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Gut Bacteria - The New Frontier in Health

It's only been in the past 10 years that our gut microbiome has gotten the attention of the medical community. While it's been studied for 20 years, it's just now getting "popular" to read about.

We now know that the state of our gut health and bacterial variety has everything to do with our health, especially our immune system.  Which of course is center focus right now because of Covid 19. 

Different countries have different levels of health and immunity largely based on the health of the gut which encompasses 70-80% of our ability to ward off disease - all disease, from actual gut diseases to diabetes, cancer, obesity, high blood pressure, cardiovascular health, you name it.

America and Great Britain seem to have the worst outcomes for these chronic diseases as well as response to covid 19. (Other western nations aren't far behind)

Of course, it's all diet related:  we simply don't have enough fresh, whole food in our daily diets and have far too many manufactured foods that bear a word we might know (wheat or corn, for example) but have so many ingredients listed afterwards that is is just a chemical concoction to make taste buds happy and waist lines large. 

The governments of these western countries are of no help.  The very industries that contribute to our ill-health (Big Ag, Big Pharm) will be the last to acknowledge their contribution to our declining health.  There's too much money in keeping us sick.

So, changing anything will have to be a grass-roots movement.  We've known this all along and it's why the integrative, holistic, functional medicine side of healing has become so popular - for those who can afford it.  We are not rewarded financially to keep ourselves well - only to keep ourselves sick. Health insurance is all about medicating our illnesses, not encouraging health. (As you've heard over and over:  "We have a disease-care system, not a health-care system.")

In this light - what can we do (that's inexpensive) to get our gut microiome healthy again?  It's not just taking a bunch of probiotics.  It's about eating the foods that are "PRE-biotics" that help our own bodies to make "PRO-biotics" in our own guts. The pre-biotic foods come from plant and vegetable matter.  And the wider the variety the better because there are many different kinds of fiber and some are soluble and some are insoluble - we need them all.  And we need fermented foods as well. (as a side note, there was a study and accompanying chart recently reviewed that showed an overlap of countries least affected by covid 19 and amount of fermented foods consumed. You guessed it, the countries suffering the least from covid 19 have the longest history of daily consumption of fermented foods, like sauerkraut, kim-chee, fermented vegetables of all kinds.)

What is happening in the gut from all of these pre-biotic foods?  The gut bacteria fed these kinds of high fiber foods make probiotics that then turn around (bless them!) and make over 500 metabolites that do thousands of helpful things like manufacture B Vitamins, help digest food, help prevent obesity, lower the rate of most chronic diseases from cancer to heart disease.

So, google-search fiber content of various vegetables and start consuming some of them every day and lay off the manufactured chemical analogs of food. ("franken-foods")
Add a couple tablespoons of sauerkraut, fermented carrots or beets, kim-chee, and your gut will sing your praises.

About probiotics:  they definitely have their place in our supplement cupboard as certain ones help replace bacteria lost from a course of antibiotics, some help with digestion, some help with weight loss, some are cardio-protective, etc. 

But the super-probiotic formula of all time is the one made by Dr Ohhira from Japan.  It's a pre-biotic, pro-biotic-and post-biotic all in one and is fermented for 5 years. It's the one I've used and recommended for a daily best general formula for most people if you aren't going after a specific goal like anti-biotic induced yeast infections, etc.  There are special probiotics for those conditions. (but any probiotic formula, including Dr Ohhira, won't replace the need for a large variety of fiber foods everyday)

If you can't afford Dr Ohhira, eat the greatest variety of high fiber plant and veg foods, including flax seed, chia seed, hemp seed etc every day.  And some fermented ones as well!

Happy gut=happy human!

For those who like to read about this subject, some of the best I've read lately are:
Microbiome Solution by Robynne Chutkann
Fiber Fueled by Will Bulsiewicz
The Probiotic Cure by Martie Whittenkin

Mary Anne Robinson, MS Bio-Nutrition