27 June 2016

The importance of a diverse gut flora

Over the past few weeks, the key message from my latest posts has been that it's become absolutely essential to look after our gut microbiota to feed our most beneficial species!
My essential guide to a healthy microbiota pointed to a few things we could all easily do such as eat more fibres, sleep well, exercise, cut down on alcohol, and give up smoking!
Oh yeah, oh well, I hear you think, another miracle and fashionable diet!
And in part I guess it is true that it has become popular, but - in my honest, scientific opinion - for good reason! Scientists have only realised these past 10 years or so how influential our inhabitants are on our health, and certainly since the Human Microbiome Project started in 2008 (follow me here to read about this).

On thing that has become apparent is how important our microbial diversity is.
Broadly speaking:
  • High count of different species = healthy microbiota
  • Low count of different species = increased risk of diseases such as obesity, diabetes, allergies, cancers, asthma, gastronintestinal diseases to name but a few (More on the risk of developing these diseases)
Two topics I would like to address very soon are the difference in species count between countries, and the correlation of a low count with consumption of soda (coming soon on MBAI, further reading here and here).
While we may think it's our personal problem if we are not looking after your microbiota, recent research has shown that our worsening low count of species is being passed down to younger generations with irreversible consequences (check it out over here).
Looking after our microbiota truly is for the greater good because what we are doing right now will impact on future generations.
My last note will be about the big C. That's what we are more scared of developing, right? Well, now it's pretty clear that a diverse microbiota helps our body escape cancer, helps treatment work, and helps us bear the side effects of heavy treatments (more on this here).

I've definitely upped my fibre intake, and been taking my probiotics, have you?
Let me know in the comment section,
See you next Monday!

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My bugs and I Published @ 2014 by Ipietoon