“Gut health” is yet another buzzword term that is currently incredibly popular, but what does it mean?
Did you know that the human body hosts ten times more microorganisms than the total amount of cells …? Most of these microorganisms reside in the gut, known as the microbiota. Research over the past decade has uncovered that the function of the gut is much greater than just digestion; our gut has functions in areas such as:
- How we digest our food
- Food sensitivities
- Food cravings
- Overall wellbeing
Factors that influence our Gut Microbiome:
Antibiotics – not only target pathogenic microorganisms but also target host-associated microbial communities. Leaving a negative effect on the gut microbial community. antibiotics can also promote the expansion of antibiotic resistant strains as well as a weakened immune system.
Diet – Microbial enrichment has been associated with diets high in a variety of fruits, vegetables, and fibre, compared to a Western diet rich in fats, sugars and animal protein and depleted of fibre.
As the gut microbiota plays an important role in nutrient extraction from food, the nutritional value of food is influenced particularly by a person’s gut microbial community.
Probiotics - can renew, restore, and grow affected tissues lining the digestive tract with beneficial microorganisms neutralising harmful ones.
Stress – both physical and psychological stress can influence gut microbiome, stress, whether acute or chronic, creates an imbalance in the gut microbiome which then may induce anxiety and depression.
- Bell V, Ferrao J, Pimentel L, Pintado M, Fernandes T, 2018, One Health, Fermented Foods, and Gut Microbiota, Foods Review, MDPI, file://ns-fps/RedirectedFolders/techreg/Downloads/foods-07-00195.pdf
- Cresci GA, Bawden E, 2015, Gut Microbiome: What We Do and Don’t Know, Nutrition in Clinical Practice, Vol 30(6), https://onlinelibrary-wiley-com.ezproxy.uws.edu.au/doi/epdf/10.1177/0884533615609899
- Hajela N, Ramakrishna BS, Nair GB, Abraham P, Gopalan S, Ganguly NK, 2015, Gut microbiome, gut function, and probiotics: Implications for health, Indian Journal of Gastroenterology, Vol 34 (2), https://link-springer-com.ezproxy.uws.edu.au/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs12664-015-0547-6.pdf