The human gut is home to trillions of types of bacteria and this is known as the micro biome. Our gut acts as a second “brain” for our body and is involved directly in digestion, metabolism, nervous system function, and immune system response (Altves). The key to keeping our gut functioning optimally is diversity. When we have a wide array of bacteria, prebiotic, and probiotic foods our gut functions seamlessly and offers the support needed to other systems.
How do we maintain micro biome diversity?
Our micro biome begins to be formed when we are still in the womb and some of our bacteria will be inherited from our mothers. As adults the things we can control like our diet, sleep, physical activity, exposure to infections and toxins all affect our gut and its diversity. The more varied and less processed our food, the more diversified our micro biome becomes.
What can I do right now to help my gut?
- Increase Dietary Fiber intake, explore foods such as; black/kidney/pinto/white beans, asparagus, bananas, sweet potatoes (with the skin), and yogurt.
- Make an effort to limit use of antibiotics which negatively impact gut diversity and permeability.
- Consider a probiotic if your bowel movements are not regular and solid.
Do I need to take a probiotic?
Each individual has a micro biome of their own, to know if a probiotic is necessary for you consider the following questions.
- Am I getting a variety of 10 types of vegetables and plants in my diet each week?
- Do I regularly eat whole grains, oats, and seeds?
- Do I have a bowel movement every day and is it solid?
- I do not ever feel bloated or have digestion discomfort. (true/false)
- I have not taken an antibiotic in the past 6 months. (true/false)
If you answered “no” or “false” to most of these questions a probiotic could be beneficial for regulating your digestive and immune system. When choosing a probiotic it is important that the Genus, Species and Strain of the supplement has been researched and adequately dosed.
“Although many bacterial strains may be on the market or found in fermented foods and healthy intestinal environments, until these strains have been clinically studied and adequately characterized for health benefits at the sufficient amount, they do not fit the definition to be called “probiotics” (Gottfried).”
Talk to your Chiropractor or contact us for all your probiotic and gut health questions!
Altveş, S., Yildiz, H. K., & Vural, H. C. (2020). Interaction of the microbiota with the human body in health and diseases. Bioscience of microbiota, food and health, 39(2), 23–32. https://doi.org/10.12938/bmfh.19-023
Gottfried, S. (2020, April 1). Probiotics: What They Are and How to Use Them Effectively: Metagenics Institute. Metagenics Institute | Your trusted health, nutrition, and personalized lifestyle medicine resource. https://www.metagenicsinstitute.com/blogs/probiotics-benefits/.