Start here for the low-down on gut health and why it’s so important to your overall wellbeing. Find out how the state of your gut microbiome effects much more than just your digestion. Adrian takes you through the four main health areas that can be affected when your gut is in a poor state, and gives a quick intro on how to make improvements.
We cover on this video:
0:35 Four health areas affected by microbiome
02:27 What’s in our gut?
04:30 Awesome things gut flora does for us
05:35 What the scientists say
08:00 Immune System
10:12 Obesity and Weight Loss
11:38 Mental Health
Hi. My name is Adrian, and I’m here to tell you what Gut Geek is all about.
So, where are YOU at right now? Are you struggling with some health issues? Maybe you’re not on top of your game in certain ways and you wanna change that. If your health issues fall into one of this 4 broad categories, then you came to the right place:
The first one is digestion. If you have digestive problems such as chronic constipation, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome, or something more severe like Crohn’s Disease, then you’ve come to the right place.
Equally if you have issues with your immune system, by that time I mean:
– at one end of the spectrum, just feeling tired, feeling like you pick up every cold that’s going around. When you get ill, it last longer than you think it should or longer than it does for other people.
– through to the more severe end of the spectrum of immune problems, known as autoimmune diseases. Some of the most common ones are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, diabetes type 1 [correction: I said type 2 in the video but I meant type 1]
then you came to the right place.
My third category is body weight. So if you’re having chronic problems shifting body weight, getting it under control, then I’ve got some interesting things to tell you.
The fourth category is mental health, the brain, psychiatric issues. It could be feeling moody a lot or it could be anxiety, through to more severe things like depression, bipolar, schizophrenia.
What’s in our gut?
Now you’re thinking, ‘Adrian, what on earth do all these things have in common? I hope you’re not gonna tell me that you’ve got one cure for all of these problems!’
No, I’m not gonna say that. But, there is one big common factor between all of these things, it’s the GUT!
Now what’s in the gut? As well is the structure of the gut itself – which is important and we’ll come back to that – there’s a lot of stuff that lives inside us. It’s also known as the gut microbiome and it’s made up of loads of icky horrible things like bacteria, viruses and even funguses. The good news is that a lot of these guys are actually friendly and on our side.
So our first reaction is ‘hmmm…that’s kind of gross! We’ve got all these things living inside of us, ewww! Can we get rid of them please?! Can we scrub this stuff out of us? Pass me the antibiotics!’
But actually no, we can’t get rid of them. If we did, we’d be in more trouble. We’d probably be dead!
We need this friendly gut bacteria, also called gut flora. We need them to survive because we evolved with them. It’s mind blowing when you think about it. There’s actually more of this things inside us than there are human cells! But when we look around the plant and the animal kingdom, this kind of symbiotic, co-evolution is pretty common, so we shouldn’t be so surprised.
Awesome things gut flora does for us
So the gut microbiome is like a little greenhouse where all these friendly bacteria live (and some not-so-friendly ones!).
It’s sometimes known as the forgotten organ of the body because it performs lots of important functions for us:
– It helps identify and fight off pathogens that are trying to invade us, like bad bacteria.
– It develops and strengthens our immune system.
– It helps us to digest our food.
– It produces vitamins and nutrients.
So, if it’s malfunctioning we become weak, malnourished, susceptible to disease. Our body becomes toxic rather than clean.
And one of the ways to improve gut flora is by the food we eat.
What the scientists say
Now, some of you at this point will start thinking ‘Ok Adrian, is this gonna be one of those food-as-cure-for-everything trips, is it?’
And this is where some of the hardcore science-heads may start worrying that this is not very scientific.
But actually factually, there’s a lot of science to back this up. I’m gonna tell you a little bit about it. Yes, it’s a new field of academic research but it’s developing fast and there are lots of interesting studies coming out.
For example, in a 2011 study by the esteemed boffins at Imperial College, University of London (links below) they said
“The gut microbiome has been directly implicated in a number of pathological states as diverse as obesity, circulatory disease, inflammatory bowel diseases and autism.”
So all of these very diverse health problems are related by a common factor, which is the gut microbiome.
I should add, I’m not a scientist myself. I’m just a geeky guy who’s had these kinds of problems in my gut and I’ve got over them, and I feel awesome now!
Here’s an example relating to digestion: In a 2014 study on the link between digestive dysfunction and the gut microbiome, it was stated:
“Disruption of a balanced composition of gut microbiome can cause chronic low-grade intestinal inflammation as seen in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or intense intestinal autoimmunity as seen in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)”
Talking about the immune system, a 2006 study said: “the intestinal microflora is a positive health asset that crucially influences the normal structure and functional development of the immune system.”
The research shows that when the gut flora is out of balance, the immune system becomes less effective. In other words, when it gets overrun by the bad bacteria and the good bacteria are on the back foot, the immune system becomes unbalanced, malnourished, the body becomes full of low grade inflammation that sets the stage for serious chronic illnesses.
I also want to mention here the situation with ‘leaky gut’ as you’ll hear a lot about this in the world of gut health and gut flora. This is where the wall of our gut becomes damaged and the indigested food particles and bad bacteria start flowing out into our body. Our immune system then has too much work to do. It becomes overloaded and confused, and starts attacking the organs of our body.
Now, this is not yet accepted by the medical establishment but different pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together. And again, I’m giving you some references in the notes (below) so you can explore deeper if you want.
