There’s no better time to do the super gut check challenge than today. A balanced microbiome can keep illnesses at bay.
7 Excellent Reasons a Gut Check Should Be a Habit
1. Your Body Contains a Lot of Microorganisms That Need Feeding
One of the foremost reasons to perform a gut check is the fact you have trillions of microorganisms in there. In fact, they can outnumber human cells!
When you weigh them all together, they can total 2 to 6 pounds of your body weight. It may not seem like much, though, because they are microscopic.
These are not only bacteria but also viruses and fungi of various strains. Some of them may be active while others are inactive, but either way, they all contribute to your digestive health.
Like any microorganism (and like humans), they need to eat, and what you feed them can affect how they metabolize nutrients. It can also impact the microbiome balance or the number of good and bad bacteria.
2. Gut Health Equals to Immune System
The immune system is your line of defense against different threats that can cause harm to your body. Consider it as your shield from pathogens and environmental pollutants, among others.
Many types of cells compose your immunity, and these include antibodies. Research suggests the gut itself produces these, excreting massive quantities into the digestive tract.
Studies also tend to show that the risks of certain types of cancer, especially colon cancer, may be due to changes in gut or microbe activity.
The gut can also function as a teacher, exposing your immune system to a host of microorganisms. In the process, it learns to determine the bad and the good ones.
3. Your Gut Affects Your Brain and Mental Health
A gut check is also essential because of the gut’s impact on your brain and mental health. A lot of people don’t know these body parts are similar in many ways.
For example, they both produce neurons, which serve as information pathways, delivering electric and chemical signals.
They also make neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that regulate many of the brain’s functions from cognition to emotion. To be more specific, the gut produces a specific neurotransmitter called GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid).
GABA is an inhibitory transmitter, which means it controls the excitability of the neurons, or the way they transmit signals and communicate.
GABA plays a critical role in managing symptoms associated with depression and anxiety. It may also improve the way a person manages stress.
A 2015 study also highlighted how the gut contains a significant amount of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates appetite, sleep, social behavior, and mood. There’s an association between low levels of serotonin and depressive symptoms.
4. If You Want to Lose Weight, the Answer May Be in Your Digestive Tract
Obesity is a complex medical condition, and many factors can increase the risks besides sedentary lifestyle and excessive consumption of calories. One of these is the composition of gut bacteria, as well as the metabolites they produce.
In a U.S. study, researchers discovered a gene called NLRP12, an anti-inflammatory protein. They learned it tends to be underactive in obese individuals.
To further test it, the researchers worked on mice, and they discovered those without the gene experienced inflammation both in the gut and in the body parts where the fat accumulated.
Other studies also linked the microbiota to your metabolism, as well as regulation and production of hormones and neurotransmitters. All these have an impact on the way your body produces and stores fat.
5. Your Gut Can Change as You Grow Older
Aging is also one of the primary reasons to perform a gut check. This is because it can affect the diversity of the microbiome.
One of your earliest contacts with microorganisms is during your birth. When babies pass through the vaginal canal, they pick up microbes including those that help them digest their food such as breast milk.
As you interact with your environment, you acquire more of the organisms that eventually make up your microbiome. By the time you’re three years old, your gut flora is similar to that of an adult.
As you age, your microbiome also undergoes massive changes. Research published in Clinical Science revealed an older gut may contain more of interleukin 6 (IL-6), a regulator of the immune system that can trigger chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation, meanwhile, is a risk factor for aging, including increasing the risk of obesity, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer. It can also raise the chances of a leaky gut.
What is a leaky gut? It is a condition wherein the intestinal junctions or barriers become loose, allowing toxins and food to pass through the bloodstream.
Researchers also established a connection between a lower immune response to gut bacteria and aging. It may then explain why older people are more prone to infection.
6. Your Microbiome’s Composition Can Tell You so Much About Your Overall Health
To truly say you have a healthy gut, it’s not enough to have viruses, bacteria, and fungi. The strains present in your microbiome also matter.
Take, for example, the various probiotic strains. The most popular of them all, Lactobacillus acidophilus, provides the gut with antibiotic properties and synthesizes vitamin K.
Lactobacillus casei, meanwhile, creates lactic acid, which makes the gut environment unpleasant for the bad bacteria to thrive. Bifidobacterium longum is necessary for improving anxiety symptoms and effects of stress and absorption of B vitamins.
7. It Influences Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
One can never underestimate the importance of heart health, which is why you need to stick to a healthy diet to reduce your risk factors. These can include obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.
What you may not know, though, is your gut can also affect it. When you eat foods high in choline and carnitine, the gut bacteria convert it to trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO).
A review of existing studies found an association between increased odds of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) as well as mortality and higher levels of TMAO.
Optimize your gut in 5 simple steps with BIOHM gut report kit from BIOHM Health:
Knowing the importance of gut check is one thing. Doing it is another.
Fortunately, you don’t have to second-guess about your microbe composition. You can actually take BIOHM Gut Test, which will provide you a comprehensive report including the actual strains present in your digestive tract.
From this data, you can make better health decisions that can reduce the risks of diseases and increase your energy and vitality.
How do you maintain your gut health? Share your tips in the comments section below!