Gut and Microbiome Health

We humans are mostly microbes, over 100 trillion of them. Microbes outnumber our human cells ten to one. So, in a very real sense, we are more bacteria than man. The majority live in our gut, particularly in the large intestine.

The human microbiome is the genetic material of all the microbes - bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses - that live on and inside the human body. The gut has defenses against pathogens, but, at the same time, it encourages the survival and growth of “healthy” gut bacteria. These bacteria do benefit from the warmth and nutrition in our bowels, but it is not a one-way relationship – they also give back.

Gut and microbiome dysbiosis is the root cause for the majority of contemporary health issues. Healing starts with becoming educated and empowered about what is happening to your body. 
 

What does the microbiome have to do with health?

                                                                    The microbiome is essential for human development, immunity and                                                                          nutrition. The bacteria living in and on us are not invaders but                                                                                    beneficial colonizers.

                                                                    A new era in medical science has dawned with the realization of the                                                                        critical role of the “forgotten organ,” the gut microbiome, in health and                                                                      disease. Central to this beneficial interaction between the microbiome                                                                      and host is the manner in which bacteria and most likely other                                                                                  microorganisms contained within the gut communicate with the host’s                                                          immune system and participate in a variety of metabolic processes of                                                                      mutual benefit to the host and the microbe. 

 

                                                                    You probably already know how important your gut health is to your                                                                        overall health. If not, you need to! 70 percent of your immune system                                                                        is in your microbiome, which helps your body with just about every                                                                          process, including helping you to digest your food, think clearly and      even maintain a healthy weight. Learning about the microbiome is important because today most people suffer from dysbiosis or unhealthy gut caused by stress, poor diet, and antibiotics.                                                                                                                                                

                                                             

 

BENEFITS AND FACTS

  • When our gut is unhealthy, the whole body is at risk. That’s because the digestive, immune, nervous, and endocrine systems all communicate and interact with one another. When your gut is not functioning properly, the activities of the other systems are compromised.

  • A healthy microbiome helps keep inflammation in check.                                                                    Unhealthy gut equals inflammation. Inflammation that starts in the gut                                                       can spread throughout the body, reaching crucial brain regions.                                                      Inflammation is also a central aspect of anxiety, depression, and brain fog.

  • Our microbiome helps us to produce hormones that tell the body when to store fat                                   and determine how an individual stores fat. When you change your gut bacteria,                                      you change how your body produces and metabolizes energy.                                                                      This is why a healthy gut leads to weight loss.

  • Researchers have come to appreciate that the gut has an intelligence of its own. Like your brain, it contains an extensive set of over 100 million neurons that process massive amounts of information. In fact, there are more neurons in your gut than there are in your spinal column! These gut neurons are part of the enteric nervous system. The gut communicates constantly with your brain through the central nervous system (CNS), so that when it under-functions, your brain under-functions, too.

  • Brain, gut, and microbiome together form a single system. Your gut helps manufacture the biochemicals that your brain needs to regulate mood (how you feel) and cognition (how you think). Your microbiome affects your memory, mental processes, decision-making, and cognitive flexibility.

  • The brain has a powerful and complex role in tipping the balance between healthy and unhealthy gut. Positive emotions support your gut bacteria. Our microbiome can in turn impact the brain in multiple ways.

  • The vast majority of serotonin (the feel-good chemical that promotes optimism, self-confidence, good sleep, optimal digestion, and overall well-being) is manufactured in the gut, you need to have a healthy gut with strong, impermeable gut walls. Since your microbiome is crucial to the production of serotonin and related biochemicals, you need a healthy, diverse microbiome.

  • You cannot heal your brain without healing your gut.

  • Manipulation of the gut microbiome can change the way                                                                               your brain responds to the environment, particularly with regard to stress.

  • Treating the microbiome (including probiotics) doesn’t just relieve                                                       negative emotions—it also activates positive emotions.

  • Autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and fibromyalgia are associated with dysfunction in the microbiome. Disease-causing microbes accumulate over time, changing gene activity and metabolic processes and resulting in an abnormal immune response against substances and tissues normally present in the body.

  • Good bacteria protect the gut barrier, and work to ensure that the cell wall junctions stay tight and healthy, thus preventing a leaky gut.

  • Bacteria produce vitamins and chemicals that our body needs. These include vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, B12, biotin, pantothenic acid, folate, and vitamin K); short-chain fatty acids; natural antibiotics; and neurotransmitters, the biochemicals through which our brain produces emotion and thought.

