Over the course of 10 years, I have taken a Probiotic tablet for good gut bacteria. Sometimes I’ve gone on yogurt sprees for a few weeks until I read about how much sugar is in yogurt. Sometimes its fermented foods for a week or two.
But I have to admit I am conscious of my gut health. I regularly do gut exercises because I hear it’s good for your overall health including your gut, and with good Probiotic supplements, you can take care of this very easily.
Billions of bacteria live in the digestive tract and play a vital role in the health of the body. Inside the gut, there are about 300 to 500 billion bacteria, which also contain almost 2 million genes.
Billions of Bacteria
These bacteria play an essential role and decide the probability that you will or will not have certain health conditions like depression, diabetes, and colon cancer.
These gut bacteria cover your whole digestive system, and they significantly affect things like your mood, your metabolism, and your immune system.
Depending on circumstances, these gut bacteria either have positive effects or negative ones even though they’re generally meant to protect your health.
Too much or too little bacteria could lead to conditions like obesity, heart disease, and even depression. This article will provide insight into gut bacteria, their effects, and how they affect your health.
Why Bacteria is Good
The bacteria in your gut offers several health benefits and supports body functions such as:
Several bacteria in your gut help with the digestion of fiber. By doing this, they also support the production of short-chain fatty acids that support the health of the gut. Fibre also has other health benefits such as helping to stop weight gain, fighting heart disease and diabetes as well as reducing the risk of cancer.
Digesting Breast Milk
When babies are born, bacteria begin to grow inside their intestines. Some of these bacteria are called Bifidobacteria. These bacteria help to digest the healthy sugars in breast milk and are essential for the growth of the child.
Gut Bacteria and brain health
Research has shown that the bacteria in the gut protect the central nervous system, which controls the function and health of the brain.
Gut bacteria to control the Health of the Immune System
The bacteria in the gut also controls the function of the immune system. These bacteria communicate with your immune system and by that, determine the response of your body to infections.
Why are some Gut Bacteria bad?
We already noted that personal circumstances could determine whether gut bacteria is good or bad. Now, research has shown that people with some diseases have their gut bacteria different from those of healthy people. People with disorders may have too little or too much of these bacteria or even lack some varieties of the bacteria. Here’s the link between gut bacteria and some ailment:
Colon Cancer: Research shows that people who have colon cancer have higher levels of disease, causing bacteria and in fact, different gut microbiota from healthy people.
Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease: Your gut bacteria have a significant influence on the metabolism of your body. They influence things such as how much calories you get from a meal and which nutrients you get from such a meal. Too much bacteria in your gut can make your body begin to turn fiber into fatty acids. This could cause fats to be deposited in your liver. This can result in something called Metabolic Syndrome, which results in other health conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, as well as obesity.
Arthritis: Some gut bacteria have been linked to inflammation. People with rheumatoid arthritis are believed to have higher amounts of bacteria than people who are not suffering from this disease.
Anxiety, depression, and autism: We’ve also already mentioned that the gut communicates with the central nervous system and thus, the brain. Research has shown a link between bacteria in the stomach and central nervous system disorders such as depression, anxiety, and an autism spectrum disorder.
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: And these also include ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. People who have certain anti-inflammatory gut bacteria in lower levels are the ones believed to suffer from these conditions.
People with these conditions are found to have lower levels of certain anti-inflammatory gut bacteria. However, the connection between this condition and lower levels of those bacteria is currently unclear. However, some bacteria can make your body turn against your immune system and create an environment for diseases like this.
How Gut Bacteria Affects Your Mood
Gut bacteria have such significant influences on a person’s, and this is obviously because of their connection to the brain. A study of two groups of Europeans has even shown that some kinds of gut bacteria are absent in people with depression.
The bacteria release neurotransmitters such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and serotonin, which are necessary for the regulation of mood. The gut has its nervous system, which is known as the Enteric Nervous System. Typically, the Enteric Nervous System and the Central Nervous System send messages to each other.
The influence to gut bacteria have on the Central Nervous System and by extension, the brain is what causes their impact on the mood. Balanced gut bacteria would typically mean to some extent, a stable climate while on the imbalance in the gut bacteria could negatively affect mood.
Types of Gut Bacteria
Beneficial to the body and health and support most body functions like helping digestion and enabling our bodies to break down food and draw nutrients. These good bacteria also support the health of the immune system and are essential to our survival. Most of the bacteria in our guts are functional and support our good health.
The harmful bacteria are traditionally called pathogenic bacteria. This means that they’re the bacteria that can make us sick or cause infections. Sometimes and in extreme cases, these harmful bacteria can even kill us.
These bad bacteria typically come from external sources such as the environment, our food, or even stress. Imbalance in our bodies can also turn a healthy gut microbe to a whole group of very unhealthy bacteria in our bodies. Imbalance is caused by things like excess sugar, too much stress, lack of sleep, excess antibiotics, and improperly prepared food.
caused by things like excess sugar, too much stress, lack of sleep, excess antibiotics, and improperly prepared food.