Every year has its fitness trend that haunts athletes, blogs, magazines and events. Of course, this iron law will apply again this year. However, this time it is not about any special form of training or nutrition, but rather a rather general topic, which also affects non-athletes. The current trend theme is the Health of the intestine, While this theme may not sound as glorious as a new miracle diet or a new class of highly effective supplements, the health of the bowel is essential to any goal you may have. Thus, it is only logical to devote more of gut health.
The importance of the intestine is demonstrated by the following key facts:
- Your body contains billions of intestinal bacteria.
- In fact, 90 percent of you are bacteria.
- The health of the intestine is closely related to numerous diseases and allergies.
- From birth, the gut and its bacterial culture are influenced by what we eat and what kind of lifestyle we care for.
- Today, we still do not fully understand the potential impact our gut has on previously incurable diseases.
- Scientists are already working on bacterial transplants that affect our guts. This could make it possible to defeat diseases, to optimize the digestive power or to consciously influence the body composition.
Possible link between obesity and intestinal health in animal experiments
Whenever it comes to digestion, of course, the path to problems such as overweight and obesity is not far. Researchers have now found that there is a direct link between the development of obesity and gut health. In fact, scientists at the US National Academy of Science have studied the influence of gut bacteria on obesity and the risk of developing disease. As part of an experiment, the researchers transplanted a dose of proven harmful bacteria to completely healthy mice. The result was astonishing, as the healthy mice, even though the diet was not changed, put in a total of 57 percent body fat within a short period of time. In addition, the blood lipid levels (triglycerides) associated with cardiovascular disease increased to two to three times the normal level. With this experiment, it seems clear that the influence of gut bacteria on body composition and overall health can take on enormous proportions. To test the results of the study and compare it with the effects of a very carbohydrate and high fat diet, the same researchers conducted another study. In summary, the study concluded that the impact of large amounts of carbohydrates and fats is significantly lower than the influence of intestinal bacteria. Another study looked at this effect from a different perspective and equipped a lot of overweight mice with healthy intestinal bacteria, but without changing the diet. And what should we say? The body fat percentage of the mice decreased significantly only by the recovery of intestinal bacteria culture. Now it is still necessary to check to what extent these results can be transferred to the human body.
Influence of intestinal bacteria in humans
Of course, although findings gained in animal studies are often very interesting, they can not always be applied to humans. For a good reason, of course, it is not necessarily ethical to carry out the same experiments on human volunteers, because who would be voluntarily given a load of harmful intestinal bacteria? Nonetheless, important findings could be obtained by other means as well. But which are they?
Intestinal health and inflammatory bowel disease
The Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) inflammatory bowel disease is very common in both Western and other industrially advanced countries. Research suggests that much of these cases are due to changes in the intestinal flora, which can lead to serious conditions such as Crohn's disease, arthritis, and ulcerative colitis.
Obesity and diabetes
Some well-known scientists emphasized years ago that gut health is an important factor in the development of obesity and the development of the so-called metabolic syndrome. It seems that the relationship between some specific types of bacteria plays a key role in body composition. This finding is substantiated by tests, which prove that strongly obese people have a strongly increased concentration of certain bacterial strains. Other problems that are at least favored by poor intestinal flora are chronic inflammations in the intestinal area as well as Clostridium difficile colitis. In this context, intervention-based science deals with the role of pro- and probiotics, ie special bacterial strains. Particularly interesting is the knowledge gained that the intestinal flora of newborns adapts very quickly to the intestinal flora of the mother when they are breastfed. This can be used to transfer properties from the mother to the child. This also includes blood glucose tolerance, which is also crucial for our overall health as well as our individual body composition. Subsequent research by Rangueil Hospital's French Department of Therapeutics has shown that changes in the intestinal flora can have a positive effect on the development of type 1 and 2 diabetes. A particularly important bacterial strain in this context are the so-called Clostridia.
What is the relationship between cancer and gut health?
An unhealthy bowel can not only cause indigestion and obesity, but also cause various cancers. These include stomach cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer. This finding is confirmed by the analysis of bacterial strains, which differ significantly from those of healthy persons in diseased persons. Interestingly, with the Bifidobacterium, there is a bacterial strain that suppresses the development of colon tumors to a certain extent. Scientists believe that further research on these bacteria will lead to expanded anti-tumor effects, raising hopes for future cancer medication and prophylaxis.
Intestinal health and cardiovascular disease (CVD)
But health is not everything, because there is also a significant correlation between a healthy gut and cardiovascular disease. In this context, there are numerous mechanisms that are triggered, inter alia, by intestinal bacteria and their metabolites. This concerns, for example, the substance trimethylamine, which, for example, reduces the formation of deposits in the arteries. In addition, bacterial strains such as Escherichia coli, Klebisiella and various streptococcal strains promote the permeability and resistance of the intestine. In contrast, other bacteria promote the transfer of endotoxins, which can lead to heart problems. At this point, the circle is also closed to obesity, because the increased by a poor intestinal health cholesterol concentration in the blood is also a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, which often culminate in a heart attack.
Other diseases that may have a correlation to gut health:
- Various liver diseases
- Sleep complaints
- Various inflammatory diseases
How to get healthy bacteria into your intestines
Now that we have studied the effects of intestinal bacteria on your health, you naturally ask yourself how you can use the "good" intestinal bacteria in everyday life to benefit from the health benefits.
The following 9 tips will help you to revitalize your intestinal flora in a very natural way.
1. Eat fermented foods that are high in fiber. These include, for example, pickled vegetables, kefir and fermented milk products such as cottage cheese and yoghurt, to which active bacterial cultures have been added.
2. Access to pre- or probiotic supplements containing bacterial strains such as L. acidophilus, B. lonum and B. bifidum.
3. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.
4. Make sure that you make your diet significantly more fiber-rich with the help of seeds and beans, because fiber is the food base for many "good" bacterial strains.
5. Consume more resistant starch by accessing appropriate dietary supplements or by heating foods such as seeds as part of your diet.
6. Some scientific studies suggest that the regular ingestion of so-called cows' cow milk affects the intestinal permeability in a positive way.
7. Make sure you have a balanced diet that is largely made from wholefood foods with no artificial additives.
8. Although difficult to put into practice, you should be careful to avoid chronic stress. Make sure to treat yourself to a break, because stress has a very large influence on the intestinal flora.
9. Avoid consuming high amounts of corn syrup as contained in various industrially processed foods, which, according to scientific evidence, may adversely affect the gastrointestinal barrier.
Even if the current science scrape on the surface with regard to the findings about our, but it is clear what potential is still in the research to solve various medical problems or to prevent them. So that you do not have to wait for these findings, you should already do something good for your intestinal flora through the appropriate diet. The simple strategies we've just mentioned will definitely help you improve your overall health and fitness.