  • The microbiome is so powerful, it affects even the expression of your genes. The genes of our bacteria—the genes in our microbiome—outnumber our own by a factor of 150 to 1. Bacteria hold the master key to our genetic expression by knowing exactly when, where, and how to turn genes on and off. Most of our biochemistry comes from our bacteria—and that’s where epigenetics really come into play. Changing your diet, lifestyle, and stress levels very quickly alters the composition and behavior of your microbiome. These changes in turn alter the expression of your own genes, creating new states of health for both body and brain.

  • Stress harms your gut. But the relationship goes both ways. When we have a healthy gut and a balanced microbiome, we are more motivated and respond to stress differently. One study, using food-borne pathogens, provided evidence that bacteria in the intestines can activate stress circuits by directly activating the vagus nerve – a cranial nerve supplying a number of organs, including the upper digestive tract.

  • Your microbiome is significantly related to anxiety and depression. A 2016 double-blind, placebo controlled study showed that people who took the strains Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, and Bifidobacterium bifidum had significantly decreased scores on the Beck Depression Inventory.

  • Bacterial overgrowth/imbalance both results from and causes thyroid dysfunction.

  • A malfunction in the thyroid can derail the microbiome, and vice versa. Your gut, microbiome, and brain can’t function without the right amounts of thyroid hormone. Without a healthy thyroid, your microbiome stops working the way it’s supposed to.

  • Several studies show a link between healthy gut and preventing the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Common medications promote inflammation and damage the microbiome.

  • Autoimmune diseases are caused primarily by unhealthy gut/microbiome and appear to be passed in families not by DNA inheritance but by inheriting the family’s microbiome.

  • The right diet and supplements can reduce inflammation in your brain; improve the health of cell membranes; increase the energy of your brain cells; and supply your brain with the precursors to serotonin—chemicals that will automatically become serotonin.

  • Certain strains of probiotics have been shown to reduce anxiety and depression. Probiotics are considered terrific natural antidepressants. A meta-analysis of probiotic effects found that the following had positive effects on the central nervous system - B. longum, B. breve, B. infantis, L. helveticus, L. rhamnosus, L. plantarum, and L. casei. They were able to improve anxiety, depression, and memory related behaviors.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5056568/

  • Research indicates that the effective period of intake is 4 weeks or more. The effective dosage is at least 1 Billion CFU. A great medical website for advice on probiotics is https://www.probioticadvisor.com/

  • Research also shows that the use of targeted probiotics has a profound healing effect on virtually every disease including autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, inflammation, cancer, thyroid disease, Lyme, and all types of gastrointestinal disorders. A meta-analysis, published in the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, found positive effects of probiotics on central nervous system function in both humans and animals.

  • Prebiotics: foods rich in the kind of fiber that nourishes friendly bacteria. Prebiotic foods are a kind of Microbiome Superfood, and they include artichoke, carrots, asparagus, garlic, onion, radish, tomato.

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Symptoms of Dysfunction in the Microbiome

Psychological: anxiety; brain fog; depression; memory issues; problems with concentration, focus, and motivation; and a whole host of brain issues that defy conventional diagnosis.

Digestive: acid reflux, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) Hormonal: adrenal dysfunction, lowered sex drive or sexual function, menstrual/menopause issues, thyroid imbalance

Immune: autoimmune conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome, Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis.

Neurological: ADHD, Alzheimer’s/dementia, autism.

Other symptoms: difficulty handling stress, fatigue, irritability, sleep issues.

 

 

WHAT IMPROVING YOUR MICROBIOME CAN ACHIEVE

• Buoyant, optimistic mood

• Calmness, reduced anxiety

• Clear thinking

• Improved memory and recall

• Reduced brain inflammation

• Improved brain plasticity: more dendrites (nerve cells), better connections among brain cells

• Healthy gut function: no constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, nausea, indigestion

• No acid reflux, heartburn, or GERD

• Easier to attain a healthy weight

• An improvement in autoimmune conditions

• An overwhelming sense of vitality

• Overall improvement in health: reduced allergies, improved immune function, glowing skin and hair

 

Watch this TEDx talk by biologist Ruairi Robertson

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awtmTJW9ic8

How to Improve Your Gut Microbiome in a Day

Unfortunately, an unbalanced gut microbiome, or dysbiosis, is common today. Thanks to years of following diets high in processed foods and sugar, consuming conventionally raised meat and dairy products full of hormones, plus rounds of antibiotics, too many antacids and chronic stress, most of us have impaired gut health. In addition, our country’s C-section rate and formula-feeding infants contribute to a dysbiotic state in children right from the start because babies need exposure to good bacteria in the birth canal and in breast milk to seed their guts. In fact, the allergies, autoimmunity, anxiety and depression that we see at increasing rates in children today are due, in part, to impaired gut health.

