The Gut Microbiome is a general term to describe the diverse collection of microorganisms that populate your large and small intestines. These microbiotas are directly involved in regulating your gut health, neurotransmitters, nutrient uptake and production, and immune health. Changes in the diversity and quality of gut microbiome can lead to a condition called dysbiosis which can give rise to many health issues. Do you want to promote better overall health through your gut microbiome? In this post, we will cover everything you need to know about the community of these good bacteria, how they protect you from illnesses, and the many ways you can promote the growth of a healthy gut microbiome.
Gut health has become an increasingly relevant subject among health enthusiasts, and it has everything to do with beneficial microorganisms!
That’s right! – a gut microbiome is a diverse group of healthy microorganisms comprised of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. These healthy microbes reside predominantly in your large intestine and play a key role in maintaining your immune health, regulating metabolic processes, your emotions and your intestinal health.
As a general rule, the more diverse your gut microbiome, the healthier your gut (and overall health). On the contrary, abnormal changes in the diversity of gut microbiome can lead to a condition called dysbiosis. This is why scientists believe that studying your gut microbiome profile give a lot of information about your present and future health status.
Why the Gut Microbiome Is Really Important
There are TRILLIONS of microorganisms living in your body, but bacteria are the most abundant and thoroughly studied subgroup.
Don’t believe microbiomes are that important?
A fun fact: Your body contains more bacterial cells than human cells! In fact, there are around 1,000 different types of bacteria just in your gut alone! Almost all of them contribute uniquely to improving your health and preventing you from catching diseases.
And there’s more to it:
Some researchers also believe that the variety of gut microbes in an individual’s gut can help predict underlying diseases much better than some of their genes! This study published in The Preprint Server for Biology revealed that a gut microbiome analysis in humans helped predict the possibility of 13 different diseases better than studying their genetics.
You Don’t want to Take these Tiny Creatures for Granted!
With so much research happening around the gut microbiome space, there is no wonder that it has grown as a prominent therapeutic and diagnostic aid.
Are you starting to get curious? Hold tight because in this post, we are unfolding how the gut microbiome really works, the association with your brain, and the ways a healthy gut can improve your overall wellbeing by correcting some underlying health issues!
Gut Microbiomes and Brain Health
Do you know your gut and brain are related to each other through what is called the gut- brain axis? You read that right. Your gut and your brain are connected through a series of large nerves, one in particular is called the vagal nerve. One of the most important reasons your emotional health is affected by your gut is the vagal nerve carries sensory information FROM your gut TO your brain. The microbes of your gut make all sorts of chemicals, such as serotonin, that can affect your mood. When the composition of the gut microbiome is not healthy, your emotional health also suffers.
Factors such as a poor diet, taking antibiotics, drinking too much alcohol, and excess stress can drastically change the quantity and types of microorganism found in the gut. When this happens, microbes that produce neurotransmitters, anti-inflammatory compounds, and necessary enzymes are compromised. Symptoms of anxiety and depression can be the result.
This scientific review published in the journal General Psychiatry revealed that it is possible to treat anxiety symptoms by regulating the gut microbiome.
An Optimized Gut Microbiome Is the Key to Intestinal Health
Optimizing the right mix of microorganisms in your gut is critical for ensuring proper intestinal health. Advances in gastroenterology research are making it clear that health issues such as irritable bowel syndrome and colorectal cancer might be linked with disturbance in the gut microbiome. What does it mean to “optimize” your gut microbiome? There are certain types of bacteria in the gut that are necessary to ward off health issues. For instance, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria are healthy gut bacteria that, if necessary, can be added to your diet by taking probiotics.
The Role of Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Other Supplements
As we have discussed, having an optimized, diverse gut microbiome is essential for establishing whole-body wellness as well as protect the gut itself from disease. We may try our best to eat a healthy diet, reduce our stress and get to bed on time, but you know that usually does not happen every day. That’s where prebiotics, probiotics and other supplements come to the rescue!
Before moving on to the benefits and how you can use prebiotics and probiotics to maintain a healthy and diverse group of gut microbes, let’s understand the difference between the two.
