Modern life causes chaos when it comes to our intestinal health. We all know that how we eat and live has an impact on our life but do we know what it’s doing to our gut? Here is a quick snapshot of what you need to know about good gut bacteria & bad gut bacteria.
Our body cells
Our bodies consist of 100 trillion cells…
- 10 trillion are human
- 90 trillion are bacteria (good and bad) of which there are 1,000 different species.
Each species of bacteria has a specific role to play when it comes to our health. The body is an amazing thing and it’s crazy to think that we all have unique bowel flora; no two people have the same. But so, what is the difference between good and bad bacteria?
Good gut bacteria VS bad gut bacteria
- Bad bacteria on Peyer’s Patches (which are part of the intestine), increases inflammation and can have adverse effects on our health. This can include contributing to health conditions including asthma, hay fever and eczema.
- Good gut bacteria stimulate the immune system to fight the bad bacteria.
Our bodies need to constantly balance the bad bacteria with good bacteria to keep our gut in balance.
What happens when our gut is out of balance?
Bacteria stick to Peyer’s Patches which exist on the surface of the intestine. These are windows to the immune system. They communicate to the immune system what is “friend or foe” and the immune system will respond accordingly, either with an inflammatory response or an anti-inflammatory response. When these patches are overrun or damaged by bad bacteria, they cannot communicate effectively with the immune system. The surface hair-like structure of the intestine (the villi) are not able to effectively absorb vitamins and minerals into the body. Ultimately, when these villi are damaged it reduces the absorption area of the bowel from the area of five tennis courts down to five square feet. This can eventually lead to a dysfunctional or overactive immune system and eventually disease.
How to restore good gut bacteria
- Eating a wide variety of foods, paying particular attention to whole foods such as fruit and vegetables
- Eat fermented foods (yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi etc.)
- Stay away from artificial sweeteners
- Take a probiotic supplement
For more information on the ways you can boost your good gut bacteria and limit the bad, contact one of Personal Health Educators today.