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Are you human, or are you microbes?

Are you human, or are you microbes? | Mr Vitamins
Research has shown that we have more than 100 trillion bacteria living in and on our bodies! As scientists discover more and more about the inner workings of the microbes in our gut, a whole new world is being uncovered. These bacteria are from our skin, mouth and digestive tract – with bacteria out-numbering human cells by about 10 to 1. So the question remains, why are they there?

Functions of our gut bacteria:

  • They help to modulate our immune response
  • They help to breakdown fibres and sugars to extract energy
  • They produce essential short chain fatty acids and vitamins
  • They function as a second brain – may affect depression, autism, anxiety or OCD
  • They provide a physical barrier against pathogens
  • They make each of us individual, with no two people sharing the same balance of gut microbes – not even identical twins
And with more receptors being found in the gut than the brain for serotonin – the neurotransmitter that helps to regulate sleep, mood and appetite, it certainly explains the reasoning that a happy gut = a happy human.

Here’s a fun short video from TED:ed explaining the importance of your gut microbes…

How to boost your gut bacteria:

  • Eat fermented foods daily – try sauerkraut, kim chee, kombucha, yoghurt or kefir
  • Supplement with multi-strain probiotics
  • Use antibiotics wisely
  • Avoid gut bacteria killers – gluten, alcohol and processed sugars

Get great Nutritional Advice from Karen Ball

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