Looking after your gut goes beyond achieving a healthy digestive system and alleviating yourself from digestive discomfort. Gut health is intrinsically linked to our overall health, and a gut which is in a state of dysbiosis (altered gut microbial composition) can lead to the development of many chronic health problems.
Serotonin, our feel good hormone, is made in the brain as well as in the gut. There is an established gut-brain connection as gut health affects out mental health. Anxiety, depression and impaired concentration are all associated with poor gut health. By controlling the bacterial populations within the gut, we can improve symptoms of mental disorders.
Obesity is a multi-factorial condition that results from the interaction of your genes with environmental exposures. Gut microbiota has been seen to be a contributing factor in the development of obesity. Gut microbiota plays an important role in enhancing digestion, the absorption of nutrients as well as energy turnover. An increase in our “bad” bacteria and a corresponding decrease in our “good” bacteria has been associated with an increase energy intake, thus inducing obesity.
Our gut microbiota can influence the scope and quality of the immune system. The gut microbiota also influences immune cell recruitment and initiates inflammation. A comprised gut microbiota can lead to the pathogenesis of several diseases, including autoimmune and neurodegenerative disorders.
Author: Kathryn Fielding