More and more, science is finding that teeny tiny creatures living in your gut are there for a definite purpose. Known as your microbiome, about 100 trillion of these cells populate your body, particularly your intestines and other parts of your digestive system.

In fact, 90 percent of the genetic material in your body is not yours, but rather that of bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microorganisms that compose your microflora.

True, some of these bacteria can make you sick; for example, the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases recently found Crohn’s Disease may be caused by immune responses to certain gut microbiota.

But the majority are good, and they work together as helpmates to aid your digestive system and keep you well. Beneficial bacteria, better known as probiotics, along with a host of other microorganisms, are so crucial to your health that researchers have compared them to “a newly recognized organ.” For example, we now know that your microflora influence your:

  • Genetic expression
  • Immune system
  • Brain development, mental health, and memory
  • Weight, and
  • Risk of numerous chronic and acute diseases, from diabetes to cancer

According to the featured article in Time Magazine:1

“Our surprisingly complex internal ecology has been a hot topic in medicine lately. Initiatives such as the Human Microbiome Project2, an extension of the Human Genome Project, have been working tirelessly to probe potential links between the human microbiota and human health, and to construct strategies for manipulating the bacteria so that they work with us rather than against us.

…They’ve been linked to a range of nasty conditions, including obesity, arthritis, and high cholesterol. Now, two newer areas of research are pushing the field even further, looking at the possible gut bug link to a pair of very different conditions: autism and irritable bowel disease.”

Read More at:

Mercola.com

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/01/02/digestive-system-gut-flora.aspx?e_cid=20130102_DNL_art_1

Optimizing Your Gut Flora is Crucial for Good Health

There may be far more complexity to this picture than what we’re currently seeing. However, the finding is an intriguing one, and may lead to all sorts of new discoveries about how your body works to maintain optimal health. One thing is becoming quite evident however, and that is the importance of optimizing your intestinal flora.

Unfortunately, many are still unaware of the fact that the micro-organisms living in their digestive tracts form a very important “inner ecosystem” that influences countless aspects of health. More specifically, the type and quantity of organisms in your gut interact with your body in ways that can either prevent or encourage the development of many diseases, including mental health problems. This becomes easier to understand once you know that:

  1. About 80 percent of your immune system is located in your gut, and
  2. Your gut quite literally functions as your second brain, as it is created of the same tissue. During fetal development, one part turns into your central nervous system while the other develops into your enteric nervous system. These two systems are connected via the vagus nerve, the tenth cranial nerve that runs from your brain stem down to your abdomen

So truly, your gut flora influences both physiology and psychology. As explained by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride (below), a medical doctor with a postgraduate degree in neurology, toxicity in your gut can flow throughout your body and into your brain, where it can cause symptoms of autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, schizophrenia and other mental disorders. She believes the epidemic of autism and other learning disorders originate in the gut, and manifest as a condition known as Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS).

GAPS can also stand for Gut and Physiology Syndrome, which is the title of her second book, which is currently being written. In both cases, the treatment is identical—”heal and seal” your gut, and continually feed it beneficial bacteria to maintain the ideal ratio of good and bad bacteria.

Advertisements