The gut microbiome (microbes that inhabit our gastrointestnal tract or GIT) is now recognised as a hugely important aspect of our overall health.
Our bodies can be described as only 1% human. This is due to the immense genetic diversity of the bacteria in our gut. It is estimated that we carry up to 1.5kg of micro-organisms, that is 10 trillion living bacterial cells, from a hugely diverse range, in our GIT. Numbers of genetically distinct strains number in the several 100s.
These bacteria colonise our digestive system during our early days: we inherit some from our mother during vaginal delivery, receive more via breast milk and skin contact and are inoculated with even more as we explore the environment we inhabit. Remember playing with mud pies, kissing the dog and collecting ‘treasures’ when you were a young kid?
Attention is being directed to the study of these micro-organisms in our GIT, the microbiome, in response to the observation that particular strains of the micro-organisms can have wide ranging effects on both our mental and physical health.
In fact, there are more than 200 studies linking inadequate probiotic levels to more than 170 different negative health issues, including depression, obesity and weight gain
Indeed, faecal transplants have become a therapy for patients with severe clostridium difficile infections which are not responding to antibiotic therapy. The ancient Chinese ‘Yellow Soup’ treatment is based on dilutions of gut microflora taken from a healthy individual given as an oral administration to patients with severe gastroenteritis.
Interestingly, it has been discovered that people with a lean physique carry a different range of gut bacteria than those who are overweight or obese, suggesting that there may be an ‘obese microbiota’, which results in an increase in total body fat.
It has been postulated that the gut microbiome influences our mental health, affecting a range of mental functions from our food choices, our level of happiness and even our degree of self-confidence.
So where does that leave someone who is overweight and is struggling to lose excess body fat?
There are good quality probiotics available which will help to adjust the microbiome. It is important to select supplements which include a wide range of appropriate microbes, and do not bulk out with non-beneficial, or competing microbes. Dilution with microbes associated with silage are found in some ‘pro-biotic’ products.
It is not enough to inoculate your GI tract with the microbes. You need to make them feel welcome and encourage them to hang around so that they have their good influence on your body. You do this by consuming pre-biotics. These are complex carbohydrates which are not able to be digested by our bodies, but are an excellent substrate for these ‘good’ bacteria.
In Viva Wellness clinics we use the UltraKeto Gut Balancer pre- and pro-biotic supplements because they fullfill these essential aspects.
To find out more, ring Lise or Vanessa on 07 3350 3669.