts feel more research is needed.
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The Gut Health Of Bone Marrow Transplant Patients
One study found that the concentration of various types of immune cells in the blood changed based on the different bacterial strains in the gut. The research, published in the journal Nature in November, was based on more than 10 years of data from more than 2,000 patients cancer patients who underwent;allogeneic stem cell and bone marrow transplants .
When patients receive a BMT, their immune systems and microbiota are damaged and then restored. That’s why the researchers took it as a chance to evaluate both parts of the body.
Blood and fecal samples were collected during the processsometimes daily in many of the patientswhich gave doctors a detailed look at the rapid changes in the patients microbiome and immune systems.
The findings suggested that some bacteria influence the concentration of circulatory immune cell counts. Knowing that immune cell lines change in relation to specific bacteria in the gut is evidence of how our gut microbiome is intricately connected to our immune system.
How To Have Healthy Gut Bacteria
If you haven’t yet heard much about your gut bacteria, part of your overall;gut flora, chances are you are going to be hearing a lot more about this topic in the future. These previously much-overlooked bacteria are now being associated with a wide range of human health solutions and problems.
As you follow along with this unfolding science, there are things that you can do to ensure that your gut bacteria;are as healthy as they can be. Take a look at what is known about your;gut bacteria, what can put it out of balance, and what helps it to thrive.
Be Diligent About Your Dental Health
It might seem strange to mention oral hygiene when discussing how to improve gut health, but its all connected. Multiple studies, including one conducted by Cornell University and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have found that harmful forms of bacteria that grow in the mouth often make their way into the gut or even the bloodstream. Regular brushing can keep those potentially harmful microbes in check-and your gut bacteria in balance.
What Is A Microbiome
Your microbiome is a genetic snapshot of all the microscopic organisms in your body. Usually when people use the term, theyre referring specifically to the gut microbiome.
Increasingly, medical studies are referencing our microbiota, the collection of microbesbacteria, viruses, yeast, and other microscopic organismsthat live in and on our body. While these microbes exist throughout our bodies, the gut microbiome is the most well-studied. And, though our entire microbiota includes several microscopic organisms, the best-studied microbes to date are bacteria, of which there are hundreds of species and trillions of individual cells.
Some of these bacteria can harm us, as potential pathogenssalmonella and E. coli are two well-known gut pathogens, for examplewhile others actively help us, producing vitamins or inhibiting the replication of pathogens; others are seemingly neutral, neither actively helping or harming, but thriving as a part of our internal microbial ecosystem.
When you send in your fecal sample for a microbiome test, its analyzed in a lab using a method called 16s RNA ribosomal sequencing. Basically, scientists isolate and sequence the DNA in your sample and look only at the part that comes from bacteria. This genetic snapshot of your microbiota is usually referred to as your microbiome. From the analysis, you learn what species of bacteria are present in your microbiome, and how diverse your microbiota is in comparison to others.
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Akkermansia 101 And Your Gut Microbiome
In addition to helping to maintain regular digestion, healthy skin, and regular sleep, your gut plays a key role in almost everything that makes you. Therefore, maintaining good gut health is essential for whole-body health and wellbeing.
Thornes newest test, the Gut Health Test, helps optimize your gut health by analyzing your microbiome, and providing detailed insights and recommendations for maintaining a happy and healthy gut. So, naturally, Thorne takes a keen interest in anything that can improve gut-microbiome health and wellness.
One such company Pendulum Therapeutics is making fantastic strides in microbiome science and the nutritional management of Type 2 diabetes. Their first product is a medical probiotic known as Pendulum Glucose Control, which has been specifically targets the gut microbiome.
What is the Gut Microbiome?;
Its no secret that healthy eating and exercise have always been crucial parts of managing Type 2 diabetes. Now, gut-microbiome health is a crucial third component of Type 2 management.
Living inside every person are trillions of microorganisms . These microorganisms are collectively known as the microbiome. Your microbiomemuch like your fingerprintis unique to you.1
Theres no blueprint for a good microbiome. However, when specific types of bacteria are missing from the gut microbiome , chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes can become more likely.1
- The American Diabetes Association
- The Mayo Clinic
- Johns Hopkins
Future Areas Of Research
The microbiome is a living dynamic environment where the relative abundance of species may fluctuate daily, weekly, and monthly depending on diet, medication, exercise, and a host of other environmental exposures. However, scientists are still in the early stages of understanding the microbiomes broad role in health and the extent of problems that can occur from an interruption in the normal interactions between the microbiome and its host.
Some current research topics:
- How the microbiome and their metabolites influence human health and disease.
- What factors influence the framework and balance of ones microbiome.
