It seems like nowadays this term ‘gut health’ has been tossed around more and more. And for good reason. But what the heck does it actually mean? Allow me to simply break it down. When people speak about the ‘gut’, they are talking about the trillions of microorganisms that make up the entire digestive system. Technically the ‘gut’ starts in your mouth where food is introduced to the first set of bacteria that begins to break it down. By the time it reaches the intestines, there are trillions of bacteria, or microorganisms, at work. Yes I said trillions, about 10x more bacteria lives on and in you than your own human cells. Kinda sounds gross I know!
Scientists have discovered that all of these microorganisms that makeup the human microbiome have a way more complex role than previously realized. They are no longer understood to only be responsible for digestion. In fact, they are responsible for 70% of your immune system, as well as creating 90% of the neurotransmitters like gaba, dopamine and serotonin that are in your brain.
In order for our ‘gut’ or microbiome to be considered healthy, we require an 85% good to 15% bad ratio of bacteria. This is imperative in order for our gut to properly perform all these functions. Nevertheless, about 70% of Americans have a microbiome or gut that is out. Of. Whack! What has contributed to this? A major cause is the standard American diet, but also things such as antibiotics, overuse of sanitization products, toxins and stress.
So in essence A healthy gut means a properly balanced microbiome of good to bad bacteria.
The even bigger question is, how does our gut health being imbalanced affect our health, and what can we do about it? I’ll be talking about this next week!