Your Genes Don’t Matter, But Your Gut Microbiome’s Genes Do!

As a society, we have been quick to place the blame for everything from our weight to our moods on our genes. We say things like, “she can drink wine and eat chocolate every day and not gain weight because she is French.” The truth is human beings all have similar DNA. So why is it that some people are healthy when they consume chocolate every day while others maintain a strict Paleo diet and struggle with digestive symptoms or worse? It’s because, unlike our genes, our microbiome’s genes are vastly different.

The good news is that you can change your gut microbiome. You see, the average lifespan of a bacterium in your microbiome is 20 minutes! So you have the opportunity every time you eat to begin to change the population of your gut microbiome. This is good news because it means that rather than having to subscribe to theories, such as the Paleo diet, which assumes our genes evolve so slowly that we all need to eat like cavemen, we can begin to change our gut microbiome (and thus it’s genes) one meal at a time, and even achieve a healthy gut very quickly.

Improve Your Gut Microbiome Today for the “4Rs”

There are a number of factors that contribute to the health of your gut microbiome, including your environment, the amount of exercise and sleep you get, and of course, stress. But the number one factor that determines what microbes live in your gut (and which ones die off) is your diet.

In Functional Medicine, there is a very successful protocol called the 4Rs, which stands for Remove, Replace, Reinoculate, and Repair. There are many resources for learning more about the 4 R’s. For example, Raphael Kellman, M.D.’s book, The Microbiome Diet: The Scientifically Proven Way to Restore Your Gut Health and Achieve Permanent Weight Loss. 

The beautiful thing about the 4Rs protocol is that it doesn’t have to be followed in order. Once you remove the processed foods and toxins from your diet, you can start doing all of the remaining 3 steps together. Unless you suffer from a serious digestive disorder or other condition, you can follow the 4Rs on your own. Or, find a practitioner who can tailor the protocol to your specific needs.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Here are Dr. Kellman’s  suggestions for following the 4Rs and improving your gut microbiome starting today:

  1. Eat the Right Foods. Your gut microbiome responds to what you feed it. When you regularly eat a variety of healthy, non-processed foods, your microbiome becomes programmed to work for you. The more varied your diet, the more flexible your microbiome becomes, allowing for that occasional dessert. Eat naturally fermented foods (e.g., Kefir, Kimchi, Kombucha), cut down on animal fat, eat smaller servings, reduce stress, practice mindful eating, avoid eating when sad or depressed, and listen to your gut.

  2. Take a high-quality probiotic. Nearly everyone can benefit from supplementing with a good quality probiotic. Probiotics help maintain your gut’s ecosystem as well as the ecosystem of your respiratory tract and urogenital tract. Also, try to limit your use of antibiotics. While they are necessary sometimes and can be life-saving, most antibiotics are over-prescribed. Be sure to consult with your doctor about whether you or your children need an antibiotic, and always take your probiotics during treatment to re-seed your gut with healthy bacteria. Take lots of diverse probiotics. Choose brands that offer a large variety of different strains along with a large count (e.g. 20+ billion). Rotate your probiotics—after six months, switch up the types you are using to ensure that you are keeping your microbiome diverse and healthy. Look for reputable brands that have third-party testing and offer dormant bacteria that do not need refrigeration and can survive the stomach acid. You’ll notice coding after the name of the bacterial
    species, which is very important to keep in mind as you shop for remedies as it details the exact and genetically unique strains that have been proven effective in resolving specific problems.

  3. Support your Digestion. Unless you know you have high stomach acid, stop taking antacids! Many people have low stomach acid but think they have too much and take antacids. Supplement with a digestive enzyme. This can help you digest your food better and get rid of your symptoms, such as gas, bloating and heartburn. Glutamine, an amino acid (a building block of protein), can also help to rebuild and maintain your digestive tract and support proper digestion. You may also want to try HCL if you know you have low stomach acid. Or, you could simply try drinking lemon and water or 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar in a little water before each meal to see if your symptoms improve.

