Gut Microbiota, aka gut flora. Sound familiar now?
Basically, the gut microbiota is what we call the microbe (teeny tiny living organisms) population that lives in our intestines. Our gut microbiome contains a crazy amount of microorganisms. These microorganisms include at least 1000 different species of bacteria with more than 3 million genes! In fact, our gut contains 3 to 5 pounds of bacteria!
Wait, what? That’s a whole lotta bacteria!
But what’s pretty amazing is the gut microbiota is like a fingerprint. About two-thirds is unique to you. You and only you.
And it all starts at birth.
Microorganisms from the mom and the environment of the birthplace take up residence in a baby’s gut. Initially the type of gut flora residing depends on how the baby is fed, i.e. breastfed versus formula fed, and then continues to evolve throughout life. The types of microbes a person has is determined by many factors such as genes, age, gender, diet, hygiene, climate – just to name a few.
Okay, so big deal. Why is the gut microbiota important?
It plays a role in many functions that impact of health. It helps digest certain foods, helps with production of certain vitamins, and plays a role in the immune system. A balanced and healthy gut microbiota is really key for proper digestive functions. Dysbosis is when there is a loss of balance in the gut and could be linked to certain health issues. This imbalance is often due to the overgrowth of bad bacteria or lack of good bacteria.
More on that later.
Here’s the good news – we can change our gut microbiota by changing our lifestyle and dietary habits. I think we all know getting enough sleep, being physical activity and reducing stress levels can be beneficial. But here’s the deal – foods and dietary patterns have different effects on the gut microbiota between individuals. That means a certain food can change the gut microbiota differently between people.
What? So how do you to know what’s good for you?
Well, that’s where I come in. Being a registered dietitian AND a Certified LEAP Therapist, I am equipped to get to the root cause of your issues and tailor a plan that is individualized for you.
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