So, what is gut microbiome you ask? I am sure that you may have heard about it, or maybe even heard it referred to as gut flora or gut microbiota. Well if you haven’t, let me explain exactly what it is and what they do for our gut.
Microbiome are tiny organisms that live in our gut and call it home. Most of these microbiomes live in our large intestines, in particular our colon. And there are a lot of these little things living inside of us…….and when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. It is quite amazing to think about how many microbiotas we have living inside of our gut. There are an estimated 39 trillion microbial cells living inside each one of us. To put this in perspective, that is roughly 98 times the number of stars in the milky way. Crazy right?
Whilst they are tiny and may seem insignificant to most of us, they are vital for our nutrient absorption, metabolism and our immune system. Roughly 70% of our bodies ability to fight off infection and sickness resides in our gut microbiome, which outlines just how important they are for us to stay healthy.
It is important to know that gut microbiome is a very diverse feature from person to person and there are a range of factors that can impact how effective our microbiome is. Below, is a list of some aspects of our lives that may impact our microbiome.
When we select a meal, a great way to remember if we are eating the right foods, is to try and have an even selection of all of the colours on the rainbow on our plate.
This is a hard factor to change. I am sure if we could all turn back the age clock a couple of years, we would 😂. However, your chronological age and biological age can be different, this is why it is important to try and maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle all throughout life.
Medications can often be a necessary evil for a lot of people. They keep us healthy in a lot of way but sometimes they do have side effects that can impact our gut and other bodily systems.
There is currently heaps of research looking at the gut – brain connection. We are learning that maintaining good gut health is important for a number of brain functions, including how we process feelings of anxiety, sadness and stress.
Physical activity levels:
There have been many studies that have found that exercise induced changes in microbial diversity which improved tissue metabolism, cardiorespiratory fitness, and insulin resistance.
Alcohol and tobacco use
Both alcohol and tobacco are filled with many toxins and chemicals that interact poorly with our gut and other bodily systems.
Whilst these are some factors that may impact our gut microbiome both positively and negatively, it is important to remember that all we need to do is maintain a healthy balance of all things. Just because alcohol can be bad for our gut microbiome, it does not mean that we need to remove it from our life completely. We just need to ensure that we consume it responsibly and have a reasonable understanding of the effects that it can do to our body. It is the same with physical exercise being a positive for our gut microbiome. Just because of this fact it does not mean that we all should become ultra-marathon runners and be elite athletes. However, partaking in a small amount of low-moderate physical activity each day will certainly positively impact our gut microbiome and also a range of other factors in our life! Keeping a healthy balance and consuming all of the things that you enjoy is the key, and the rest will take care of itself.
Do you have digestive issues or want to improve your gut health? Sally Sherriff, our clinical naturopath and nutritionist deep dives into your specific and particular gut microbiome, along with all of the systems of your body, your musculoskeletal system, your nervous system, your immune system, just to name a few. Sally will tailor a individualised approach that is specific to you, your needs and your own goals.
DISCLAIMER: THIS BLOG POST IS AN EDUCATIONAL TOOL ONLY. IT IS NOT A REPLACEMENT FOR MEDICAL ADVICE FROM A REGISTERED AND QUALIFIED DOCTOR OR HEALTH PROFESSIONAL.
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