Harmony in Gut

This is from Yuri’s Village Feburary 2012 Newsletter. Sign-up Free for health tips, latest events from here

You already may know my special interest in fermented foods and probiotic; here, I want to share a little taste of why I get so excited about these bacteria!

For each of us, the gut is home to about 100 trillium bacteria with which we live inharmony. They are first line of protection against infection, help optimal immune function of the body, aid digestion, provide nutrition to the cells, produce vitamins, eliminate toxins, keep disease causing bacteria in control, prevent allergy, and of course more! In a mice study, it was found that chemicals that associate with emotion and behaviour, such like serotonin and dopamine are regulated by gut bacteria, showing the connection with brain function and gut bacteria (1). There are even mounting evidence that a healthy gut bacteria help maintain a healthy weight by bacteria extracting calories from the food we eat. Further more, multiple studies have shown that people with obesity have different intestinal bacteria than slim people (2, 3).
So these bacteria are vital to our health, and any disruption can result in life threatening conditions tochronic diseases.

There are actually quite a lot of factors that disrupt our health of gut bacteria such factors are: use of antibiotics, steroids, birth control pills, and drugs in general, consuming a poor diet & alcohol, also exposure to pollution, and radiation.

It is best to get bacteria from healthy balanced food (2). There are about 800 bacterial species with more than 7,000 strains in the average gut. Some of them are similar, but their functions are different. Supplementation with probiotic is useful when we need a specific strain to help the body fight or heal, however, compare to fermented food in where these bacteria naturally live, supplementation only gives you one or a few strains.

Further more, by fermenting the food, it increases nutrition of the food (ie. sauerkraut has more vitamin C then raw cabbage), and makes easy to digest and assimilate nutrients by the body.
Just make sure your fermented food has living bacteria. The best way to make sure if you make your own! (See how to make it: click here)Body is like our planet earth. We can find many of the same materials, elements, or chemicals on the earth in our body. Also just like human beings are living on the earth, bacteria live in us. If you want the environment (your body) to be healthy place, you want to make the residents (bacteria) happy and healthy! We live in a mutually beneficial state with bacteria, so we need to co-operate as a one unit.

References:

  1. Rochellys Dias Heijtz, et al. “Normal gut microbiota modulated brain development and behaviour”. PNAS, online early edition 31 January – 4 February 2011.
  2. Medical College of Georgia, “Eating Right – Not Supplements – Is Best At Keeping Your Good Bacteria Healthy, Dietitian Says”. ScienceDaily, 21 October, 2009.
  3. Joesph Mercola, “Dietitian Says Eating Right is Best Way to Optimize Good Gut Bacteria”. Mercola.com, 10 November, 2009.