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GUT-sy TALK… Let’s just go with our Gut

Namaste Reader, 

Trust this blog finds your Gut in the pink of its health!

For most of us that is not always the case… The gut holds supreme importance when it comes to our health and well-being and there is a lot more to this ‘gut’ than we know. 

We at Atmantan always take your gut seriously, so let’s find out the ins and outs of this…

If you have the guts, read along.

Your Gut-friendly,

So, was Hippocrates right when he said, “All disease begins in the gut”? Well, this may be truer than you think as our research today supports the connection between an imbalanced gut health and the many disorders that may throw your body completely off balance. 

Did you know that it is in the gut, which is known as the second brain, is where you will find 70-80% of your immune cells and a whopping 95% of the body’s serotonin production?

The answer is simple – a robust immune system is most definitely influenced by a varied, well-balanced gut flora!

The term ‘gut flora’ or ‘gut microbiota’ describes the variety of microorganisms, including bacteria (the good bacteria), viruses, fungi, and other species, that reside in the gut. These microbes are necessary for lowering inflammation and regulating the immune system

The gut microbiota is a broad and varied community of microorganisms that live there and work in tandem with the mucosal immune system to preserve a delicate balance.

An average adult human body comprises approximately 30 trillion human cells and about 38 trillion bacteria! 

This leads us to the big question… Are we more human or bacteria then?

We think we may very well be more bacteria then, and so let’s make sure this bacteria (that constitutes us) is the good kind!

The interplay between hosts (us) and microbes (bacteria) is a fundamental factor in shaping health outcomes and disease susceptibility. The diversity of gut microbiota (diversity of good bacteria) is intricately linked to a myriad of variables that include our dietary choices, lifestyle, age, and environmental factors.

However, among these factors, it is our diet in particular that has a major influence on the gut microbiota and gut health. E.g. A diet heavy in processed foods, added sugars, and unhealthy fats can have a negative impact on the gut flora which inturn will escalate inflammation within us. On the other hand, a diet rich in fibre, prebiotics, and probiotics—found in foods like yogurt and other fermented food sources will promote healthy gut flora (good bacteria). 

Boost your gut health by enjoying a mix of seasonal fruits and veggies regularly. This simple habit supports a diverse community of good bacteria, leading to an overall improvement in your gut health.While we build gut flora, we also build gut health. Enhancing gut health and our intestinal mucosal barrier (a component of the gut’s defensive mechanism), also prevents harmful bacteria (bad bacteria), toxins, and dangerous substances from entering the bloodstream. By keeping the gut barrier strong, we can thus prevent inflammation. A compromised gut barrier may also lead to a “leaky gut,” wherein toxins and germs (from the food we consume and release within the gut) can enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation.

A Gut Dysbiosis typically occurs when the bacteria in our gastrointestinal (GI) tract (that includes the stomach and intestines) becomes unbalanced. 

This gut dysbiosis within us can also lead to

Auto-immune Diseases: Gut health and gut bacteria may play a role in the development of auto-immune diseases, causing organ damage and inflammation such that the immune system unintentionally attacks the body’s own tissues.  

Metabolic Health: Inflammation in the gut impacts metabolism and contributes towards conditions of metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance.

Cardiovascular Health: Prolonged intestinal inflammation has been linked to cardiovascular diseases as well. This gut dysbiosis may also worsen atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and affect blood vessel function.

Systemic Inflammation: An inflamed dysbiotic gut causes the body to go into a pro-inflammatory state. This overactive immune system can affect the skin (causing conditions like psoriasis), the musculoskeletal system, (diseases like arthritis), also the other systems in our body.

One is also at risk of suffering from various conditions collectively referred to as “inflammatory bowel diseases” (IBD) due to a gut dysbiosis; these include Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis (in which the gastrointestinal tract displays persistent inflammation). 

The ultimate result, you guessed it – ongoing inflammation and damaged gut lining.

Follow your Gut, they say…

Here’s why you should listen!

You see your gut is an extremely ‘well connected’ organ as it shares crucial direct connections with your brain, lungs, bones and skin. This in turn reiterates just how much in tandem the human body works with the gut at the centre of your well-being.

Some of these connections are explained below…

The Gut-Brain Connection

Ever used the words “My gut feeling says” or “It was gut-wrenching”?

There is a reason why we use these phrases to express varied emotions and feelings. 

Research indicates that there is a two-way communication between our gut and the brain! An imbalanced digestive system can impact our behaviour and mood, and it may even play a role in the emergence of (chronically inflammatory conditions such as) anxiety and melancholyIn fact, numerous physiological functions and behaviours are influenced by the complex interplay of neural, hormonal, and immunological signals within this intricate network! The vagus nerve, (a key element of the autonomic nervous system), and the release of signalling molecules (like neurotransmitters, hormones, and cytokines) are the two main ways that the gut and the brain communicate. The gut, by generating bioactive compounds that can affect immunological responses and brain function. Many disorders, including inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and even neurological conditions like anxiety and depression, have been linked to disruptions in the gut-brain axis. Thus, the trillions of microorganisms (that make up the gut microbiota) living in our Gastrointestinal (GI) tract directly contributes to our overall brain function and immunity.

The Gut-Lung Connection

Navigating the Gut-Lung nexus means knowing that the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and the respiratory system also communicate in a complex and dynamic way through the gut-lung axis

The immune system and inflammatory pathways of the gut and lungs are similar. The lung conditions affect the environment in the gut, as they change the makeup of the gut microbiota. The gut on the other hand sends out numerous signalling molecules, (such as cytokines and metabolites), through the bloodstream to the lungs, influencing immune control and inflammation. It is within this bidirectional crosstalk that the gut-lung axis exists.

