The growing interest in gut health is not merely hype. There is mounting scientific evidence that underscores the crucial influence of gut microbiome on obesity, inflammation and other health challenges.
If there are five important things people should know about gut health what will that be?
- From now on, you are no longer you but you and your microbiome. Always keep gut microbiome in your mind. If you want to be healthy, you need to take care of your microbiome. If you take good care of your microbiome, it will support you, but if you do not, you can turn a partner for health into a pathogen for disease. Be careful with anything you take into your gut, they may change your gut microbiota in a negative way.
- Always ask scientifically meaningful questions when advised to take pro/prebiotics or take a new diet targeting the gut microbiota. It is important to ask healthcare providers specific questions about dietary/product recommendations. What is the “strain” used in your probiotics? Are their clinical trial data published to support the benefits of the product? You should be interested in knowing how to assess how your body is responding to the treatment. If it is beneficial or not. People should not just take probiotics, they need to know how their microbiome is responding to introduction of such new species to their gut ecosystem.
- The fiber that works for your microbiome may not work for mine. Each Individual has a different microbiome. Knowing microbiome differs from person to person will help people understand why some products work for some and not for others. Dietary fiber that is fermentable by person A’s microbiome may not be fermentable by person B’s microbiome. This is where personalized nutrition and data-driven nutrition comes in.
- Among all the things, diet is the most powerful tool for shaping your gut microbiota. When you eat, you are not just eating for yourself but also for your gut microbiota. All the food components that are non-digestible or un-digested will be used by gut bacteria to grow. You should make sure that nutrients needed by the beneficial part of your gut microbiota should be sufficiently supplied. One major type of such microbiome nutrients is dietary fibers. Eat more fibers but eat the ones that your gut bacteria can ferment.
- Gut microbiome research will transform everything in food and nutrition we know today. This is an area that is very promising and will transform the entire nutritional field. Entrepreneurs, investors, healthcare professionals and investigators should work together to create tools/ products that will help more people understand their microbiome and maximize its benefits.
We have huge amount of diverse microbes in our guts, these microbes are collectively known as gut microbiota, they provide many functions that are important for human health. Our gut produces many short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that nourish cells that line our guts, reduce inflammation, and play a role in appetite control. Also, studies have shown that deficiency in SCFAs has been associated with many diseases including type 2 diabetes. Many gut bacteria have the genes (and therefore the capacity) to produce SCFAs from carbohydrate fermentation. Probiotics are live bacteria that are potentially beneficial while prebiotics are nutrients that promote the growth of these beneficial bacteria. Gut health is key to most of our health.