The bacteria that live in our intestines number in the trillions and they make up our gut microbiome. Those bacteria play a critical role in maintaining our health. We always want the good bacteria to outnumber the bad bacteria. Good bacteria produce substances that help to keep us healthy…….they fight inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity, and even help us to maintain a healthy weight. Bad bacteria do just the opposite.
Our gut microbiome is harmed by eating sugar, by antibiotics we take as medicine as well as those in the food we eat, alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, and by not getting enough sleep.
We can strengthen and maintain our gut microbiome by routinely taking a good probiotic, cutting out sugar and processed foods, eating fermented foods like sour kraut, eating vegetables, cutting down on red meat, and avoiding unnecessary use of antibiotics.
A probiotic is the bacteria themselves while a prebiotic is food for the bacteria. Fiber is an excellent prebiotic and an easy way to get more fiber into your diet is drinking some Metamucil every morning.
Many, if not all, autoimmune disease are linked to “leaky gut” syndrome. Basically, that is when the intestinal barrier becomes impaired and toxins are released into the body. This is caused by an imbalance between healthy and harmful bacteria in our intestines. A healthy gut microbiome maintains the intestinal barrier which prevents toxins from crossing into the bloodstream. I think one day soon specific types of bacteria will be taken as medicine to treat and cure many diseases.
Hippocrates is considered the father of medicine. He lived over 2,000 years ago and said that “all disease begins in the gut”. Our intestinal barrier prevents harmful substances from entering our body and causing all manner of diseases. It is very important that we do all we can to strengthen our gut microbiome and by extension our intestinal barrier. In my opinion, there is nothing greater we can do to improve our health.