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Gut Check Your Microbiome

The microbiome is a new hot topic in many areas including health and genetics. Most people are not aware of the microbes that coincide with them on a daily basis, however, the body contains over 100 trillion foreign microbial cells. This friendly flora in the gut that helps with processes such as digestion. The microbiome holds many functions and weighs about 3 pounds which is the same weight as the brain.

With the prevalence of anti-biotics you should be concerned about the health of your gut.

People tend to ignore this until it becomes a problem such as feeling pain or discomfort, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation. While these are minor issues there could be many further issues occur with a microbiome dysbiosis (gut microbiome out of balance). Such diseases like, asthma, eczema, autism, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, cancer and more could have a link to what is happening at the microbial level.

Disclaimer: Solving all these issues isn’t purely reliant on your gut microbiome however some of them are. I suggest doing further research if you are trying to solve one of the above diseases.

What we do know is that the microbes you have in your gut can have a big impact on what medicines are effective as well. Your DNA is 99.9% similar to almost all humans but you could only share about 10% of the microbiome as someone else. (This is why I have become obsessed with personalized medicine as of recent.)

Microbiome and the Immune System

Your microbiome is responsible for teaching your immune system how to prevent diseases. Fighting off diseases starts in the gut. About 70% of your bodies immune cells live in the intestine, and the microbiome tells them the message before they take action. Without a correct balance of microbiome you are much more likely to get sick, develop allergies, or asthma. This is why antibiotics and industrial processed meat can be so dangerous.

The Gut-Brain Axis

The microbiome even has a connection to your brain cells which can control the expression of your DNA, this is known as epigenetics. You may have heard people say they have a gut reaction, and now you know where it came from.

Microbiome and Obesity

In 2006 a study at Washington University in St. Louis conducted a study that shows a strong connection between obesity and the microbiome. To sum it up quickly, 2 groups of mice were given the same caloric amount but one group became obese and the other did not. This was a result of the microbiome. Many people think dieting is as simple as calories in vs. calories out. However this relationship might not be as intuitive as we once thought. This could be why many people can’t seem to shake the unwanted weight and keep it off for good.

By looking at your microbiome scientist can predict with 90% accuracy whether you’re obese or not.There are more advanced techniques that would need doctors to do but there are many things you can do in your daily routine to fix your gut.

Steps to take in order to optimize your gut:

  1. Eat less sugar, and refined carbohydrates
  2. eat less processed food
  3. Eat probiotic food such as yogurt or pickles
  4. Eat foods with anti-inflammatory effects
  5. Exercise
  6. Practice intermittent fasting

Supplements you can take:

collagen protein, Betaine HCL, L-Glutamine, Digestive enzymes, probiotics,

use anti-biotics with caution

**I will go into more detail on these supplements in a further article. **

The Bottom Line

With all this comes some confusion. There are many new products hitting the market like probiotics and prebiotics. Many modern guts may be in a compromised state, especially if you eat a low vegetable/low fiber diet, a underactive gut could be impacting you. Fiber is a prebiotic, or in other words food that microbes feed on.

The western diet could be the reason that a lot of autoimmune disorders are occurring. This includes allergies and could be the reason for dramatic increase of allergies over the past two decades. Having a healthy microbiome also helps in reducing inflammation which has a hole host of diseases linked to it itself.

Many drug therapies are ineffective for many of these diseases and I believe it is time we start focussing on optimizing what’s inside before we add external stimuli.

Please drop a comment below, I would love to hear your feedback. Also if there are any topics you would like for me to write about please tell me.

Sources:

  1. https://blog.bulletproof.com/how-to-own-your-gut-bacteria-and-fix-leaky-gut-syndrome/
  1. https://www.ted.com/talks/rob_knight_how_our_microbes_make_us_who_we_are
  1. Super Genes: Deepak Chopra
  1. http://americangut.org/
  1. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v444/n7122/abs/nature05414.html
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