  4. Get into a relaxed state. One of the most important factors to healing your gut is your own consciousness. Your gut is your second brain. If your microbiome is out of balance, you may feel anxious, depressed, or tired. You may also suffer from memory problems or brain fog. In addition to eating the right foods, try to get into a meditative state prior to eating (take a few slow deep breaths with your belly). Do this by removing all stressors, including stressful people and conversations. If you are eating with others, try not to speak excessively, or talk about negative subjects. Every time you sit down to eat, take a deep breath, pause and give thanks to all of the plants, animals, and people who helped create your food, including God, then consecrate the energy you will get from your food to a good cause, or to someone you love. This activity can help transform even unhealthy fast food.

 

15 Ways to Optimize Your Gut Bacteria for Optimal Weight Loss

When it comes to losing weight, most diets focus on calorie reduction and exercise. While eating less and exercising more will usually result in weight-loss, Dr. Kellman says that if you get your microbiome healthy, you will lose weight. It’s all about correcting the overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria, which is making you crave the wrong foods and triggering inflammation. This makes sense because when you change your gut bacteria, you change how your body produces and metabolizes energy.

This also explains why so many people lose weight only to gain it right back because the bad bacteria are still present in your gut. The bad bacteria remember when you were fat, and they want to continue to live, so they trigger cravings for the foods that feed them.  

In addition to the steps outlined above, here are 15 more ways to set up your gut for weight loss:

  1. Sweat every day. Your gut bacteria operate best when you exercise regularly. That’s because regular exercise promotes biodiversity of your gut flora. Research shows that exercise actually increases the good bacteria in your gut!

  2. Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep has been associated with obesity. Now, research shows that one of the reasons sleep deprivation causes weight gain is because it significantly changes your gut flora. In fact, after just two nights of sleep deprivation the gut flora of patients resembled those of people who are obese. Now, here’s the catch, your gut flora can affect your sleep patterns, so in order to get a good night’s sleep, you must improve your gut flora.

  3. Get dirty. While being clean is fine, overly sterile environments don’t promote biodiversity of your gut bacteria.  Go ahead and get dirty. And, skip the hand sanitizer.

  4. Find time to de-stress. Research shows that prolonged periods of stress can impair your gut bacteria and make you susceptible to infection.

  5. Breastfeed Your Baby. While breastfeeding can help moms lose their baby weight, this one is for your child. Babies are born with nearly sterile and bacteria-free guts. Breastfeeding your child for the first year (or as long as you can) helps to colonize your baby’s gut flora. And, your breast milk actually nourishes the bacteria to allow it to become established.

  6. Eliminate artificial sweeteners. While the link between artificial sweeteners and weight gain is not clear, one thing research shows is that artificial sweeteners alter the gut bacteria in a way that causes glucose intolerance.

  7. Eat the Nordic way. Arne Astrup,‎ Jennie Brand-Miller,‎ and Christian Bitz, leaders in obesity research and authors of The Nordic Way cookbook, suggest eating skyr, whole-grain rye breads, and wild foods, including herbs, greens, nuts, and berries. They also suggest that replacing wheat with oats, rye, and barley, and eating seafood, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, clams, mussels, and even seaweed, helps improve gut flora.

  8. Make preparing your meals a ritual. Every culture has rituals around food, but with our busy lifestyles, we have all but forgotten them. Turning your meal prep into a ritual – and it doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming – helps to bring awareness and intention to our meal time. This relaxes you and sets you up for better digestion.

  9. Get your microbiome analyzed. If you want to know what is going on in your gut flora, you can take a test that will give you a snapshot. But, remember your microbiome is changing all the time with every meal.

  10. Take the gut-brain test. Your gut has its own nervous system – the enteric nervous system (ENS). Integrative neurologist Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary, author of The Prime, says that the answer to losing weight spontaneously is to make your gut smarter by bringing your enteric nervous system back online and in control of your food choices. To find out how well your gut-brain is working, take the Gut IQ Test.

