Here are 20 facts about gut health for you!
1*The microbes in our gut out number our human cells ten to one.
2*Roughly 70% of our immune system is located with in the gut.
3*You have 100 times more DNA located within your Microbiota, than in the cells of your body. The cells in your body and in your microbiota talk to each other.
4* Your gut has a brain of its own. The connection between the digestive system and the central nervous system, consisting of the brain and the spinal cord, is well known but what is lesser known is that the digestive system also has an independent nervous system of its own called the “Enteric Nervous System” (ENS). This ENS is known as the second brain. There are in fact more neurons in the gastrointestinal tract than the entire spinal cord. This means that Neurological illnesses may not always mean there is something wrong with the brain. They could very well be the manifestations of a sick gut, which is directly related to what we put in our mouth.
Many neurological disorders such as autism, epilepsy, depression, A.D.D, A.D.H.D, dyslexia, dyspraxia, schizophrenia, anxiety and migraines have already been associated with a dysfunctional enteric nervous system (ENS). Incredibly, some of these ailments have been completely reversed when the patient was put on a strict gut healing protocol.
5*A lot of people use the word “gut” to refer to the intestines. However the gut generally signifies the entire passage between a human’s mouth and the anus, including the oesophagus and stomach.
6*Good bacteria such as acidophilus is passed from generation to generation. A baby literally takes a gulp of bacteria as it passes through the birth canal, hence establishing a foundation for its natural probiotic levels. This is why it is so important for mothers to optimise their health and friendly bacteria levels before giving birth. A baby that is borne under c-section does not get this dose of beneficial bacteria as it leaves it mother’s body.
7* Your gut manufactures significantly more neurotransmitters, such as serotonin (the feel good hormone), than does the brain. In fact 80 to 90 percent of your serotonin is made in the gut and every class of brain neurotransmitter has been found in the gut.
8*We eat to nourish all of our cells. If we make poor food choices or if our bodies cannot digest, absorb and utilize the food due to poor digestive function, we probably will eventually develop signs and symptoms of allergies and health issues and finally a diagnosable illness.
9*Digestive issues such as gut dysbiosis (an imbalance of good to bad bacteria in the gut) or leaky gut contribute to a wide range of health issues. Including the following…migraine headaches, depression, neurological disorders, obesity, arthritis, foggy thinking, autoimmune illnesses, autism, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis, skin complaints, low fertility rates, low immunity, GI infections, low sex drive, leaky gut, thyroid issues, nutrient deficiency, and more.
10*Food talks to your microbiata and to your genes.
11*Your microbiata is made up of 1.5kg to 2.5 kg of bacteria that help to make vitamins, protect you against infection and run your metabolism.
12*Every year over 1 million people in England are diagnosed with a digestive illness or disease.
13*Gut bacteria passes from mother to child in breast milk. A very good reason to increase your friendly bacteria before childbirth and during lactation.
14*The growth of bad bacteria is controlled by the good bacteria as they compete for nutrition and attachment sites in the intestine. Good bacteria also secrete a substance in the intestine that kills bad bacteria.
15* Antibiotics taken for any bacterial illness can kill both the good and bad bacteria present in your gut, thereby, disturbing the ratio and favouring the growth of bad bacteria.
16*The critical ratio of good to bad bacteria can be disturbed not only by eating highly processed foods but also by sterilized and pasteurized foods. The more common pasteurised foods available include all commercial brands of bottled/ packaged juice and smoothie’s unless stated as raw and cold pressed, pasteurised milk, long life UHT milk, some commercially available almonds (check your sources), vinegar (unless raw and unfiltered), pasteurised egg whites, most butter and yoghurt.
17*Stress can mess up your gut. Moments of acute stress and/or on going chronic stress can trigger and exacerbate symptoms of irritable bowl syndrome, which is characterised by chronic abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation. Being in a state of stress while eating is also known to slow digestion as the body diverts energy away from the digestive system to deal with what it thought, is an anticipated life-and-death situation(fight or flight). As a result food stays in the stomach longer and creates, gas, indigestion and bloating. Studies have shown that stress may disrupt the delicate balance of gut bacteria, increasing intestinal permeability and even promoting low-grade inflammation.
18* Your Micriobiota can determine how much you eat. Our appetite was once thought to be predominantly controlled by the brain but now, it is increasingly clear that hormones produced in the gut influence our eating behaviour as well. It is not just the hormones produced in our gut that can effect our eating but also the intestinal bacteria. Studies have shown that certain strains of bacteria that cause inflammation can also increase appetite and play a role in weight gain.
19*If spread flat your digestive system would cover a tennis court.
20* Gut bacteria can influence your behaviour.
The microbes inside our body, mostly in the gut, exert far more influence on us than we can ever imagine. Studies have shown that certain kinds of behaviour can be more prevalent, such as anxiety, when there are increased amounts of certain strains of pathogenic bacteria within the gut. There were also changes in the brain when certain strains of bacteria were present in the gut. Nutrition and gut health play a major role in reducing, anxiety, anger and violent behaviour.
As absurd as the idea that human behaviour can be influenced by single cell microbes may sound, it is probably not that far fetched when you really think about it. After all gut bacteria vastly out number human cells in the body, to the tune of 10 to 1.