When your gut or gastrointestinal system is working correctly, you can digest and absorb food that gets turned into energy. You have no discomfort, never get bloated and don’t have IBS. It is a very intricate system that relies on multiple organs and a relationship that we have with the 100 trillion microorganisms we carry inside us.
The human gut contains 10 times more bacteria than all the human cells in the entire body, with over 400 known diverse bacterial species. In fact, you could say that we’re more bacteria than we are human. Think about that one for a minute.
We’ve only recently begun to understand the extent of the gut bacteria’s role in human health and disease. Among other things, this gut ‘flora’ promotes normal gastrointestinal function, provides protection from infection, regulates metabolism and interacts with more than 75% of our immune system. Gut flora that is out of balance has been linked to diseases ranging from autism and depression to autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s, inflammatory bowel disease and type 1 diabetes.
Unfortunately, several features of the modern lifestyle directly contribute to unhealthy gut flora:
- Antibiotics and other medications like birth control and NSAIDs
- Diets high in refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods
- Diets low in fermentable fibers
- Dietary toxins like wheat and industrial seed oils that cause leaky gut
- Chronic stress
- Chronic infections
With such a complicated system, we need to get your gut working properly!