10 week Gut Health series: Part 1
All human beings have bacteria in and on their body. In fact, research has shown that the human body is composed of more bacteria than cells. A healthy human body is actually swarming with microorganisms inhabiting every nook and cranny on the body. It is in our gut, the gastrointestinal tract, that we can find the largest collection of microorganisms.
These microorganisms are a community and as such make up our gut microbiota. Combine the microbiota, the products it makes, and the entire environment it lives within and we have a microbiome. The human microbiome (all of our microbes’ genes) can be considered a counterpart to the human genome (all of our genes).
Every human being has a gut microbiota and the composition for each person is unique. Regardless of the composition, the microbiota has the same physiological functions with a direct impact on the health of the human body.
Some of the functions of the gut microbiome are:
- Helps the body to digest certain foods that the stomach and small intestine haven’t been able to digest.
- Helps with the production of vitamins B and K.
- Helps the body combat other microorganisms that would others harm the gastrointestinal tract.
- Plays an important role in the immune system, primarily by performing as a barrier.
- A healthy and balanced gut microbiota is key to ensuring proper digestive functioning. These are vital and important functions of the human body and the immune system
Surprising to many is the fact that health, fertility, and longevity are reliant on the balance of organisms and bacteria living within the gut.
Every human being shapes their own microbiome, which in turn adapts to changes in their environment. For example, the foods that are eaten, sleeping patterns, the amount of bacteria the person is exposed to every day, and the level of stress the person lives with all help to establish the state of the gut microbiota.
Which brings us to the good news: you can affect your microbiome through diet, physical exercise, sleep, and stress management. Depending on the symptoms you are experiencing, your microbiome could need a minor adjustment or a major adjustment.
Sometimes, just know that you really are in control of your gut health is enough to start you on the path to improving your gut health.
Why is the gut biome important? Watch the video below for more information.
Next week: Part 2- How Gut Bacteria Impacts Your Health