The Gut Microbiome

What is it?

The gut microbiome refers to the trillions of bacteria that are living in our gastrointestinal tract. While it has been recognized many years ago, it has received little attention in mainstream medicine. Naturopathic and integrative physicians have long recognized the importance of the gut microbiome and it is now beginning to make headway in the recognition of its importance to our overall health.

Why is it important?

The balance of good bacteria in the intestine helps to maintain the function of the gut: including the integrity of the gut which prevents the absorption of toxins and helps with nutrient absorption from our foods. The gut bacteria are strongly influenced by the food we consume and environmental exposures. The western diet of highly processed foods, exposures to pesticides such as glycophosphates and some medications can lead to an unhealthy balance of bacteria. This can potentially lead to chronic inflammation, autoimmune illnesses, weight gain, irritable bowel and potentially many additional modern day afflictions.

How to Support the Gut Microbiome

Diet

  • Whole food diet
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Eat organic as much as possible
  • Anti inflammatory diet
  • Pre biotic and Pro biotic foods
  • Fermented foods
    • Pickles
    • Miso
    • Sauerkraut
    • Yogurt

Supplements

  • Probiotics
    • Should contain at least three types of Lactobacillus (acidophilus, rhamnosus, and plantarum)
    • Different types of Bifidobacteria
    • A daily dose of 25050 billion CFUs (colony forming units)
    • Lactobaccillus gasseri may help to aid with weight loss

Resources