- The development of probiotics as a functional food and addressing regulatory issues.
Specific areas of interest:
- Factors that affect the microbiome of pregnant women, infants, and the pediatric population.
- Manipulating microbes to resist disease and respond better to treatments.
- Differences in the microbiome between healthy individuals and those with chronic disease such as diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases, obesity, cancers, and cardiovascular disease.
- Developing diagnostic biomarkers from the microbiome to identify diseases before they develop.
- Alteration of the microbiome through transplantation of microbes between individuals .
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The Microbiomes Impact On The Immune System
More than 80% of your immune system lives in the lining of your gut. When good bacteria are destroyed, the bad bacteria proliferate, which can lead to leaky gut and a variety of poor health conditions. Just one round of antibiotics decreases gut microbiome diversity by at least 30%. The diversity of the microbiome is key for immunity, nutrient absorption, and effects on the brain and behavior.
The microbiome also plays a role in a number of diseases caused by a disturbance in the normal balance of microbes. Low diversity in the microbiome is associated with a number of chronic illnesses including obesity, insulin resistance, high cholesterol, inflammation, Crohns Disease, Diabetes colorectal cancer, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, allergies, chronic fatigue syndrome, and polycystic ovary syndrome.
In addition to all the tips here on how to boost your childs gut health and microbiome, these steps can also help keep the immune system strong.
- Help your child avoid sugar as it suppresses the immune system for several hours and feeds the bad bacteria in the intestinal tract.
- Ensure adequate intake of good quality protein, which is the building block for the antibodies that fight infection.
- Get plenty of sleep, regular exercise,time spent in nature especially with plenty of exposure to dirt, and increase intake of green vegetables.
Dysbiosis And Your Gut Microbiome
Your gut contains around two-thirds of your immune system cells, in whats called the gut-associated lymphoid tissue. It also helps run your metabolism, produce vitamins, and store neurotransmitters. Its role in the functioning of your body is so central that it has its own nervous system â the enteric nervous system which contains more neurons than your spinal cord.
Your gut microbiome is another miracle. It contains over 100 trillion microorganisms, which means that your body has 10 times more microbial cells than human cells and 100 times more microbial DNA than human DNA. In total, thats around four pounds of organisms living inside your body. So its important that you are a good host and take care of their well-being and balance so they treat you well too.
Many people, however, neglect the health of their gut. They eat unhealthy diets, rely too much on certain medications , drink too much alcohol, eat too much sugar, lead a sedentary lifestyle, get exposed to toxins, eat foods theyre sensitive to, let stress run their lives, and dont get enough sleep.
All of these factors, among others, can affect the balance of your gut microbiome. And when your gut microbiome is out of balance a state called dysbiosis your guts lining can begin to create leaks.
Its important to note that genetics also play a role, although your diet and lifestyle choices can overrule genetic vulnerability to gut microbiome imbalance. Your choices do make a difference.
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Microbiome Diversity Is Probably Not Achievable By Swallowing A Whole Range Of Supplements
While taking a probiotic may be like planting a seed, taking a prebiotic is like nurturing it by giving it the nourishment it needs. But again, this approach comes up against the same limitations as taking a probiotic alone.
Verdict: “Prebiotics do not increase the diversity of the microbiome,” says Whelan. “They will increase specific bacteria, but they won’t increase the number of different types of bacteria.”
Mixing it up
So microbiome diversity is probably not achievable by swallowing a whole range of supplements. But there are ways to improve diversity by focusing on the foods you eat.
“Have a look at the people around you,” says Whelan. “You’ll find some people will have the same lunch every day. And in the evening, three or four different main dishes, and they will eat that for a whole year bar going out occasionally.”
Even if your habitual diet is balanced, with plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and so on, having a predictable routine is not likely to do much good for a diverse microbiome.
Eating the same few meals all the time may not be the best for beneficial gut microbes – scientists say variety is key
“Dietary diversity is about challenging the concept of constantly eating the same thing,” says Whelan. “For example, if you have fish regularly, make sure it isn’t always salmon. Make sure you have wholegrains regularly, but not just wholegrain bread.”
Whelan agrees that some people may be taking fermentation too far.
The Gut Microbiome And Mental Health: How To Better Support The Brain
An estimated one in five American adults experiences bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, or other mental illnesses each year. And scientists warn that several years of pandemic-related stress and social upheaval have not done our mental health any favors, although the exact implications are still being explored.
Most Americans say that they significantly increased their use of alcohol and other substances to cope with the changing times. Changes in diet, nutrition, and alcohol intake are having an indirect effect on a surprising dimension of our mental health: our gut microbiome.
