Watch the video to learn more about each of these 3 vital functions your gut plays in your overall health!
Molecular biologist Joshua Lederberg calls the gut microbiome all the microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi, and their collective genetic material present in the gastrointestinal tract (source).
Did you know: you have more bacteria cells in your gut than you have of your own body cells in your entire body? In fact, their genes outnumber yours 100:1.
About 100 trillion bacteria cells live in your gut (source).
Some of the roles of the microorganisms in our microbiome:
- Digestion: they help us break down certain foods and food particles our gut cells themselves can’t break down on their own
- Produce vitamin K
- Maintain the structural integrity of the gut lining – allowing nutrients into the bloodstream but keeping the waste inside the GI tract
- Immunity, processing of emotions and our environment, creation of neurotransmitters, etc all talked about here
Some of the things that affect our gut microbiome:
- Vaginal birth
- Antibiotics – they kill off all of your bacteria, not just the bad ones
- Other prescription medications
- The foods we eat – Certain types of sugars and starches feed an overgrowth of bad bacteria and candida (the most common yeast overgrowth). You want good starches with fiber to serve as prebiotics for the good bacteria to grow.
- Alcohol consumption
- Environment – Exposure to pathogens, mold, toxins
- Time of day you eat and consistency in it
- Stress – any kind, good and bad, chronic stress, emotional stress, lack of sleep
- How much you exercise and the type of exercise you do
Want to learn more about how to establish a balanced and healthy microbiome? Sign up for my webinar here.