Home Women Health Gut Health & The Microbiome: The Nutritionist’s Guide – Part ONE

Gut Health & The Microbiome: The Nutritionist’s Guide – Part ONE

Gut Health & The Microbiome: The Nutritionist’s Guide – Part ONE

Gut health and the microbiome – Nutritionist Rick Hay tells us every little thing we’d like to learn about what a healthy gut looks like and the way our gut is connected to our brain 

Our gut is colonised by a posh ecosystem of trillions of microbes comprised of bacteria, viruses and fungi. This ecosystem is known as the gut microbiome and actually, now we have more microbes in our microbiome than human cells within the body.

The gut microbiome plays a vital role in our body. It supports the breakdown of the food we ingest, maintains the health of our immune system and will even help to enhance mood and energy.

The gut gets colonised by many microbes at birth, and the composition of the gut microbiome is generally dictated by what we eat but additionally by other aspects, equivalent to lifestyle, the medication we take, hygiene conditions and our level of exercise and naturally, stress.

now we have more microbes in our microbiome than human cells within the body

By selecting the best foods and having a balanced lifestyle we will influence the composition of our gut microbiome, and due to this fact positively affect our health and weight.

The PREDICT nutrition studies, carried out by three of the world’s top gut microbiome and nutrition scientists, Nicola Segata, Sarah Berry and Tim Spector, discovered recent connections between the microbiome, weight loss plan and metabolism.

These include recent links with 30 key microbial species that might be present in the gut and that might play a job in how we biologically reply to food.

The scientists were also in a position to discover positive and negative links between certain foods and these microbes – what you eat can positively affect your microbiome & metabolism.

Good vs Bad Gut Bacteria

This particular study discovered 15 ‘good’ bacteria which can be related to improved health.

These microbes are related to higher metabolism, lower levels of the inflammatory marker GlycA, lower blood pressure, and higher blood sugar control.

Individuals who have a high abundance of those microbes are likely to have higher blood fat control (lower levels of triglycerides and ‘bad’ cholesterol), and fewer visceral (abdominal) fat mass.

The other effect was observed with the ‘bad’ bacteria. These microbes are related to less favourable digestion, higher blood pressure, and poorer glycaemic responses.

Those who live with a high abundance of those microbes have higher concentrations of inflammatory markers, higher levels of triglycerides and bad cholesterol, and greater abdominal fat mass which isn’t great for cardio vascular health.

gut health microbiome good bacteria bad bacteria healthy gut

The microbiome and the brain

The gut connects with the brain through chemicals like hormones and neurotransmitters that send specific messages.

The vagus nerve is a vital a part of that brain–gut axis – it’s the ‘information highway’ that delivers necessary information from the gut to the brain (and vice versa) and plays a vital role in the upkeep of intestinal and energy homeostasis (a healthy microbiome). It’s all about keeping our system regular and in the best balance so the speak.

Once we digest food, the vagus nerve senses changes within the microbiome in our intestines and sends this information to the brain. The gut microbiome, viruses, fungi, and bacteria that live within the gut can affect these messages.

90 per cent of the texture good neurotransmitter, Serotonin, is produced within the digestive tract

The knowledge highway works each ways, a troubled gut can send warning signals to the brain, just as a troubled brain can send warning signals to the gut. Intestinal distress can result in physical, emotional and mental issues, poor sleep and even to depression.

A healthy gut microbiome doesn’t just call for healthy food selections but a more holistic approach to health, reducing stress, light and noise pollution, and ensuring our media and social media intake doesn’t leave us high and dry.

You could be surprised to listen to that as much as 90 per cent of the texture good neurotransmitter, Serotonin, is produced within the digestive tract.

Healthy gut = healthy mind. In case your gut microbiome is in good health you might end up feeling that little bit happier, and a comfortable you might be more relaxed and experience higher sleep.

Gut health microbiome healthy gut listening to music

Music to your gut

Imagine it or not, recent evidence also shows that the sounds you hear before, during, and after a meal affect your microbiome and the way in which your body processes food.

That is resulting from the gut-brain axis affecting the parasympathetic nervous system, which oversees different bodily functions, including digestion.

Music can affect microbial growth and metabolism

Music can affect microbial growth and metabolism, suggesting a microbial response to the sound waves. Listening to music has been correlated with higher levels of microbiome diversity and increased strains of healthy bacteria in our gut.

The powerful and bidirectional gut-brain access, connected via the vagus nerve, means stress can negatively impact the gut, cortisol levels and digestive symptoms.

Reducing stress levels through music could have a profound effect in your gut health.

So how will you tell in case your gut is healthy? And what can we do to make sure a healthy microbiome? Come back next week for Gut Health & The Microbiome: The Nutritionist’s Guide – Part TWO

Rick Hay Fitness Nutritionist

Rick Hay is an Anti-Ageing and Fitness Nutritionist with a few years clinical experience in nutrition, naturopathy, botanical medicine and iridology.

He focuses on obesity treatment and weight management. He writes a daily Natural Health and Fitness Blog for Healthista.

Discover more at rickhay.co.uk.

Follow Rick on Twitter @rickhayuk




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