The average person has an estimated 39 trillion bacteria cells in his or her body, which is far more than the number of actual human cells. Much of these bacteria take up residence in the gut. Researchers collectively refer to that as your gut microbiome.
Although your gut and digestive tract might seem at nearly the opposite end of your body from your brain, theres a powerful gut-brain connection that gives new credence to the phrase, think with your gut.
Your gut has an estimated 500 million neurons, which communicate with your brain via the vagus nerve. This is where the groundbreaking research on the gut microbiome and mental health really takes off.
The neurotransmitters gamma-aminobutyric acid and serotonin are other prominent examples of how gut health matters for the brain and mental health.
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What Does Gut Microbiome Have To Do With Your Health
You are full of bacteria, literally. In fact, you have more bacteria that live in your gut than cells in your body. Microbiome refers to the group of up to microbes, or 1,000 bacterial species, that live in your body. This bacteria helps with digestion, destroys harmful bacteria and helps control your immune system.
When you eat, only a small portion of nutrients are absorbed through the walls of your stomach. A majority of the work occurs in your small intestine. Here, your gut breaks down these nutrients necessary for your body to thrive. The gut bacteria produces enzymes that help break down indigestible carbohydrates. In fact, by the time your food leaves the small intestine, it will have absorbed 90 percent of all nutrients.
The link between microbiome and its role in disease continues to be researched. Yet, studies have shown its impact on both physiological health and even mental health. A healthy microbiome can reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
If your gut is trying to tell you something, try altering the microbiome with changes to your diet. Avoid a high-fat diet and limit processed foods. A Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables and whole grains, has been associated with a healthier microbiome. You can also incorporate fiber-rich foods, which are carbohydrates your body cannot digest. These foods can provide lasting energy to fuel you for the day. You can also try foods with probiotics.
Know These 5 Keys To A Healthier Microbiome
Want to improve your health? Itd be wise to listen to your gut.
Your microbiome, the balance of trillions of microorganisms in your digestive tract, is essential to overall function and wellbeing. A healthy gut is linked to a healthy heart, weight control, minimizing the impact of allergies and asthma, and a host of other benefits.
How do you protect this delicate and incredibly important environment?
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Signs Your Gut Needs Attention
Everything that weve discussed so far boils down to a high probability that an imbalance in gut microbes will put you at greater risk of developing many diseases. It may also lead to more symptoms of gluten intolerance and digestive discomforts. If you have an imbalance, you have more bad bacteria than good, and well talk about how to correct that problem in just a moment.
For now, go through this checklist to see if you may have a;serious gut imbalance;that could impact your health in a negative manner:
- You suffer unexplained bloating, diarrhea, constipation or other digestive issues.
- You suffer from acid reflux.
- Youve been told that you have ulcers inside your colon, or you suffer from ulcerative colitis or Crohns Disease. These conditions are closely associated with gut flora imbalances, and many GI doctors now recommend probiotics to all patients with these conditions.
- Youre always tired and fatigued.
- You experience painful gas or general sensitivity in your abdomen, and there is no other explanation for the sensitivity.
- Youve been told that youre intolerant or allergic to gluten. Other food allergies may qualify here as well, but dont assume that balancing your gut microbiome will eliminate all food intolerance, sensitivity or allergy. There simply isnt enough research to prove that, but some people find that healing their gut does at least reduce symptoms or slow the frequency of painful flareups.
Gut Bacteria And Your Brain
Your brain sends messages all over your body. Researchers believe your gut may talk back. Studies show that the balance of bacteria in the gut microbiome may affect your emotions and the way your brain processes information from your senses, like sights, sounds, flavors, or textures.;Scientists suspect that changes in that balance may play a role in conditions like autism spectrum disorder, anxiety, and depression, as well as chronic pain.;
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What Is Gut Health
Your body is home to trillions of microscopic organisms: bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microbes that inhabit almost every part of you. This busy ecosystem of microorganisms make up whats known as the human gut microbiome.
Most of your microbes live in your gut. Bacteria are the most studied of the gut microbes. Scientists have discovered over 1,000 species of bacteria in the gut. These bugs do a lotthey digest your food, keep your immune system humming along, protect your intestines, remove environmental toxins from the body, produce B vitamins and generate vitamin K, which helps your blood clot.
Human health is complicated, to say the least. Similarly, everyones gut microbiome is unique, although certain combinations of microbes are the hallmarks of a healthy gut.
Your gut flora also contains small amounts of bad bacteria. Their presence is totally normal, but we dont want these microbes to take over. Thats why keeping a good balance between the good and the bad guys is important. You want vibrant communities where the good bacteria thrive and the bad bacteria are kept in check.