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A Quick Guide To Good Gut Health!

A Quick Guide To Good Gut Health!

Ask anybody for one piece of advice they swear by, and most of them will tell you, “always trust your gut”!

Though the gut refers to the stomach or belly in medical terms, it is often linked with a feeling, emotional, or intuitive response rather than a well-researched thought, hinting at its connection with many organs in the body.

Hippocrates, who is considered to be the father of modern medicine, stated 2000 years back that all diseases begin in the gut. Though in principle, all conditions may not originate from the gut, research has indicated that many chronic metabolic diseases do.

Gut bacteria, known as gut microbiota or gut microbes (microorganisms like bacteria, virus, and fungi that are found in the large intestine) together with the gut lining strongly affect one’s health. An improper, leaky gut may lead to obesity.[1]

Specific undesirable endotoxins may leak through the gut and enter the bloodstream. The immune system recognizes them as foreign molecules and starts attacking them, leading to chronic inflammation. [2]

There are numerous ways in which gut microbes can affect the functions of the body and influence overall health. Researchers increasingly recognize the importance of gut health, and how poor gut health can affect major organs in the body like the brain and the immune system, and also play an essential role in body weight. 

How The Gut And Brain Are Connected… 

The link between the gut and the brain is called the gut-brain axis. [3], [4], [5]

There are around 500 million neurons located in the gut, and these are all connected to the brain through various nerves in the nervous system. [6]

Of these, the vagus nerve (that forms a part of the parasympathetic nervous system) is one of the most crucial nerves and the biggest nerve that connects the gut and the brain by working in a bi-directional way. [7], [8]

When a person is stressed, the signals passing via the vagus nerve are cut, leading to gastrointestinal problems. [9] 

Similarly, the brain and gut are also connected through neurotransmitters (chemicals produced in the brain) that control various emotions and feelings. For instance, the neurotransmitter serotonin helps in making a person happy. Fascinatingly, the gut produces a large proportion of serotonin. [10]

The gut is also responsible for the production of another neurotransmitter known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). The GABA neurotransmitter plays an essential role in regulating the feelings of fear and anxiety. [11]

Animal studies have shown that certain probiotics help to augment the production of GABA and reduce anxiety and symptoms of depression. [12]

Several studies have proved that people with mental disorders have different strains of bacteria in their guts, thereby demonstrating the importance of good gut health for proper brain functioning. [13], [14] 

Do Gut Microbes Affect Weight?

Weight gain and obesity result due to an imbalance between the two leading families of gut microbes (this imbalance is also known as gut dysbiosis).[15]

There are two main families of gut bacteria, namely bacteroidetes and firmicutes that have a direct connection to one’s weight. [16], [17]

Studies have shown that obese people tend to have more firmicutes and fewer bacteroidetes when compared to people with normal weight. [18] These suggest that gut health tends to play a major role in the regulation of body weight. Further, the ratio of firmicutes to bacteroidetes is greatly influenced by diet. [19] 

Fortunately for people suffering from poor gut health leading to obesity, probiotic supplements come to the rescue by inhibiting the absorption of dietary fat and increasing the amount of fat that is sent out of the body through feces. [20]

Various strains of the Lactobacillus family function in the above fashion and help in reducing obesity. [21], [22]

Exploring The Link Between The Gut And The Immune System

There is ample connection between the gut bacteria and our immune system. The gut microbial composition shapes the immune response system in a healthy state as well as in the case of a disease.

Studies show that gut flora have various roles in metabolic (fermentation of endogenous mucus), trophic (epithelial cell proliferation, etc.) and protective (against pathogens) functions. [23]

Researchers at the John Hopkins University are figuring out how the composition of the gut gets modified with different diseases and how the immune system reacts with these gut microbes. 

According to Dan Peterson, Assistant Prof. Pathology John Hopkins School of Medicine, "a major part of your immune system is actually in your GI tract." 

Various cells lining the gut excrete significant chunks of antibodies into the gut. For instance, it was found that though TB infections affected the lungs, the differences also showed up in the gut. In another study, a shift in the gut bacteria was studied in mice that developed colitis and found that L. johnsonii almost doubled in mice with colitis. 

Tips for a Healthy Gut 

1. Have Lots Of Probiotics

Probiotics help in releasing the GLP-1 appetite-reducing hormone, in burning fat [24], and also in increasing the levels of ANGPTL4 protein that leads to lower storage of fat. [25] They also help in controlling leaky gut syndrome and reduce symptoms of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). [26], [27]

Probiotics also aid in brain health (these brain-boosting probiotics are known as psychobiotics) [28] and in improving symptoms of depression and anxiety. [29] 

PRIMESELF’s Gut Complex with Digezyme and Lactospore acts as a good probiotic supplement.

2. Consume Polyphenol Rich Foods

Foods like cocoa, green tea, coffee, etc. contain polyphenol. Polyphenols are plant-derived chemicals that can be easily digested by the gut. 

Polyphenols help in increasing the healthy gut bacteria, that further help in boosting the gut-brain axis. [30] They also help boost cognition. [31]

3. Consume Foods Rich In Tryptophan

Tryptophan is an amino acid that gets transformed into the antidepressant neurotransmitter serotonin. Foods like turkey and cheese are rich in Tryptophan.

Consuming various supplements like PRIMESELF Zen Mode rich in Tryptophan can help in the brain-gut axis health. 

4. Incorporate TRIPHALA supplements [31]

Both Ayurvedic, as well as Western medicine, unanimously agree that both health, as well as disease, begin in the gut. 

Triphala (a polyherbal medicine incorporating dried fruits of three plant species) has been used in Ayurveda as a famous therapeutic agent and as a panacea to cure many ills. The polyphenols found in Triphala help in regulating the gut microbiome and aid in the production of good gut bacteria Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus while at the same time inhibiting the growth of the undesired gut microbes like E.coli. 

Triphala-derived polyphenols like chebulinic acid are modified into metabolites like urolithins by the gut bacteria in our body, and these metabolites are quite efficient in preventing oxidative damage.

Animal studies have proved the efficacy of Triphala in weight loss and reduction of body fat. Another exciting research on Triphala is its ability to promote longevity. Various animal studies have proved this. [32] This concept of longevity using Triphala has been in practice since ancient times in Ayurveda.

Further, Triphala has also been shown to reduce total cholesterol, triglycerides as well as the low-density lipoprotein.

In a human trial, subjects treated with Triphala lost 5 kg in 12 weeks. Further, the mean fasting blood sugar and serum insulin levels were also reduced.

Authentic supplements like PRIMESELF Gut Complex have an enormous content of Triphala (comprising 500 mg per serving).

Make sure you include these supplements in your diet and boost your gut health!

 

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