TAG | Gut Bacteria
Probiotics found in probiotic supplements, yogurt, and other fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut, are microscopic helpers that impact us in a big way when it comes to our health.‡
A recent Yahoo article, “Probiotics: More Than Your Tummy’s BFF..,” called out some of the important advantages to maintaining a healthy balance of digestive bacteria—supported by probiotics.‡ Your gut is filled with trillions of bacterial cells, and probiotics help boost the amount of healthy bacterial cells there. ‡ These healthy bacteria promote healthy gut balance as well as produce vitamins, help digest your food, promote your immune health, and help keep your bowel and digestive tract ticking along nicely.‡
Dysbiosis and Your Gut
An imbalance of healthy bacteria in the gut is known as dysbiosis, a condition you may not know you have until its uncomfortable signs crop up. The signs of dysbiosis include:
- Gas, bloating, and flatulence, especially around meal time
- Occasional and unexplained constipation or digestive upsets
- Skin issues such as itchy, dry skin or breakouts
- Poor nutrient absorption and irregular digestion
- Yeast imbalance
Boosting your levels of healthy bacteria through probiotic intake supports an optimal balance of beneficial bacteria in your gut.‡
Did you know?
The lining of your gut (GALT) is often called your “second brain,” and the bacteria in it are as important as brain cells in keeping you healthy. The gut associated lymphatic tissue (GALT) is your primary line of defense in the digestive tract; it also produces 90 percent of the body’s feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin.
The GALT is also heavily reliant on the beneficial gut bacteria to do its job. These beneficial bacteria, which include probiotics, promote important immune cell function and help create a healthy gut barrier.‡ So, keep your probiotic intake high, avoid unnecessary antibiotic use, and eat a whole-foods rich diet to feed your gut, and whole body, healthy!
Source: “Probiotics, More Than Your Tummy’s BFF…” Yahoo Shine, July 2013.
Did you ever think that what goes on in your gut could affect your heart? It may seem far-fetched, but it’s not. Think about it: the intestinal lining is connected to the bloodstream, which acts as a direct communication line with the heart and the rest of the body.
Recent studies have found an interesting gut-heart connection. When gut bacteria break down phosphatidyl choline from lecithin, a common dietary ingredient found in foods like eggs, dairy, meat, fish and soy, a metabolite called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) is formed. TMAO promotes atherosclerosis, and higher amounts of this metabolite in the blood increase the risk of heart disease.
This is an interesting study, but there are many questions that still need to be answered. Which bacteria are more likely to produce this TMAO? How does modifying gut bacteria change the heart disease risk? More studies are needed to determine this, but researchers suggest that probiotics may be used in the future for preventing heart disease.
It’s exciting science, though still in the early stages. But the overall message is clear: what happens in your gut affects the rest of your body. No question!