Probiotics are a mixture of viable microorganisms that will colonize in your gut to boost the amount of necessary good microbes. Yogurt is a classic example of a food product that contains natural probiotics. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, miso, sourdough bread and some cheeses also contain natural probiotics. However, the good bacteria in these foods usually aren’t diverse enough to totally support your gut.
Commercially available probiotics are one of the top 7 supplements that should always be on your food list. There are dozens of them on the market, most of which contain a mixture of lactobacillus and bifidobacteria strains, specific yeasts and sometimes even fungi.
One of the best probiotics on the market is MegaSporeBiotic, a pharmaceutical-grade probiotic supplement that contains Bacillus indicus. An advantage of this particular probiotic is it promotes gut health by producing antioxidants. Antioxidants will help keep gut inflammation at bay.
Prebiotics are a type of dietary indigestible fiber that your gut needs to feed all those hungry microbes. Giving the gut microbes food they need promotes them to produce the nutrients that keep down inflammation, protect the gut lining, and enzymes necessary to process your food. Prebiotics not only boost your immune system but have been shown to have benefits for improving metabolic health. Examples of common prebiotics sources include inulins, artichokes, onions, garlic, cereals, beans, and peas.
If you are looking for a supplemental alternative for prebiotics, try MegaPreBiotic by Microbiome Labs. This particular prebiotic supplement contains a proprietary blend of functional fibers that specifically feed certain species of gut bacteria responsible for reducing gut inflammation and promoting a healthy gut lining. The components of MegaPreBiotic are all sourced from organic, non-GMO based foods.
In addition to probiotics and prebiotics, there are a few specific nutritional supplements that are important for restoring damaged guts as well as optimizing healthy ones.
Colostrum, sometimes called ‘liquid gold’, is the breast fluid first produced after a mother births her baby. It is an important part of making sure a baby receives the antibodies and proteins it needs to establish its own gut microbiome. It has additional important properties of helping the baby fight bad bacteria and infections. Studies on colostrum have shown that people with impaired guts can receive benefit from using colostrum supplements for preserving gut microbiomes.
The bovine colostrum is derived from the milk of cows and is highly nutritious. It is believed to support immunity, and in turn, strengthen your body against infections. A new study has also shown that bovine colostrum can serve as a promising therapeutic aid in preventing non- steroidal anti-inflammatory induced ulcers.
Not sure where to get bovine colostrum supplement? This 100% Pure New Zealand Colostrum promotes your gut health by supporting the intestinal wall. It is completely organic and contains over 90 different health-promoting components including antibodies, immunoglobulins, antioxidants, and growth factors.
A naturally occurring bioactive compound, Beta-Glucan plays a crucial role in supporting your immune system against disease-causing microorganisms. Scientific reviews have shown that beta-glucan plays an important role in regulating the gut microbiome.
Another scientific evidence supporting the role of beta-glucan in promoting gut health comes from a clinical trial that was conducted in 43 volunteers. All of them were given beta-glucan bread regularly for a week. After a week, analysis of their gut microbion revealed that they had an increased diversity of gut microbes.
Licorice is a highly popular herb that is used in skincare products as well as in cough-relief syrups. However, the herb also offers a few good health benefits for supporting gut health. In fact, an in vitro study demonstrated that licorice root supplementation produces prebiotic effects by enhancing the growth of gut microbiota.
Not sure where to get this supplement? Try Licorice Root-V – a dietary supplement composed of 500mg capsules and 12% glycyrrhizin, the key active compound of licorice.
Immunoglobulins are also known as antibodies, key components of our immune system. These protein molecules are produced by your white cells and their role is to defend and protect you from foreign bacterial and viral invaders. Studies have shown that IgG immunoglobulin supplementation has a role in supporting gut health by building a healthy mucosal barrier and boosting the intestinal immune system. Made organically from bovine serum, this MegaIgG2000 supplement promotes not only a healthy microbiome but can alleviate gut lining damage.
Gear Up for a Healthy Gut
The right species and diversity of gut microbes can work wonders in regulating your gut health, immune system, and brain health. If you want to improve your overall health, start taking care of your gut microbiomes starting today. Prebiotics, probiotics, immunoglobulins, and herbal supplements have a proven role in supporting gut health and nourishing gut microbiota. If you already are on medications, make sure to check with your health care provider before starting any of these products.
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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.