Your Family of Gut Bacteria - Why all the Fuss?


There has been so much news and information lately about how your gut health is implicated in everything from your mood to the development of autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis.

This month we are going to take a closer look at how the food’s you eat impact your gut health and hence impact the health of your entire body!

Did you know that we have around 100 trillion bacterial cells in our gut? That’s 10X the amount of human cells that make up our body!

These little guys (your gut bacteria) are actually there to help us absorb nutrients from our foods, produce enzymes to help us break down foods, make essential vitamins, keep the lining of our gut sealed, regulate how much weight we put on or off, the list goes on!

We’ve heard it over and over again to trust our gut instincts. So why do we keep referring to our gut as a source of wisdom and insight?

There also happens to be a large nerve (your vagus nerve) that links your gut bacteria to your brain. This means your gut bacteria can talk to (communicate) with your brain directly! In fact your gut is now referred to as your second brain!

So how do we look after our healthy gut bacteria?? Think of them as a family of pets. You want to feed them the right foods and set up the right internal environment to keep them happy. If we neglect our good bacteria we only open the door for opportunistic parasites, fungi, infection and bad bacteria.

Your healthy gut bacteria thrive by consuming plant fiber. This means that eating more vegetables (some say at least 50% of your daily intake of food) is crucial to their health. We also need to remove processed foods and sugars as these feed the bad guys (bad bacteria, parasites, fungi etc).

When these bad guys take over the gut lining turns into a piece of ‘Swiss cheese’ allowing for food particles and toxins to enter your blood stream and hence reach all the corners of your body including your brain!

When little bits of food get into your bloodstream your immune system tags them for destruction. Now because our own cells are made from the same building blocks as food your immune system will then start to tag your own cells (you!) for destruction!

This is where a lot of those nasty autoimmune conditions we mentioned earlier begin. Diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, and Parkinson’s disease have been found to have a ‘gut’ component.

It appears that good mental health is linked to good gut health and vice versa.

Some of the latest research on the gut ‘microbiome’ has shown a correlation between gut inflammation and kids behavioural disorders such as ADHD and Autism.

In fact, multiple animal studies have shown that manipulating the gut microbiota can produce behaviours related to anxiety and depression (2). If we can cause anxiety by messing around with the bacteria in our gut, then the opportunity to reduce anxiety by improving the state of our gut is revolutionary.

So it seems that looking after the little guys in your tummy is extremely important after all! Every time you choose to eat/drink something you are choosing to either promote the growth of your good bacteria or to promote the growth of your bad bacteria – which will you choose to support? Remember the power is in your hands!

Here at Katherine Sports & Family Chiropractic we understand the importance of moving well, eating well and thinking well.

Call us today on 08 8971 2882.

(1) [Psychotherapy in somatic diseases–for example gastrointestinal disorders]. Moser G. Psychiatr Danub. 2007 Dec;19(4):327-31. German

(2) Maes, Kubera, Leunis, Berk,J. Affective Diorders, 2012 and Berk, Williams, Jacka, BMC Med, 2013