Many things have changed at ICBR since we started in 1981. One thing that hasn’t? Our focus on digestive health and nutrition. Our clients come to us not just to look younger but to feel younger, too. Healthy digestion and proper nutrition are some of the most important aspects of staying younger for longer. However, digestive health isn’t just a matter of putting good things into our bodies (though we should all maintain a healthy diet). It’s also about what is going on inside our digestive system, specifically what is happening in our gut microbiome.
That’s right! Your digestive system is home to tens of trillions of bacteria—some of us carry as much as 2kg with us every day! Just like the people that they live in, the makeup of these microbiomes is unique. How well we digest and absorb nutrients often depends on what kinds of microbes live inside each of us, which means that our overall health depends on how healthy each of our microbiomes is.
Want to learn more about how your microbiome affects your digestive health and how to improve it? Here’s how.
Many scientific studies have shown the link between gut bacteria, digestion, and weight management. One study, conducted in 2014 by researchers by Cornell University and King’s College, London, found that Christensenellaceae minuta, a strain of bacteria found in the gut, was more common in people who had low body fat. In the study, researchers also introduced the bacteria into to digestive systems of mice. The mice that received the bacterium showed slower rates of weight gain.
In another study, published in 2012 in Journal of Proteome Research, researchers discovered that a lack of bacteria in the large intestine also drove obesity rates.
Our digestive health may also play a role in cancer rates. Various studies—including two different studies conducted in 2013—have linked gut bacteria to different types of cancer. In The Journal of Cancer Research, scientists discovered that Lactobacillus johnsonii might play a role in the development of lymphoma. Similarly, scientists from the UK found that Helicobacter pylori can lead to stomach cancer.
The combination of bacteria found in the gut clearly has an effect on whether we are predisposed to certain cancers.
A link also exists between digestive health and the brain. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), our microbiomes produce various neurochemicals that affect certain physiological and mental processes. Up to 95% of the body’s serotonin comes from gut bacteria. These processes affect learning, memory, and mood.
Can We Improve Digestive Health and Increase Good Bacteria?
Our microbiomes depend on our environment and what we put into our bodies. Therefore, it is possible to alter the makeup of bacteria that reside in our digestive tract. A healthy diet, according to researchers at the Mayo Clinic, can encourage healthy microbes to thrive. For instance, fermented foods like sauerkraut increase fermenting bacteria levels in the stomach.
Get in touch with us to learn more about creating a diet that improves your digestive health.
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