Gutsy microbes that are your friends!

microbiome

The human body is a host to trillions of micro-organism’s which play an important role in health and disease. Our gut microbiota consists of a variety of these microorganisms that live in our digestive tract and they share a symbiotic relationship with us. They help in synthesizing vitamins B and K in our bodies, help with fermentation and in the absorption of nutrients from our diet. They also protect us against infections and play a big role in maintaining a healthy immune system by preventing the growth of harmful, pathogenic bacteria.

Lot of research has been going on in the recent years to use the microbes that reside in our gut to diagnose and treat diseases. It has been found that when there is an imbalance in the gut flora composition (that is the number of pathogenic bacteria increase and the number of good bacteria decrease) it can cause disease. The general rule being, the greater the diversity of the gut flora, the better it is for our overall health. Reduced diversity of gut flora can predispose us to obesity. Scientists notice a correlation between our gut microbiome and the development of auto immune diseases like Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s, Ulcerative colitis), Diabetes, Rheumatoid arthritis etc. These little micro-organisms also play a role in maintaining our mental health! Disturbed gut flora has been observed in patients suffering from anxiety disorders and depression. The deadly C.difficile infection which is resistant to many antibiotics and causes severe diarrhea, is known to occur in individuals with reduced diversity of the gut microbiome.

The nature of our diet has been known to influence our resident microbe’s diversity. Some of the substances known to influence them are as follows:

INCREASE DIVERSITY                                                                             DECREASE DIVERSITY

Yogurt                                                                                                               Antibiotics

Buttermilk                                                                                                      Carbohydrate rich diet

Sauerkraut                                                                                                      High calorie foods/sugar

Fruits/Veggies                                                                                               Anti-inflammatory drugs

Kimchi                                                                                                               Predominant meat diet

Milk kefir                                                                                                          Processed foods

Along with a shift in our dietary habits, Homeopathic treatment has been found to be very effective in helping to restore the health of our gut microbiota. Since the Homeopathic remedies are gentle, and safe, they do not destroy the good bacteria in our gut, but rather promote their well being by working in harmony with them and restoring health. Remember: Let’s keep the residents inside us happy and they in turn will keep us happy too! 🙂