Thus, respiratory disorders like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and respiratory infections have been linked to gut dysbiosis, and disturbances in the balance of gut microbial communities.

The Gut-Bone Connection

The gut-bone axis depicts the complex interplay between the skeletal system and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Research has revealed a network of bidirectional communication between the gut and bones that consists of hormonal, neural, and immune signals. Bone health, metabolism (bone formation and resorption) and nutrient absorption depends on the gut’s (gut microbiota) ability to absorb vital nutrients, especially calcium and vitamin D. At the other end, bone cells release signalling molecules that may in-turn impact our gut function which is how our bone health impacts the gut environment. Additionally, it has also been discovered that certain hormones, (such as osteocalcin), produced by bone cells, affect the gut’s metabolic functions. And, bone de-mineralisation and osteoporosis are also linked to disruptions in the gut-bone axis.

The Gut-Skin Connection

The relationship between the gut and the skin highlights how the gut affects the skin. 

Skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and acne have been related to gut dysbiosis, or disruptions in the balance of gut bacteria. Vice versa, since skin inflammation can set off systemic immune reactions, thus, skin conditions can also have an impact on the gastrointestinal tract

Additionally, absorption of nutrients essential for skin health, like vitamins A, D, and E, is mediated by the gut-skin axis. Understanding the importance of this inter-dependent system has prompted further research focusing on the immune system and the gut microbiota as therapeutic approaches to improve skin conditions by.

Some may even say- No Gut(s), No Glowy

In a nutshell… 

Ultimately your gut health and inflammation are related. Maintaining a healthy gut is essential to overall well-being and to prevent chronic inflammation. 

These various connections show that it is the gastrointestinal system, in particular, that plays a major role in regulating the body’s response to inflammation and infection. A disturbed balance in our gut microbiota can result in chronic inflammation and an overactive immune response. Numerous immune cells and signalling molecules that can affect inflammation throughout the body are largely sourced from the gut

And illnesses, such as metabolic disorders, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), have been linked to persistent inflammation in the gut. Crucially, this inflammation in the gut can also affect distant organs and tissues on a systemic level. 

Since a gut dysbiosis causes inflammation and systemic inflammation (whether it comes from the gut or somewhere else) impacts gut health and other gastro-intestinal disorders, this becomes an inflammatory vicious circle. 

So then how can we reduce inflammation, nourish our gut and break the vicious cycle?

Wondering how to get better gut health? And how to improve gut health naturally?

  • YOU MUST MANAGE YOUR STRESS because chronic stress has been shown to impact gut health and inflammation. Invest in devising stress-reduction strategies such as practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing, Yoga, mindfulness, cultivating new hobbies, cooking, swimming, spending time in nature and anything that works best for you. 
  • HYDRATION HYDRATION HYDRATION! Water is an important element for many biological processes, such as digestion and maintaining a healthy gut lining. Remember, proper hydration will always enhance a healthy gut and a healthy you!
  • BREAK A SWEAT! PARTAKE IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY… Exercising regularly will give the much needed support to your immune system.
  • STEER CLEAR OF PROCESSED INGREDIENTS and choose to consciously reduce your consumption of added-sugar, and high-fat foods to improve gut health. Gut health will always be affected by highly processed foods, particularly those that are high in added food additives, sugars and trans-fats, thus it is imperative that you exclude them from your daily diet menu. 
  • CHOOSE FOODS HIGH IN PROBIOTICS, like kimchi, yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut. These foods have live beneficial bacteria strains inside them, which supports the maintenance of a healthy gut microbiota. Also choose to add different fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your diet to get your fill of fibre. Legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are also high in fibre and further encourage the development of healthy gut flora (good bacteria).
  • CHOOSE FOODS THAT INCLUDE PREBIOTICS for better gut health as they feed the good bacteria in your gut. Bananas, asparagus, garlic, onions, and leeks are among foods high in prebiotics, which ensure the good bacteria continue to thrive in your gut. 
  • GET THE SLEEP YOU NEED. Good sleep is crucial for maintaining intestinal health. Try to get at least  7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night so that your body can repair and recuperate. This is on of the easiest and best way to improve gut health!
  • BE MINDFUL and CONSUME ANTIBIOTICS SPARINGLY. Since medication and antibiotics affect the gut flora, its use should be limited and done only when necessary. Additionally, to aid your body’s recuperation post an antibiotic therapy, make sure to consume the required probiotic supplementation.
  • AVOID SMOKING AND EXCESSIVE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION Unsavoury lifestyle habits like these are detrimental to the digestive system. In the long run, they also lead to a multitude of other health concerns, so choose to quit these sooner than later. Say no to these and improve your gut health.
  • IDENTIFY AND AVOID FOODS THAT DO NO SUIT YOUR GUT. Many of us may have known or unknown food sensitivities and intolerances, and choosing to get tested for these will help you enhance your gut health. 
  • ALWAYS CONSULT A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL if you notice any early indicators of gastrointestinal concerns. Upon getting diagnosed and prescribed, you can arrest any further damage to your gut and figure out the ways to improve gut health.

People also ask how to improve gut health and bloating? Now that you know all about gut health importance, and gut dysbiosis treatment we hope you will choose to take extra care of your gut. 

After all, a healthy gut is key to a strong immune system, disease prevention, and good mental health. All this ensures overall well-being.

And if you need more tips, do get in touch with our team.

We are here for you.


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