  11. Remove the sugar and processed foods from your diet. Refined carbohydrates, sugar (including alcohol), and processed foods get absorbed quickly into your small intestine without any help from your microbes. That means your gut microbes stay hungry, so they begin snacking on the cells that line your intestines, causing what we call Leaky Gut. Your intestinal lining is meant to be a strong barrier between your gut and the rest of your body. When your intestinal wall becomes leaky, particles of food enter your bloodstream, causing your immune system to attack them, and ultimately your own tissues. This leads to inflammation and a whole cascade of conditions, including autoimmunity. Sugar also feeds organisms like Candida Albican, which also attacks your intestinal wall and can lead to a systemic Candida infection.

  12. Get your carbohydrates from vegetables and low-sugar fruits. Eating a lot of leafy green vegetables will help plant your gut with healthy and diverse bacteria. Dr. Kellman also recommends eating radishes, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, jicama, asparagus, carrots, and, of course, garlic and turmeric. Be sure to get a balance of healthy fats and protein with each meal as well.

  13. Include fermented foods in your diet. Fermented foods seed your gut with healthy bacteria. Eat sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, kefir, yogurt (not processed), and kombucha. These foods are rich in prebiotics.

  14. Try a food elimination diet to determine if you have any food allergies. Do you often have cramping, gas, or stomach pain after eating? You may have a food sensitivity or allergy. The most common food allergies or sensitivities are to cow’s milk, soy, peanuts (nuts), corn, eggs, and wheat (gluten). Some people find they feel even better if they eliminate all grains, including oats, quinoa, and spelt. But start with wheat at the very least. Do this for a few weeks and see if your symptoms improve. Also stay away from artificial sweeteners, alcohol, and coffee!

  15. Drink tea. Evidence shows that polyphenols increase healthy microbes (probiotics) and reduce harmful pathogens in your gut, which helps to keep your microbiome in optimal balance. Tea is one of the richest sources of polyphenols – healthy prebiotics that feed the healthy bugs in your gut. Tea polyphenols also have anti-viral properties that reduce harmful pathogens. The polyphenols in tea help you digest your food faster, while suppressing hunger cravings and allowing you to poop more. Research shows that the polyphenols in black tea decrease your gut’s ability to absorb fats and sugars. And studies show that green tea catechins prevent the absorption of triglycerides and cholesterol, which increases your body’s ability to excrete fat.

 

Like everything else, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to your microbiome. You may be a strict vegetarian, eat the Paleo way or fall somewhere in between. The key is to keep supporting your microbiome with the foods that are healthy for you.

Source: Dr. Christiane Northrup, M.D

https://www.drnorthrup.com/how-to-improve-your-gut-microbiome-in-a-day/

NOTES FROM “THE MICROBIOME BREAKTHROUGH” BOOK BY DR. KELLMAN

The whole brain includes: the brain, microbiome, and gut.

Each of us contains a microbiome with the ability to monitor our body in an exquisite detail that a supercomputer would envy. The collective ability of bacteria makes sense when you think about your own brain. Each individual brain cell is nothing much. Put millions of cells together, and you have a complex organism that can think, feel, and reason. Your microbiome operates in similar fashion: as a collective organism that functions as another aspect of your brain.

We’re used to thinking of ourselves as autonomous creatures whose anatomies function as self-sufficient machines, much like the engine of a car. Sure, we need fuel, and water, and perhaps a little lubrication, but basically, the mechanism functions by itself. Nope. Not even close. When you realize that your bacterial cells outnumber your human ones by as much as a factor of 10 to 1, you understand that you are not only one human individual—you are also a community of bacteria. We are a superorganism and our microbiome is an essential part of who we are. 

If your gut is dysfunctional or your microbiome is degraded, you will feel as though your mind is deteriorating and your emotions are out of control.

When gut health is restored, it’s not just that people’s symptoms disappear. They also attain a whole other level of function—access to a kind of vitality and joy that they haven’t felt for a long time.

Phrases such as gut reactions, gut instincts, and going with your gut are based on an important truth: Your gut contains what is effectively a second brain, a powerful intelligence of its own, based on a vast neural network.

Your microbiome can be underpopulated or out of balance – two different problems.

Studies have shown that when the brain contains more serotonin, people tend to be far more optimistic about their own capacity for success. Since healing your gut and balancing your microbiome will increase your levels of serotonin—among many other effects—you might find yourself changing some of your beliefs about the world and yourself.

When your gut bacteria are not functioning as they should, they often produce too much ammonia, which in the wrong quantities can be toxic to your brain. One of the most common causes of brain fog is too much ammonia, which can lead to severe symptoms.

Conventional medicine seeks a diagnosis. Treating the microbiome, by contrast, is an improvement in function.

