Getting Your Gut Right: Pt. 1 – Gut-Buddies

If your bacteria are healthy – you’re healthy. That’s right – the health of the giant mass of living micro-organisms in your large intestine (and on your skin, in your nasal cavity and everwhere) has an essential role to play in the health of your brain and nervous system, your liver, your immune system, and your bodyweight itself. This gut flora is collectively referred to as your microbiome, and when your microbiome is sick it’s referred to as dysbiosis.

Things to know:

  • Dysbiosis is being linked to depression [1], autism [2], obesity [2], type 2 diabetes [2], liver disease and inflammation [2], compromised lung immunity [2], prevention of cancer [3] performance at cancer checkins [2], generalized inflammation and Alzheimers [4], and inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis [5].
  • You are made of only 1/100 human cells (in other words, you are onle 1% YOU) You are 100 times more a carrier for other organisms in your gut than you are human cells. One to two pounds of your bodyweight is bacteria. [2]
  • Your gut bacteria are responsible for synthesizing vitamin K and vitamin B12 for you [2]. Got deficiencies? It could be your gut-buddies.
  • Your gut bacteria manufacture up to 90% of the serotonin in your body [6], i.e. they enable it to do all the things it does with serotonin. I don’t know about you but I like to wonder what my bacteria are thinking.
  • The connection between the microbiome and the nervous system is so strong that researchers call it the gut-brain axis or the gut-brain-microbiome axis. It’s even been referred to as the “second brain”. Gives new meaning to your gut instinct.

Here are some things you can do to keep your gut-buddies nice and happy.

  • Consider taking antibiotics to be the nuclear option for when you are really sick.
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners and flavors
  • Eat probiotic foods like pickles and pickled vegetables, kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, and stinky cheeses.
  • Drink kefir! Water kefir or yogurt kefir or any kind!
  • Fasting is good for almost everything, including your gut bacteria. It allows your sugar-craving bacteria to die off so you can regulate your appetite (one of the many ways of appetite regulation along with sleep, sunlight, and grounding).
  • Take a high quality probiotic (ask me about the choice of probiotics I carry!)