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Interesting Information: Importance of Microbial Diversity in Gut Health and Disease

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Interesting Information:  May 16, 2014

Importance of Microbial Diversity in Gut Health and Disease

Mercola posted an important article on the importance of microbial diversity for human health this past week.

Here’s how the article begins:

Our gastrointestinal tract is now considered one of the most complex microbial ecosystems on Earth. You may have a basic awareness that the microbes in your gut affect your digestion. But their influence extends far beyond that to your brain, heart, skin, mood, weight… and the list goes on and on.

Here’s the url:  Importance of Microbial Diversity in Gut Health and Disease.

Did you know that in addition gut flora and fauna, we also carry a load of viruses that work to keep us healthy?

I didn’t.  That’s a new one for me to learn.

And the state of our individual guts has a lot to do with how we respond to cancer.  Or, not–in that if our gut is balanced, our immune system is strong, and we stay healthy.

Here’s another quote:

All these intestinal microflora are part of your immune system and about 80 percent of it originates in your gut. Researchers have discovered that microbes of all kinds play instrumental roles in the functioning of your body. For example, beneficial bacteria, also known as probiotics, have been shown to:

For all of these reasons, and more, I recommend a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods along with cultured or fermented foods. If, for whatever reason you are not consuming fermented foods at least a few times a week, it’s wise to consider supplementation.

Mercola’s recommendations for promoting gut health:

All of this information should really drive home the point that optimizing your gut flora is of critical importance for disease prevention, including cancer prevention. Reseeding your gut with beneficial bacteria is essential for maintaining proper balance here. As mentioned, beneficial bacteria help keep pathogenic microbes and fungi in check; preventing them from taking over. In light of this, here are my recommendations for optimizing your gut bacteria.

      • Fermented foods are the best route to optimal digestive health, as long as you eat the traditionally made, unpasteurized versions. Healthy choices include lassi (an Indian yoghurt drink, traditionally enjoyed before dinner), fermented grass-fed organic milk such as kefir, various pickled fermentations of cabbage, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, squash, and carrots, and natto (fermented soy). Some of the beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods are also excellent chelators of heavy metals and pesticides, which will also have a beneficial health effect by reducing your toxic load.
      • Fermented vegetables are an excellent way to supply beneficial bacteria back into our gut. And, unlike some other fermented foods, they tend to be palatable, if not downright delicious, to most people. As an added bonus, they can also a great source of vitamin K2 if you ferment your own using the proper starter culture. We had samples of high-quality, fermented organic vegetables made with our specific starter culture tested, and a typical serving (about two to three ounces) contained not only 10 trillion beneficial bacteria, but it also had 500 mcg of vitamin K2, which we now know is a vital co-nutrient to both vitamin D and calcium. Most high-quality probiotics supplements will only supply you with a fraction of the beneficial bacteria found in such homemade fermented veggies, so it’s your most economical route to optimal gut health as well.
    • Probiotic supplement. Although I’m not a major proponent of taking many supplements (as I believe the majority of your nutrients need to come from food), probiotics is an exception if you don’t eat fermented foods on a regular basis.

In addition to knowing what to add to your diet and lifestyle, it’s equally important to know what to avoid, and these include:

Antibiotics, unless absolutely necessary (and when you do, make sure to reseed your gut with fermented foods and/or a probiotic supplement)

Conventionally-raised meats and other animal products, as CAFO animals are routinely fed low-dose antibiotics, plus genetically engineered grains, which have also been implicated in the destruction of gut flora

Processed foods (as the excessive sugars, along with otherwise “dead” nutrients, feed pathogenic bacteria)

Chlorinated and/or fluoridated water

Antibacterial soap

Agricultural chemicals, glyphosate (Roundup) in particular

Do take a moment and read the entire article.  It’s an important one.

 

Written by louisaenright

May 16, 2014 at 4:08 pm

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