Gratitude and appreciation can create a significant difference in your microbiome and brain function.

Giving with no expectation of return—simply experiencing the will to give—is a vital part of treating the microbiome.

The genes of our bacteria—the genes in our microbiome—outnumber our own by a factor of 150 to 1.

Some genes do predispose you to have more or less of certain brain chemicals—say, serotonin. However, you can easily compensate for that genetic tendency through diet and lifestyle. Genetics is not destiny—although we can’t change our genes, we can change the way our genes affect us. Based on what you eat, how you live, and how you think, your genetic instructions may vary. Our human genes are not the only genes that affect our health—our health also depends upon the genes of our microbiome.

Genes respond to our experiences—whether we are nurtured or discouraged, frightened or soothed, loved or neglected. Genes are even affected by our thoughts, beliefs, expectations, and fears.

Let’s be clear. Food, environment, lifestyle, and mind do not actually shape our physical human genes. Throughout our entire lives, our genes remain the same. The genes we were born with never actually change. What does change is the way our genes express themselves. If you have a genetic tendency toward a certain condition, that tendency might manifest—or it might not. The gene might express itself loudly—playing a huge role in your health—or it might be “silenced,” playing almost no role in your health. What turns the volume up or down on various genes is your environment—which includes both the environment that surrounds you (toxins, noise levels, stress levels, and so on) and the environment within you (diet, lifestyle, stress relief, and so on).

We are not limited to the genes that we inherited from our parents and bound by all the restrictions that come with them. In fact, those inherited human genes play only a small role. Most of our biochemistry comes from our bacteria—and that’s where epigenetics really come into play. Changing your diet, lifestyle, and stress levels very quickly alters the composition and behavior of your microbiome. These changes in turn alter the expression of your own genes, creating new states of health for both body and brain.

The autonomic nervous system governs the systems that function automatically, without conscious thought, such as breathing, digestion, heartbeat, and the like. It includes the sympathetic nervous system, which governs the stress response—your ability to rev up and meet a challenge. It also includes the parasympathetic nervous system, which governs the relaxation response—your ability to calm down, heal, and sleep.

Laughing resets the autonomic nervous system and puts us in parasympathetic mode.

You might be used to thinking of stress as a psychological issue, one that impacts your mood, not your body. But stress is also very much a physical response that affects your entire biochemistry, including all components of your microbiome. Stress can override all the good things we do for our gut. It’s the most crucial factor.

Here’s where the gut microbiome comes in. It helps modulate your stress response and ensures that an appropriate amount of cortisol is released from the adrenal glands.

Spending time in natural space enriches the bacteria in our gut. Go barefoot. Do gardening.

Frequently, gut dysfunction is related to microbiome imbalance, both of which affect the brain. Here is an extremely powerful example of the gut-brain (behavior) connection:

In a recent experiment, researchers transplanted bacteria from mice on a high-fat diet into mice on a normal diet. Although the second group of mice didn’t actually gain weight, they did show the behavioral and biochemical changes typically associated with obesity. They also showed symptoms of depression and dementia. The mice exhibited “cognitive disruptions” (that is, they couldn’t solve problems effectively) and they were less likely to explore their environment (a behavior highly associated with depression). Evaluations of their brains showed increased inflammation as well. By altering the microbiome of normal mice, researchers altered their gut function. And when their gut function changed, so did their brain.

Why are microbiomes in the developed world so much less diverse compared to developing countries? Antibiotics are the main culprit, and Caesarean sections—which prevent the complete transfer of the mother’s microbiome to her child—are another factor. Other key factors include a diet full of processed foods and artificial sweeteners; increased exposure to toxins and industrial chemicals; and higher levels of stress, particularly the stress that results from isolation and loss of community.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Leaky Gut, and SIBO

10-15% of people worldwide suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. IBS is a serious and pervasive health problem. It is a condition defined by various symptoms, but specifically abdominal pain and altered bowel movements. If you are experiencing several of the symptoms below, read the special IBS report (attached in email) and check with your doctor to see if you are suffering from IBS.

 

Abdominal cramping

Diarrhea

Constipation

Alternating diarrhea and constipation

Gas

Bloating

Food intolerances

Fatigue

Difficulty sleeping

Anxiety

The booklet called Gut, Boosting-immunity in the email attachment provides detailed information about Leaky gut and SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth) - two common health issues that can negatively affect your health.