Decreased microbial species in the gut can have a detrimental effect on your mood, immune system, cognitive function, digestion, weight, nutrition and resistance to illness and infection
Statistically, people are living much longer than ever. The estimated average life expectancy in the UK for 2018 is 80 years old but although we are now living longer than ever before, we are certainly not healthier.
Chronic diseases and other serious health conditions are on the rise, these include: Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, Obesity, Hypertension, Allergies, Asthma, Hormonal disorders, Cancer, and Auto Immune diseases.
Its almost as if these diseases have been accepted as age related or lifestyle conditions that are inevitable, but there is nothing normal about disease.
Is the Overuse of Sanitization Techniques responsible for messing up the Microbiome?
The fear driven hygiene obsession that introduced the sanitization techniques of the twentieth century have had a devastating impact on the microbiome, killing everything in its path including the important and highly beneficial good bacteria needed to support a healthy gut.
As the rate of cleanliness increased so did the incidence of gut issues, autoimmune diseases, antibiotic resistant bugs and allergies.
Soaps were rationed in Britain until 1950, bathing daily was a privilege reserved only for the wealthy, hand sanitizers and dishwashers didn’t exist, processed foods were rare, food was usually home grown, computers were not household additions, antibiotics were scarce, fertilizer’s were natural, skin care products were minimal, household cleaning products were derived from natural ingredients such as vinegar or lemons, and children would play outdoors in the dirt.
Modern generations now spend most of their childhoods over sanitized, feeding on sugar laden processed foods, indoors on computers, and excluded from nature, dirt and microbes resulting in a compromised microbiome and consequently weaker immune system.
Do you know that gut bacteria could be partially blamed for the overweight and obesity?
The first piece of evidence that connected gut bacteria and weight gain was published in 2005. Scientists found that the microbiota composition of obese mice was not the same as healthy lean mice.
In particular, the obese mice showed an increased amount of bacteria from the phylum Firmicutes and the overall microbial diversity was lower.
To further investigate, the study took the gut bacteria from human twins in which one was lean and one was obese and introduced it into germ-free mice. The results showed that the mice given bacteria from the lean twin stayed slim, but the mice given the bacteria from the obese twin quickly gained weight. This shows a clear causal link between weight gain and the gut microbiota.
A human fecal transplant study with obese individuals was also done.
In this case feces from a lean individual was transplanted into an obese individual and the result showed an improved metabolic response in addition to weight loss.
Are fecal transplants the treatment of the future?
Did you know, In a Chinese medical manual that dates back to the 4th century, they describe the cure for stomachache and food poisoning as ‘yellow soup of baby poop’.
Fecal microbiota transplants work by a healthy donor that has been screened for diseases donating a stool sample, which can be frozen until use. It can then be administered to the patient by a tube through the nose, oral capsules or via an enema.
Fecal transplants verses Antibiotics
Overuse of antibiotics and other factors can disrupt the normal balance of the gut microbiota and reduce the “colonization resistance”
Clostridium Difficile infection causes symptoms of chronic gut inflammation and persistent diarrhea. Unfortunately antibiotics are not always an effective treatment, especially in recurrent forms of the disease because the overuse of antibiotics actually causes the infection to build up a resistance.
This is what led one trial in Amsterdam to begin faecal microbiota transplant treatment for Clostridium Difficile infections in patients in the intensive care unit that were almost dying and the results were astounding, with 90% of the patients cured, showing that bugs were more effective than drugs.
Have you heard of next generation Probiotics?
Groundbreaking studies that connect the microbiome to health have led to the development of next-generation probiotics that are cultivated from the human intestinal microbiota of healthy individuals and include novel bacteria that have not been previously used as a health-promoting agent.
These next-generation probiotics are adapted to the gut system and are in line with the improvement of bacterial cultivation, genome sequencing and tools to modify bacterial genomes.
What can you do to improve your microbiome?
Imagine your microbiome as a garden with limited space that can be filled with flowers or weeds. The flowers symbolize beneficial bacteria and the weeds are representative of bad bacteria. Most people’s diet and lifestyle choices support the growth of weeds resulting in a depletion of flowers.
To rebuild a healthy microbiome, it’s a good idea to focus on the introduction of prebiotics, probiotics and symbiotics, explore a predominately whole food diet, implement stress managements techniques, spend time in nature, consume more fermented foods and implement some powerful gut healing protocols.
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