The gut microbiome are increasingly becoming a topic of interest as discoveries of its influence outside of the GI system are being made. They consist of several trillion bacteria residing mostly in the intestines and are recognized as a contributing factor to diseases of the digestive tract. However, research indicates that the gut microbiome also significantly impact behavior and brain health through brain activity and development, sleep and stress responses, and has a role in a variety of diseases. Microbiome diet, calorie restriction and cancer are an important topic of discussion.
The gut microbiome affect the brain through various mechanisms - the stimulation or excessive stimulation of the immune system, the direct neuronal stimulation that sends signals to the brain, the production of neurotoxic metabolites by the bacterial enzymes, and the release of neurotransmitters or hormones that are identical to those made by the human body. There are implications of these mechanisms such as inflammation in the systemic and/or central nervous system, the production of neurotoxic metabolites such as D-lactic acid and ammonia, and microbial growth and virulence due to the influence of the bacterial receptors to the identical hormones and neurotransmitters produced by the gut microbes.
Because of the influence the gut microbiome have on cognition, memory, and mood, they have been linked to immune, neurological, and cardiovascular diseases. This correlation provides overwhelming evidence that they are clinically and therapeutically relevant to a variety of disorders including restless legs syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, fibromyalgia, and even alcoholism. Currently, studies are being done on their role in multiple sclerosis and celiac disease on the neurological level.
As the popular saying goes, "You are what you eat." But in the case of the gut microbiome, you are what you eat and what you eat affects how you think and feel. And if how you think and feel affects your overall health, it is important to consider the gut microbiome and take the steps necessary to therapeutically alter it to your advantage through a Microbiome diet, probiotics, and prebiotics.
It is a very important to take care of your gastrointestinal health and be mindful of what you put into your body. One of the ways that we can mitigate the risks associated with dieting is through the use of dietary supplementation techniques. As noted above, probiotics are a great way to maintain gut bacterial health when you are implementing a diet as part of your health protocol. These probiotics replace some of the lost bacteria that is sometimes neglected by certain dietary guidelines.
There is also an important link between gastrointestinal issues, stress, and colon cancer. This may seem like a bit of a stretch, but it is rooted in science and fact. The process through which our bodies cope with stress is known as the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response. This is descriptive of the ways in which our bodies identify and react to stress, from messaging to physical responses. One of the things that takes place during the onset of stress and the fight and flight response is that our GI tract effectively shuts down, making it nearly impossible to continue nutrient uptake.
When the body is starved of nutrients, there is a long list of negative effects which take place. The first of these issues is that the gut can become inflamed. Inflammation is understood to be one of the central issues that causes cancer cell to metastasize. When the gut has insufficient nutrients and is also inflamed, it becomes an area of concern from a clinical perspective.
There are many things to consider when evaluating your overall physical health. One of the important things to note is whether or not you are experiencing Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS). This can take place when the body has insufficient nutrients and poor gut health. When you are unable to intake proper levels of nutrients because of an inflamed gut, AFS can wreak havoc on your energy levels and place you in a very precarious position if left unchecked.
For all of these reasons, it is important to assess your levels of stress and take the time to ensure that you are maintaining good digestive health. In most circumstances, even extreme, it is possible to reverse the effects of high stress levels and adrenal fatigue. It is never too late to start caring for your health and it’s not a bad idea to implement some strategies which can lower your risk for cancer and other ailments down the line.