Hippocrates knew a very long time ago (460-370 B.C) that “All diseases begin in the gut”.
For years, Ayurveda taught that the health of the digestive system is the single most important long term determinant of your health and wellbeing.
Traditional Chinese Medicine views the health of the Spleen and Stomach energy (qi) as the root of long term health, and stresses the underlying importance of the Spleen and Stomach in all chronic disease states.
The term gut dysbiosis (imbalance of gut micro bacteria or biome) has mostly been ridiculed in the scientific medical realm for the past 20 years. However, in recent years, there has been an explosion of scientific literature on intestinal micro bacteria or microbiome. The microbiome has been associated with a spectrum of different medical conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmunity, autism and depression.
It is quite fascinating when we think of the role of our gut. Everyday, our gut receives an overwhelming amount of immune, toxic and nutritional information. It needs to make hundreds and thousands of decisions as to what to keep and what should be viewed as toxic and hence gotten rid of. So, if you are looking at “detoxing”, please do not think that the liver is the only organ to consider. In fact, the gut is the most fundamental place to start.
The study discussed recently did not come as a surprise at all. As I am writing this blog, I am trying to simplify it as much as I possibly can without losing you!
The microbiome has different roles in the gut, and one of its roles is to protect the gut wall. Think of the gut wall as the wall of a castle and inside the castle are hundreds of soldiers (your immune regulatory cells, like T cells) protecting the castle. If you have a gut bacteria imbalance (dysbiosis), your castle is under assault. If you do not do anything different to protect this wall, then very soon, your gut wall is compromised, food proteins which are not meant to seep through the gaps of the wall now make it through and into the castle.
The soldiers (immune regulatory cells) who are standing by, now start to attack these foreign proteins. The end result is inflammation. Inflammation is not a bad thing, it is part of the healing process, but this now goes into overdrive and the inflammation spreads to other parts of the body. This is how allergic reactions occur.
How have we altered our gut microbiome? Some examples are environmental pollutants like pesticides and herbicides; the use of agricultural antibiotics; the increased number of Cesarean sections. I am not saying that these are all evil things, but in my personal opinion, they might have to answer for some of the soaring number of problems such as allergies that we see today.
Just because this recent study used a particular strain does not mean that the other probiotic strains are not as good. Like humans, all microbiome have different roles to play in our body. Come into the pharmacy and have a chat to us to find the probiotics most suited to your needs.