The Role Of The Gut And The Microbiome
The Role of the Gut and the Microbiome in Health
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Bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microscopic living things are referred to as microorganisms, and they exist mainly inside our intestines and on our skin. Over thousands of years our microbiome has become an integral part of our body and our health. The gut microbiome begins to affect our body the moment we are born. We are first exposed to microbes when we pass through our mother’s birth canal, hence why natural birth is so important. As we grow, our gut microbiome begins to diversify, so containing many different types of microbial species unique to each of us. Higher microbiome diversity is considered good for your health and all depends the food we eat and the life we lead. The more antibiotics, inflammatory foods and toxins we are exposed to, the less diversified our microbiome.
As your microbiome grows, it affects your body in a number of ways, including:
- Digesting breast milk: Some of the bacteria that first begin to grow inside babies’ intestines are called Bifidobacteria. They digest the healthy sugars in breast milk that are important for growth.
- Digesting fiber: Certain bacteria digest fiber, producing short-chain fatty acids, which are important for gut health. Fiber may help prevent weight gain, diabetes, heart disease and the risk of cancer.
- Helping control your immune system: The gut microbiome also controls how your immune system works. By communicating with immune cells, the gut microbiome can control how your body responds to infection.
- Helping control brain health: research strongly suggests that the gut microbiome affects the central nervous system, which controls brain function. So playing a major role in ADD, ADHD, anxiety, depression and brain degenerative disorders.