The gut microbiome is a vast and complex ecosystem of trillions of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes that live in our digestive tract. It is so important to our overall health that it could be considered its own body system, with physiological connections to every inch of the body.
The gut microbiota perform a wide range of essential functions, including:
Providing fuel for gut cells
Increasing the availability of unique plant nutrients
Promoting a healthy inflammatory response
Controlling genetic activity in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract
These functions have a profound impact on our gut health, heart health, immune system health, and other body systems.
The Power Struggle Between Good and Bad Bacteria
The composition of the gut microbiome is a huge factor in determining how it affects our health. This is because there is a constant power struggle between "good" and "bad" bacteria in the gut.
When the good bacteria outnumber the bad, the gut microbiome is healthy and balanced. This allows it to perform its essential functions and protect us from disease. However, when the bad bacteria outnumber the good, the gut microbiome becomes unbalanced. This can lead to a variety of health problems, including digestive disorders, allergies, autoimmune diseases, and even mental health conditions.
Supporting a Healthy Gut Microbiome
There are a number of things we can do to support a healthy gut microbiome, including:
Eating a whole-food, plant-based diet
Taking probiotic supplements
Avoiding processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of saturated and unhealthy fats
Getting enough sleep
If you are considering taking nutritional supplements to support your gut microbiome, be sure to talk to your healthcare practitioner first.
The gut microbiome is a vital part of our overall health. By supporting a healthy gut microbiome, we can improve our digestion, boost our immune system, and reduce our risk of chronic diseases.
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*These products and statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult your health care professional about use of or other possible complications before using any product.