Your gut is home to over 100 billion bacteria, but antibiotics, pesticides, stress, and genetically-modified foods are just a few of the things that can weaken that diversity. Your gut’s bacteria needs to stay healthy or concerns like irritable bowel syndrome, gluten allergies, and even obesity can be more likely. Some even think the recent rise in autism, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis could even be connected to an unhealthy gut![2, 3, 4] Let's look at just 3 reasons why healthy gut flora are so important.
Why Is a Healthy Gut Flora Important?
1. Discourages Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease is often difficult to diagnose from stool samples, but the key to the disease could be found inside the gut. Researchers looked at tissue samples from the intestinal walls of “447 newly affected and 221 non-affected people” and found an overabundance of certain bacteria types was linked to inflammation levels. That’s just more reason to encourage healthy gut flora!
2. Promotes Digestion & Digestive Health
This is the big one most people are aware of and it probably comes as no surprise that bacteria levels inside your gut can help with digestion. Recent evidence suggests a healthy and diverse microbiome could even help with intestinal integrity. Basically, that’s how the body separates the good from the bad. A healthy gut only allows what’s useful to pass through to the body.
3. Supports Mental Health
When you eat a big meal, you stop when you’re full, right? Well, a healthy gut could even help your brain know when you’ve had enough by releasing specific satiety hormones. It could also play a role in depression and anxiety. Recent evidence even suggests a link between gut health and autism, with researching showing that probiotic treatments could help autistic children by improving bacteria levels.[9, 10] Scientists are finding more and more about this gut-brain connection all the time!
How Can You Support Healthy Gut Flora?
Recent evidence suggests a good diet and exercise could influence gut flora, so why not start a new fitness habit? Of course, you could always just turn to probiotic-rich foods like fermented vegetables and yogurt. A high-quality probiotic supplement is another surefire way to bridge the gaps in your diet. I recommend and use these two supplements: Latero-Flora,which is the B.O.D. Bacillus Laterosporus strain and Global Healing's Ultimate Probiotic, which contains 25 probiotic strains as well as prebiotics. Either of these two supplements would be a great choice to support a healthy gut.
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- Johnston, K. Endangered Species: Your Gut Flora. Epoch Times.
- Bhattacharjee, S. & Walter, W. J. Alzheimer's disease and the microbiome. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. 7 (153).
- Moyer, M. W. Gut Bacteria May Play a Role in Autism. Scientific American. 25 (5).
- Bhargava P. & Mowry, E. M. Gut microbiome and multiple sclerosis. Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports. 14 (10).
- Gevers, D. et al. The Treatment-Naive Microbiome in New-Onset Crohn’s Disease. Cell Host & Microbe. 15 (3).
- Christensen, E. G. Dietary xylo-oligosaccharide stimulates intestinal bifidobacteria and lactobacilli but has limited effect on intestinal integrity in rats. BMC Research Notes.
- Bohórquez, D. V. et al. Neuroepithelial circuit formed by innervation of sensory enteroendocrine cells. Journal of Clinical Investigation.
- Foster, J.A. & McVey-Neufeld, K.A. Gut-brain axis: how the microbiome influences anxiety and depression. Trends in Neurosciences. 36 (5).
- Kang, D. et al. Reduced Incidence of Prevotella and Other Fermenters in Intestinal Microflora of Autistic Children. PLoS ONE.
- Patterson, P. et al. Microbiota Modulate Behavioral and Physiological Abnormalities Associated with Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Cell. 155 (7).
- Clarke, S. F. et al. Exercise and associated dietary extremes impact on gut microbial diversity. Gut.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.