We are not 100% sure who said these wise words; some say the famous French scientist, Louis Pasteur (1822-1895), said this, on his deathbed. However, many believe the original person who claimed these words was Claude Bernard (1813-1878), a physiologist and contemporary of Pasteur.
(Interestingly though, if Pasteur did indeed say this, he was disowning his own germ theory, that attributed germs to the cause of disease.)
Decades have passed, and with much research, we know that disease is caused by many factors – environmental, microbes, immune system strength – thus, being exposed and being susceptibility.
side note: susceptibility refers to a poor immune function, due to a few things, one being the gut microbiome.
Which leads this post to the gut microbiome because as Hippocrates said,
“All disease begins in the gut.”
If the gut microbiome is balanced, then ( not optimal ) germs are not able to grow and reproduce. Yet, if it is out of balance, these germs will thrive.
Gut Microbiome ( flora) Crazy Facts:
- Our gut is home to approximately 100 trillion microorganisms
- The human gut contains 10 times more bacteria than all the human cells in the entire body, with over 400 known diverse bacterial species.
A few of the gut flora’s functions:
• aid protecting the digestive system from an overgrowth of germs
• stimulates the growth of the intestinal lining
• boosting the immune system
• improving vitamin and mineral absorption
• aiding in the manufacturing B vitamins and vitamin K
• protects the mucous lining of the intestines
Really, the gut flora promotes normal gastrointestinal function.
Lifestyle directly contributes to unhealthy gut flora:
▪ antibiotics and other medications – birth control and NSAIDs
▪ simple carbohydrates, sugar, and processed foods
▪ diets low in fiber & fermentable fibers
▪ food sensitivities
▪ chronic ( and perceived) stress
▪ chronic infections ( yeast is a big one and we sometimes don’t see any symptoms – good idea to bring it up with your doctor and be tested)
But there is one more thing to consider: the gut lining/barrier.
It has a big job.
The gut lining is the gatekeeper that decided what to get from the digestive tract to the bloodstream and cells, and what does not.
The digestive system is one long hose from the mouth to the anus. In the intestines, nutrients from the food we have eaten will go through this barrier to fuel the body. When healthy, the integrity of this barrier is strong yet when it becomes permeable ( from the above reasons), large food protein molecules can get through and into the bloodstream creating an immune reaction since these molecules are considered foreign.
Many people may understand this as leaky gut or gut malabsorption.
Your Actionable Steps
Find out your food sensitivities
- I use the FIT test, and if you are interested in doing one, contact me.
- Or do an elimination diet where you remove a certain food completely for 2 weeks and then reintroduce it. Take notice if you have any symptoms like headaches, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, rash, joint pain, excess – REMEMBER: you do not have to have gut issues to have a food sensitivity.
( top food sensitivities: gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs)
Optimize your digestion
- Chew your food thoroughly that initiatives saliva and stomach acid production ( this is a HUGE one: people tend to eat way too fast which doesn’t set up the digestive well resulting in poor digestion, bloating and gas).
- Drink warm lemon water 15 minutes before each meal.
- Eat plenty of fermentable fibers (sweet potato, yam, yucca, etc.) and well, fiber in general ( I suggest at least 35 grams a fiber a day).
- Take a high- quality, multi-species *probiotic.
- Take steps to manage your stress.
*I use a variety of probiotics and like to rotate them. I especially like Prescript assist and Kaire lines. To order, create an account on FullScript and place an order. If you need help, email me.
Curious to learn more? Check out the below articles.