Gut friend or foe?

The health and balance of gut microbiomes (bacteria) has been linked to many conditions, ranging from cancer and auto-immunity to diabetes and depression.

Most of the 100 trillion bacteria living in each of our digestive systems support our bodies to absorb nutrients and clean up toxins, and play an important role in many other aspects of our health. They also produce vitamins and create the enzymes necessary to metabolise cholesterol and bile acid, and are essential for digesting the fibre found in grains, fruits and vegetables.

In the last 10 to 15 years, physicians, epidemiologists and microbiologists have been closely studying the human microbiome. They’ve found that it can promote health, but sometimes initiate disease.

Scientists are still in the early stages of understanding the microbiome’s broad role in health, yet they do know that it is a dynamic environment and the abundance of species may fluctuate monthly, weekly, and daily depending on diet, medication, exercise and many other factors.

A diverse range of healthy foods is the best way to keep your “gut bugs” healthy. Always remember, you are not just feeding yourself but the 100 trillion bacteria that you need to stay fit and well.

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