What if your best intentions in leading a healthy lifestyle were being sabotaged by little creatures that take refuge inside your body? Sound like a sci-fi movie- well guess again.
This is the very case when it comes to our gut and the microbiome- the trillions of bacteria that co-habitat our bodies calling our large intestines home. Shifts in the microbiome can shape our health, risk of disease and aging. Dysbiosis, the overgrowth of bad bugs is linked with auto-immunity, cardiac disease, mental health disorders (Galland Leo. Journal of Medicinal Food. December 2014, 17(12): 1261-1272. doi:10.1089/jmf.2014.7000) and obesity.
The digestive tract truly is the cornerstone to our health. The large surface area provides a barrier to a contained environment that manages exposures to food, chemicals, and infection. To mange these complex exposures, the gut is well equipped. The gut houses trillions of bacteria that make up our microbiome (referred to as the second genome) and help our bodies in the process of digestion, absorption and metabolism.
In addition to the microbiota, the gut also houses 70% of our immune system and boasts it's own brain (known as the second brain) in the enteric nervous system. The only organ to have a brain of it's own, the gut has a complex circuitry of neurons making up the enteric nervous system with links to the brain through the autonomic nervous system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis which allows the brain to control digestion through fight-flight reflexes and stress hormones. The complex gut brain controls all the workings of our inner tube and monitors the status of our microbiota sending bi-directional messages from our gut bugs to our brain. It is now clear, that gut bugs can influence our behavior and mood through "gut feelings" transmitted by the gut brain.
From diet to yoga, there is much that can be done to heal thy gut and transform your health and aging. We provide a five step plan "The 5R Gut Program";
Removal of inflammatory agents such as antigenic, allergic and inflammatory foods. Through comprehensive functional testing, food allergies, sensitivities and food mediated disease can be assessed.
From acid balance to optimal motility, the gut remains in a delicate balance that can be restored with proper care and nutrition. Lengthened transit time can lead to constipation and overgrowth of bad bags. We recommend clinical testing and where appropriate rotational elimination diets.
Replacing key micronutrient and enzymatic deficiencies will help ensure proper metabolism. Through comprehensive testing and discussion on goals, micronutrients can be worked into a wellness plan
The gut bugs comprising the second genome play a large part in our health and aging. Integrating fermented foods like kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut and miso, perhaps with a store bought probiotic can help you get on track to restore the microbiotic balance of the gut ecosystem.
Intricate connections of the gut brain to the master brain, underlie the stress-gut link. For optimal digestive health, there is a need to also heal thyself. Stress management, meditation, yoga, deep breathing are rebalancing practices that can help regulate mood and gut health.
With our five tips to a well performing gut, you can now super-charge your digestion, microbiota, and your health! Happy gut, happy you!