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Inside Out: Exploring the Wonders of Your Gut Microbiome

Exploring the Wonders of Your Gut Microbiome
Gut health is one of the most common health concerns prevailing. The human digestive system is made of trillions of microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc, residing in the gastrointestinal tract. These bacteria and viruses are classified as the good bacteria required for the proper digestion and functioning of the body. This blog is all about gut microbiome exploration and its influence on our overall health.

What Is Gut Microbiome?

Gut Microbiome is a rich colonisation of a diverse array of microorganisms called microbes in our digestive system. Although these microbes reside in your entire digestive tract, they congregate in significant amounts in a hidden pocket called the cecum in your large intestine. These microbes are called the gut microbiome.
Humans have evolved to live with microorganisms for centuries now.
The microbiome starts playing an essential role in your life the moment you are born. Your initial contact with microbes is in your mother’s birth canal during your birth. The gut microbiome flourishes and diversifies as you grow. A diverse gut microbiome is highly desirable and considered the healthiest.
Understanding Gut Bacteria Composition
Gut microbiome is made of various microorganisms, of which bacteria is the most studied. Bacteria from different phyla, like Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, and Actinobacteria, coexist symbiotically with other viruses, fungi, and microbes for proper digestion and body functioning.

Benefits of a Healthy Gut Microbiome

A healthy gut microbiome has many benefits on various parameters essential for the health and well-being of the body. It is helpful in:
  • Weight management
  • Proper digestion
  • Mental health support
  • Nutrition synthesis
  • Glowing skin
  • Energy levels
  • Metabolism

Gut Microbiome And Mental Health

Varied research and studies reveal a complex interplay between the gut microbiome and the brain, called the gut-brain axis. The gut-brain connection impacts mood, cognition, and behaviour. Gut microbiome produces various chemical molecules and neurotransmitters like serotonin. Studies show that people with certain psychological disorders have a different gut microbiome composition than healthy adults.
An experiment revealed that people consuming probiotics like lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum displayed significant improvement in depression symptoms compared to those taking a placebo. Probiotic use also displayed changes in chemical messages, inflammation markers, and neurotransmitters, proving that gut microbiome directly impacts mental health.

Gut Microbiome and Immune System

The myriad of microorganisms residing in the gut mingle with immune cells lining the intestinal mucosa to structure their responses to pathogens. It also helps maintain homeostasis. Certain gut bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) like butyrate, acetate, and propionate. These SCFAs are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and promote immune tolerance to varied diseases. Gut flora is essential for building the immune system as it produces antimicrobial peptides and immunoglobulins that fortify the gut barrier. An imbalance in gut microbiome leads to various diseases like IBS, IBD, autoimmune diseases, etc. Hence, maintaining a healthy gut is of utmost priority. Learn how to cure your gut health over here.

Gut Microbiome and Digestion

The gut microbiome is known for its influence on digestive health. It helps break down complex fibres, carbohydrates, and proteins. It also influences nutrient metabolism and gut motility. Some gut bacteria produce enzymes that help in the fermentation of dietary fibres into gasses like hydrogen and methane to relieve constipation and bloating. Dysbiosis caused by the gut microbiome imbalance leads to digestive disorders and malabsorption syndromes.

Diabetes And Heart

A study reveals that gut microbiome is instrumental in heart health. Gut microbiome promotes good HDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Some bacteria present in the gut microbiome may also be responsible for certain heart diseases.
Similarly, gut microbiome also impacts diabetes. The gut microbiome diversity saw a significant drop before the onset of type 1 diabetes.
It is safe to say that unhealthy microbes in the gut microbiome can lead to severe health issues and impact daily life. Test your gut microbiome to know more about your gut health.

How to Maintain a Healthy Gut Microbiome

We already know a healthy gut leads to various positive impacts on overall health. But, how do we maintain a healthy gut? Incorporate the below given points to maintain a healthy gut microbiome:
  • Consume a diverse diet to indulge your body with varied vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fibre, etc. Include fruits, vegetables, legumes, millets, nuts, seeds, and fermented foods in your diet.
  • Include prebiotic rich foods like asparagus, garlic, bananas, onions, and whole grains to benefit your gut bacteria.
  • Probiotics are again a mandatory requirement for a healthy gut. Consume yoghurt, kefir, kimchi, and kombucha.
  • Limit your sugar consumption. Sugar is considered as a slow poison and leads to unlimited health conditions. Use natural alternatives like sugarcane, jaggery, honey, date sugar.
  • Avoid taking unnecessary antibiotics. Antibiotics are your gut’s enemy as it causes imbalance in your gut microbiome. For general flus try home remedies instead.

The Bottom Line

The gut microbiome is an essential factor in our body that influences physiological, psychological, and other functions of our body. A healthy gut microbiome refers to diverse microorganisms from different species. A healthy gut microbiome has a harmonious working and understanding between different bacteria, viruses, and fungi that aid in multiple functions of the body.
Following a healthy lifestyle and eating habits helps restore your natural gut microbiome. Follow these 10 easy hacks to improve gut health.
Have a happy gut!!

Frequently Asked Questions

Gut microbiome is important for the proper functioning of the digestive system in our body, It assists in the breakdown of complex carbohydrates and also supports the immune system.
To maintain a healthy gut microbiome one must lead a healthy lifestyle and follow a healthy diet plan. Nutritions is the key to heal and maintain a healthy gut microbiome. Include probiotics and antioxidants.
A balanced meal doesn’t always fulfil all the nutritional requirements. To bridge the nutritional gap supplements like probiotics and prebiotics are helpful. However, we recommend consulting with your doctor before starting any medication.
The duration it might take for you to heal your gut depends on various factors like diet, lifestyle, genetics, and current health status. Making lifestyle changes and stay dedicated to them for 2-3 months will show visible improvements.
Signs of an unhealthy gut are bloating, constipation, sudden weight gain, sudden weight loss, loss of appetite, skin problems, acne, mood swings, fatigues, weakness.
Yes, gut microbiome testing will provide you with proper information on your microbiome composition. The information will help you in making decisions about your health and learning what changes are required in your lifestyle.

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