You know when people say they have a gut feeling? They may be on to something. New research has uncovered some pretty amazing connections between our gut microbes and our overall health. Check out these cool facts about the human gut!
- It helps you crush your limits. Research shows an abundant strain of good bacteria called Lactobacillus helps your body use energy more efficiently to boost endurance. It also has anti-fatigue properties and may help increase muscle mass. Anyone up for a kickboxing class?
- It takes the edge off ‘that time of the month’. Being good to your gut can help ease the upset tummy and occasional bloating that comes with having your period. Another big benefit? A healthy gut produces hormones and neurotransmitters—including serotonin—that help keep mood swings to a minimum.
- It may be the source of those pesky food cravings. Sometimes called the body’s “second brain,” the gut has its own complex nervous system—and it may be the reason you seek out the chips and cookies in times of added stress.
- It gives new meaning to the words ‘healthy metabolism’. It may be time to quit yo-yo dieting and work on building your arsenal of beneficial gut bacteria. New research reveals that our gut microbes play a key role in how our bodies store fat, maintain healthy blood sugar, and support a healthy weight.
- Just like you, it functions better on a good night’s sleep. Too little sleep affects the more than 100 trillion bacterial cells living in your gut, which can lead to metabolic changes tied to type 2 diabetes and other obesity-related disorders.
- It helps when you’ve had a little too much. A few too many drinks can cause the liver to produce a chemical called acetaldehyde, which generally makes you feel like doo-doo after a night on the town. Probiotics—the good bacteria in your gut and in probiotic supplements—help combat the effects so you feel better.*
Nutrients. 2016 Apr; 8(4): 205. Published online 2016 Apr 7. doi: 10.3390/nu8040205. Lactobacillus plantarum TWK10 Supplementation Improves Exercise Performance and Increases Muscle Mass in Mice
Gend Med. 2009; 6(Suppl 2): 152–167. doi: 10.1016/j.genm.2009.03.004. Do Fluctuations in Ovarian Hormones Affect Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Women With Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Molecular Metabolism. Volume 5, Issue 12, December 2016, Pages 1175–1186. Gut microbiota and glucometabolic alterations in response to recurrent partial sleep deprivation in normal-weight young individuals.