How the Gut Microbiome Affects Health: Healing Practice

Why are healthy bacteria in the gut so important?

The so-called gut microbiome (gut flora) has a massive impact on health and many processes in the body. the nutritionist kristin kirkpatrick and his colleague dr gail cresce from the Cleveland Clinic in the US explain exactly how the gut microbiome affects human health and how it can be improved.

Why gut health is so important

The gut microbiome describes the totality of microbeswhat is in the gastrointestinal tract condition. According to experts, it affects everything from digestion to mental health.

It is therefore not surprising that gut health has received increased attention in medical research in recent years. “Gut health is very important“, emphasizes kirkpatrick in a Cleveland Clinic news release.

It contains all the microbes found in our intestinal tract. And these microbes are made up of bacteria, fungi, yeasts and viruses.“, additional dr grew up. It is estimated that there are around 100 trillion microbesmany of which are in the intestine.

Human beings constantly take in microbes and those microbes that the stomach acid leakthen migrate to the intestinal tract, according to Dr. Cresci.

What affects the gut microbiome?

Diet, infections, and certain medications can do this. Impair the balance of the gut microbiome.. This can create an unhealthy gut microbiome, which in turn can trigger certain medical conditions and is even capable of affecting mental health.

The importance of the gut microbiome

is the intestinal tract largest organ of the immune systemin which about 80 percent of immune-producing cells Life. “Over the years, we have learned that there are many interactions between the gut microbiome and the body.“he explained dr grew up.

Effects of the gut microbiome on the immune system

The gut microbiome plays a role in digestion, metabolism and inflammation. In babies, the gut microbiome contributes to the development of the immune system. In adulthood, the gut microbiome helps with that maintain the immune systemaccording to the expert.

There are certain gut microbes that can produce small molecules and also help synthesize certain vitamins, enzymes, and hormones that our bodies need.‘, explains the nutritionist.

Exactly how the gut microbiome interacts with different parts of the body, such as the brain, heart, liver, and lungs, is currently being extensively studied.

A Imbalance between healthy and unhealthy microbes and its function is called the call gut dysbiosis designated. “We have found that people with various mental health or mood disorders have gut dysbiosis, which means that the composition of the gut microbiome and its function are alteredreports Dr. Cresci.

Symptoms of an unhealthy gut microbiome

However, according to the expert, it should be noted that not all symptoms of an unhealthy gut microbiome are the same for everyone. Examples of common symptoms include:

  • Constipation,
  • Diarrhea
  • gas,
  • Fatigue,
  • Heartburn (acid reflux).

When people suffer from intestinal dysbiosis, it can also be associated with other diseases, such as:

  • Diabetes,
  • Obesity,
  • inflammatory bowel disease,
  • irritable bowel syndrome.

Studies show that the intestinal flora plays a very important role in our overall health. “It affects our risk of chronic diseases, our ability to maintain weight, and even our immune system.“he explained kirkpatrick.

How to have a healthier gut microbiome

There are several ways to improve the health of the gut microbiome. For example, consuming a Variety of colorful fruits and vegetables the improve microbial diversityleading to better gut health.

More colors in the diet

It really comes down to diversity in our diet. When someone tells me they eat kale all day, I think it’s a great habit, but it’s only one color. It’s just one type of nutrient that they get from kale. So we have to add more color to our diet. We need to give more variety‘ emphasizes Kirkpatrick.

So it makes sense to make sure meals contain as many brightly colored items as possible. This can be achieved, for example, by adding other vegetables and fruits such as bell peppers, tomatoes, and berries to your green salad.

The diet should contain enough dietary fiber

In addition, it is important that the diet adequate intake of dietary fiber includes According to the two nutritionists, it is recommended that Women 25 grams of fiber and men 35 grams of fiber must take per day.

Dietary fiber ensures regular bowel movements, lowers cholesterol levels and prevents blood sugar levels from rising. Examples of high-fiber foods include whole-wheat pasta, chickpeas, lentils, and berries.

It depends on the mix of dietary fibers.

You should consume soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber swells in water, e.g. B. Oatmeal from oatmeal and insoluble fiber, such as nuts, do not swell. We need both types of fiber.‘ explains Kirkpatrick.

little meat and sugar

dr Cresci also recommends making sure his own diet is as healthy as possible. animal meat and simple sugar contains. Furthermore, the consumption of processed foods and refined sugars keep in moderation.

Increase consumption of fermented foods.

According to experts, it is also advisable to follow the diet fermented foods like adding yogurt, kimchi and kombucha.

These foods help introduce healthy bacteria into the gut microbiome and are able to reduce the pH of the intestine. This reduces the chance of harmful bacteria surviving. Healthy bacteria also produce important vitamins like B12 and K.

Stress affects gut health

We are learning more and more about how stress can affect the gut microbiome. That is, psychological stress, physical stress and metabolic stress.“, reports dr grew up

So it makes sense that to reduce stress levels. they can relaxation techniques how deep breathing and meditation help, says Cresci. Regular exercise and adequate sleep are also important.

Eating regularly is important for the gut microbiome

Last but not least, be relevant too what time do you eat your meals. “You have a circadian rhythm, but so does your microbiome. If you eat late at night, your microbiome may not be well equipped to metabolize these nutrients“, how that dr grew up.

Therefore, it should be possible to ensure that meals every day at the same time to be included.

Dangers of long-term use of certain medications

especially taking antibiotics can become problematic for the gut microbiome. Although these drugs destroy pathogens, but they also attack healthy microbes in the gutexplains Dr. Cresci.

Also be a longer intake critical over the counter acid reducing agents. After “this increases the pH in the stomach. This gives ingested pathogens a better chance of survival, which can alter the microbiome.‘, adds the expert.

Take probiotics and prebiotics

Nutritionists recommend the intake of to strengthen the intestinal flora probiotics and prebiotics. This can be done through food or through dietary supplements.

What are prebiotics?

Prebiotics are one type of dietary fiber, which promote the growth of healthy bacteria. They are naturally found in artichokes, apples and green bananas, for example.

What are probiotics?

are probiotics live healthy bacteriathat can maintain or contribute to a healthy and balanced gut microbiome. There are two popular types of bacteria that are commonly offered in supplement form: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

However, with such dietary supplements, it should be noted that they are sensitive. Many of them need refrigeration to protect them from heat, oxygen, light, and moisture. Otherwise, the effectiveness could be affected.

Also, it should be noted that many different probiotic strains are. Therefore, it is important to identify a strain that is suitable for the disease in question. For example, some can relieve irritable bowel syndrome or diarrhea or boost the immune system or reduce inflammation, experts explain.

Already small changes in diet and lifestyle they can have a positive effect on gut health Y “often the benefits are felt so quickly that it is easy to take the next step‘ adds Kirkpatrick. (What)

Author and source of information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been reviewed by medical professionals.


  • Cleveland Clinic: How Your Gut Microbiome Affects Your Health (Posted 6/9/2022), Cleveland Clinic

Important note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.


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