Oct 06 2019

Is it Time for a gut check?

Published by at 1:01 pm under probiotic supplements

Time for a gut check?
Evaluate the choices you make to ensure you are keeping your microbiome healthy.   

As we know, having a healthy microbiome is key to good health and a strong immune system. It takes a daily commitment to stay on track by eating right, exercising, sleeping well and avoiding poor lifestyle choices. With full schedules, work, families and more, we don’t always remember or have the time or energy to make the healthiest choices for ourselves and our families. Today’s blog is about doing a “gut check” and making sure we are all on track.

Keeping our guts healthy is essential for overall health and a strong immune system. The friendly microbes are important for healthy digestion. They destroy harmful bacteria and other microorganisms, produce vitamin K, folate and short-chain fatty acids. When our microbiome contains more bad bacteria then good, an imbalance occurs, This condition, called gut dysbiosis, leads to a plethora of conditions. We are more prone to a variety of infections and other illness. Our brains get  foggy, we can feel lethargic and depressed. Imbalanced gut bacteria and dysbiosis have been connected to weight gain, inflammatory bowel disease, inflammation throughout the body, insulin resistance, obesity and colorectal cancer. An unhealthy gut is at the core of an array of health problems.  All roads lead from the gut, and an unhealthy gut will make us sick, while a healthy gut will keep us well.. (1,2)*

So how healthy is your gut? Are you doing the right things to keep it healthy? Let’s review:

How diverse is your diet?

When we become creatures of habit, grabbing what is easy and eating the same things all the time (and maybe not so healthy), the gut microbes become less diverse..3*

A diet consisting of a wide variety of whole foods, such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits, can lead to a more diverse gut flora. The food you eat provides nutrients that help bacteria grow, so the more diverse the healthy foods, the more variety of nutrients help promote different types of bacteria to grow..3*

Over the past 50 years, the Western diet has become less diverse. “…Today, 75% of the world’s food supply comes from only 12 plants and five animal species…” Studies show that people who reside in rural regions of Africa and South America have a more diverse gut flora than those living in the US and Europe, as their diets are richer in fiber and include a wider  variety of plant protein sources.4*

Have you taken Antibiotics?

While antibiotics are effective in treating infections such as urinary tract infections and strep throat, they do take a toll on the flora residing in the gut. While they kill bacteria or prevent them from multiplying, they harm not only the bad, but also wipe out the good bacteria. Just one round of antibiotics can result in harmful changes to the composition and diversity of the gut flora. Antibiotics cause a short term decline in beneficial bacteria like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli and can increase harmful bacteria like clostridium.  Multiple rounds of antibiotics can really take a toll. Once a round of antibiotics is completed, most bacteria return after 1-4 weeks, but the numbers don’t often return to previous levels. Once you complete a round of antibiotics, take and increased dose of Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ to replenish lost populations.

Take your Probiotics daily

This brings us to the importance of replenishing the friendly critters that we don’t get in our diets whether it is due to a less diverse diet, or because the soils are not as rich in natural Probiotics like they used to be before industrial farming took hold, We must replenish our guts with the friendly microbes they need. Taking Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ is designed for that purpose. When you feel run down or are feeling a canker sore or yeast infection coming on, up your dose. These are all signs that your gut microbes are out of balance. 

Add plenty of Prebiotics

Prebiotics are essential for a healthy gut and for a diverse microbiome. Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ contains prebiotics in the form of humic and fulvic acid. Additionally, we need to also eat plenty of both soluble and non soluble fiber. It is the non soluble fiber that passes through the body undigested and promotes the growth and activity of friendly gut bacteria. You can get your fiber by eating plenty of  fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and beans, which naturally contain prebiotic fiber.

Foods that are high in fiber are and serve as prebiotics are:

  • Asparagus
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Oats
  • Lentils, chickpeas and beans
  • onions
  • nuts
  • Bananas
  • Garlic
  • Leeks (1,5)*

Don’t drink too much alcohol.

When consumed in large amounts, alcohol is highly toxic and can have harmful physical and mental effects, including gut dysbiosis. 6*

A study comparing the gut flora of 41 alcoholics to 10 healthy individuals who consumed little-to-no alcohol showed  dysbiosis was present in 27% of the alcoholic population, while it was not in any of the healthy individuals. 6*

Another study compared the effects of three different types of alcohol on gut health.”…For 20 days, each individual consumed 9.2 ounces (272 ml) of red wine, the same amount of de-alcoholized red wine or 3.4 ounces (100 ml) of gin each day Gin decreased the number of beneficial gut bacteria, whereas red wine actually increased the abundance of bacteria known to promote gut health and decreased the number of harmful gut bacteria like Clostridium …”  The benefits of moderate red wine drinking on the microbiome seems to be because of the polyphenol content in the grapes skins. 7*

A third study. showed that consuming red wine can significantly influence the growth of certain microbes, which suggests “…possible prebiotic benefits associated with the inclusion of red wine polyphenols in the diet…” Polyphenols are plant compounds that escape digestion and are broken down by gut bacteria. They may also help reduce blood pressure and improve cholesterol 7*

Get Physical

 We know it, we hear it everywhere so let’s say it once more for good measure. Physical activity, whether it be walking, running, dancing or gardening, has health benefits that include losing weight, lowering stress and reducing the risk of chronic disease and  also improves gut health, according to recent studies. *

Cigarettes are just bad for you.

Tobacco smoke harms nearly every organ in your body with its thousands of chemicals, (70 of which can cause cancer). Smoking raises the risk of lung cancer, heart disease and stroke and is also one of the most environmentally risky factors for inflammatory bowel disease, which is characterized by ongoing inflammation of the digestive tract. Crohn’s disease, which is a common type of inflammatory bowel disease,  is also twice as likely in smokers. Giving up smoking can increase gut flora diversity.8*

Get lots of consistent Zzzzs

Sleeping, and sleeping well is essential to good gut health and overall health. Disrupting the body’s time clock can have an effect on gut health as shown in a 2016 study which explored the effects of short-term sleep deprivation on the composition of gut flora. The study compared the effects of two nights of sleep deprivation (about 4 hours per night) versus two nights of normal sleep duration (8.5 hours) in nine men. “…Two days of sleep deprivation caused subtle changes to the gut flora and increased the abundance of bacteria associated with weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes and fat metabolism. (1,10)*

Try not to Stress

Stress can alter gut microbes by increasing sensitivity and reducing blood flow in the gut. Mice studies have shown that certain stressors can affect the microbiome. “…Stress exposure in mice also affects bacterial populations, causing an increase in potentially harmful bacteria like Clostridium and reducing beneficial populations of bacteria like lactobacilli…” Another study, which involved 23 college students, examined the composition of their gut bacteria at the beginning and end of the school semester. They observed that the high stress associated with final exams caused a reduction in friendly bacteria, including Lactobacilli….”11*

Easy reminders for improving and maintaining good gut health:

  • Eat plenty of foods rich in prebiotic fibers, such as legumes, onions, asparagus, oats, bananas and others.
  • Take your probiotics 
  • Make time for quality sleep and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
  • Reduce stress through regular exercise and other relaxation techniques.
  • Check your lifestyle choices and use alcohol in moderation. If you’re going to drink, moderately consume red wine which is high in Avoid smoking and stay active.

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

Resources:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-things-that-harm-gut-bacteria#section11
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27110483
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20679230
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23609775
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3362077/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22552027
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2598752
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3180011/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5123208/
  10. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301051107001597

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