by Vanita Dahia
The gut microbiome is a complex community of microbial organisms living in the small and large intestine. This microbial community is made up of a hundred trillion microorganisms containing more than 1000 different species.
The microbiome is made up of bacteria predominantly, together with yeasts, viruses and parasites all collectively needed to properly maintain good gut health.
The microbiota is an entire collection of microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract important for immune development, digestion, detoxification and production of neurochemicals. These microbial organisms are required to break down faecal matter in order for it to be either absorbed as essential nutrients or excreted as unwanted toxic matter.
Harmful microbes only become dangerous when they outnumber the good or beneficial microbes. At this stage, the bad microbes are considered to be pathogenic and therefore may contribute towards inflammatory conditions and more complex gastrointestinal dysfunction such as IBS, IBD, intestinal cancers, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, Multiple Sclerosis or cardio metabolic disease.
Microorganisms on needed to produce digestive enzymes, lactic acid and probiotics that keep the body functioning well. The gut microbiome and its human host works symbiotically to maintain a balance. An imbalance of the microbiota may lead to symptoms such as diarrhoea, gas, bloating, constipation, reflux, gastritis or abdominal pain.
How to Restore the GUT Microbiome
• limit exposure to toxicants in personal products, chemicals, drugs. Improve the micro biome in the home by reducing exposure to plastics, bisphenol A and endocrine disruptors
• increase exposure to fresh air, exercise to oxygenate the body
• manage stress with sufficient rest and relaxation
Food is medicine
The ideal diet should contain together with a wholesone balanced organic diet, the microbiome containing foods.
Microbiome containing Foods
- Fructo-oligosaccharides and inulin- Chicory root, Garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, Leek, Onion, Dandelion, greens, Asparagus, Banana, Barley, Wheat, Honey, Tomato, Rye
- resistant starch – Potato, Bananas, Cashew nuts, Rolled oats, uncooked Potato, steamed and cooled White beans, Lentils cooked
- fibres – Flax seeds, Vegetables, Fruit, Whole grains
- polyphenols – Blueberries, Strawberries, Peach, Plum, Grape seed extract, Cranberry extract, Resveratrol, Tea, Cocoa, Chocolate
- other prebiotic foods – Kiwi fruit, Beetroot, Fennel bulb, Green peas, Snow peas, Sweetcorn, cabbage, Chickpeas, Red kidney beans, Soybeans, Cashews, Pistachio nuts, Peaches, Watermelon, Grapefruit, Pomegranate, Dried fruit (e.g. dates, figs)
Some Dos and Don’ts
- Reduce sugar – sugar feeds organisms like Candida which attacks intestinal wall and leads to systemic infections
- consume raw, organic fruits and plant food, simple carbohydrates and phytochemicals
- increase fermented vegetables to increase diversity of microbiota e.g. sauerkraut, pickle some, kefir, kimchi, yoghurts, Kumbucha
Institute the 4R protocol
Remove pathogenic microbes with pharmaceutical or natural antimicrobials.
- Barbary and Oregon grape contain berberine which have antimicrobial activity against bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoans, helminths.
- Black Walnut extract traditionally used to expel parasites and treat Candida albicans have anti-bacterial activity especially active against malaria and listeria.
- olive leaf is an immune herb with antibacterial, antifungal and by anti-viral properties
Replace prebiotic’s restore immune system in the gut.
- psyllium husk is a soluble fibre which assists in elimination of waste and toxins from the intestines
- glutamine, an amino acid protects mucosal lining
- aloe vera, slippery Elm, marshmallow and flax seeds contain soluble fibres which soothes the mucosal membranes of the gastrointestinal tract
Re-inoculate with good commensal microbes
- Probiotic supplementation stimulates good bug production to maintain normal microbiome. Spore forming probiotic bacteria can withstand stomach and bowel acid where they produce lactic acid and natural anti-bacterial to prevent growth of pathogenic bacteria.
- Probiotics increase lactobacillus, bifido bacteria, and supports immune function, communicates with intestinal cells to maintain healthy gut barrier function. Using prebiotic’s together was probiotics (synbiotics) help promote colonisation of probiotic bacteria.
Repair the gut to reduce inflammation
- anti-inflammatory amino acids and herbs help maintain normal inflammatory response and bowel regularity and maintain gut permeability.
- Promote short-chain fatty acid (butyrate) production
- herbs such as curcumin, Shisandra and Boswelia assist in detoxification and managing inflammation in the gut.
Consult with us here if you’d like more information or test your microbiome.