Obesity and Weight Loss
Now, I know you wanna hear about weight loss! So just quickly – as I will be dealing with this stuff in future videos – a 2010 review of the academic research on this field said,
“An increasing number of studies relate imbalances in the composition of the gut microbiota (another word for gut flora) to obesity and it’s associated diseases.”
So more and more of these studies are linking gut flora and obesity. For example, a 2013 study said:
“Individuals with a low bacterial richness (meaning crummy gut flora) are characterised with more marked overall adiposity (meaning fat)”.
So, the lousier your gut flora is, the more fat tissue you are likely to have around your body.
And the study found that obese individuals with crummy gut flora also gain more weight over time. So bad gut flora can make you fat and keep you fat!
I also want to tell you briefly about the links between gut flora and the mind. A 2014 study said:
“A growing body of clinical literature has demonstrated bidirectional signaling between the brain and the gut microbiome, involving multiple neurocrine and endocrine signaling mechanisms…”
That means there is communication to and fro between the brain and the gut. The communication is through chemical signals which allow an internal conversation to go on between the brain and the gut.
The same study goes on to say, “Psychological and physical stressors can affect the composition and metabolic activity of the gut microbiota.”
So in other words, when we’re under psychological stress, for example, if we’re depressed, this can have a detrimental effect on our gut flora. And it continues:
“Changes to the gut microbiome can affect emotional behaviour and related brain systems”
What does this mean for us? It follows that if we improve the state of our gut microbiome, this can have a beneficial effect on emotional behaviour and related brain functioning.
So why not give your friendly gut bacteria a nice big boost and massively improve the state of your microbiome? By doing so, this organ of your body will start functioning better which will help you to get over whatever health issues you have in digestion, immunity, weight loss and mental health.
Of course it’s not a magic wand. For example, with obesity you still have to make sure you’re not eating more than your body needs energy-wise everyday.
And for psychiatric issues, you still need to have therapy or whatever other help that is appropriate for that condition.
So, a quick recap: if your health issues fall into one or more of these 4 categories, then you’ve come to the right place.
1. Digestion – eg. if you have chronic constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, crohn’s or colitis
2. Immunity – eg. if you’re feeling run down and getting ill frequently or having an autoimmune condition like rheumatoid arthritis
3. Weight – eg. if you are overweight or obese, or generally struggle to control your weight
4. Mind – eg. if you have mental health issues like depression, anxiety, bipolar or autism
If you have a bad situation with one or more of these areas, I have strategies for you, And these strategies have been shown to work. Some of them have been around for years and have been found to be very effective. I’m pulling them together from different sources and helping you work through them step by step.
Sign up to my mailing list to get regular updates. I’ll be posting videos regularly with more simple how-to’s and step-by-step guides on putting these strategies into effect. If you explore around the website you’ll find more details.
So make a start and let me know how you get on! Come find me on social media. You can hit me up on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. I would love to hear from you! Good Luck!
Academic research referred to in this post:
1. OverviewThe gut flora as a forgotten organ (2006) by Ann M O’Hara and Fergus Shanahan http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1500832/ Gut microbiome-host interactions in health and disease (2011) by James M Kinross1, Ara W Darzi and Jeremy K Nicholson http://genomemedicine.com/content/3/3/14 2. Bowel Dysfunction Rapid and noninvasive metabonomic characterization of inflammatory bowel disease. (2007) by Marchesi JR1, Holmes E, Khan F, Kochhar S, Scanlan P, Shanahan F, Wilson ID, Wang Y. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17269711?dopt=Abstract&holding=f1000,f1000m,isrctn Transcriptional activity of the dominant gut mucosal microbiota in chronic inflammatory bowel disease patients. (2010) by Rehman A, Lepage P, Nolte A, Hellmig S, Schreiber S, Ott SJ. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20522625?dopt=Abstract&holding=f1000,f1000m,isrctn 3. Immune System Zonulin, regulation of tight junctions, and autoimmune diseases (2012) by Alessio Fasano http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3384703/ Antibody response against gastrointestinal antigens in demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system (2013) by Banati M et al. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23293933 The role of micro biome in central nervous system disorders (2014) by Wang, Y. Kasper, LH. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159113006004 4. Obesity Obesity and the Human Microbiome (2010) by Ruth E. Ley http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/714569_5 Obesity and the gut microbiome: Striving for causality (2012) by Isaac T.W. Harley, Christopher L. Karp, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212877812000051 Richness of human gut microbiome correlates with metabolic markers (2013) Emmanuelle Le Chatelier et al http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v500/n7464/full/nature12506.html 5. Psychiatric Conditions Therapy and epidemiology of autism–clostridial spores as key elements. (2008) by Finegold http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17904761?dopt=Abstract&holding=f1000,f1000m,isrctn Gut Microbes and the Brain: Paradigm Shift in Neuroscience (2014) by Emeran A. Mayer, Rob Knight, Sarkis K. Mazmanian, John F. Cryan, and Kirsten Tillisch http://www.jneurosci.org/content/34/46/15490.abstract Explanatory Article on this research in Nature:http://www.nature.com/news/gut-brain-link-grabs-neuroscientists-1.16316#/b2 6. The Role of Diet Dietary intervention impact on gut microbial gene richness (2013) by Aurélie Cotillard et al. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v500/n7464/full/nature12480.html