So wait, bacteria in the body can be a good thing? Absolutely! Your relationship with gut flora is primarily symbiotic, meaning both you and the bacteria benefit. Healthy colonies of gut flora in your digestive tract benefit your body in many ways, from proper digestion to a healthy immune system. If you follow easy steps on how to improve microbiome balance, youll benefit by supporting your health overall.
ACV is naturally acidic, and so for people with low stomach acidity, using ACV may help raise stomach acid levels to aid digestion. In theory, this could prevent gas and bloating, which a slow digestion can cause. ACV is also an antimicrobial substance , meaning it may help kill bacteria in the stomach or intestines.
Antibiotics have one job: kill bacteria and stop them from multiplying. However, this simple task is what leads to a disruption in your gut microbiome.
Antibiotics cannot tell the difference between good bacteria and bad bacteria. Their job is to simply go to your gut and kill bacteria. They dont discriminate between the good and bad.
When antibiotics enter your system and kill off bacteria seemingly at random, your balance of good and bad bacteria can be thrown out of wack. This is a major issue as the good bacteria in your system play a vital role in protecting you from issues such as SIBO or Candida overgrowth. As the number of good bacteria in your gut decreases, you become susceptible to overgrowths of other organisms, including a yeast called Candida.
While a small amount of yeast is normal and necessary, Candida is opportunistic. If given the chance, such as antibiotic usage killing off protective good bacteria, it will grow and multiply quickly especially when its fed sugar, carbohydrates, or alcohol. When yeast starts to multiply, it can damage the lining of your intestinal walls. This leads to increased intestinal permeability and whats known as leaky gut.
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There are around 40 trillion bacteria in your body, most of which are found in your gut.
Collectively, they are known as your gut microbiome, and theyre incredibly important for overall health. However, certain types of bacteria in your intestines can also contribute to many diseases.
Many factors, including the foods you eat, can impact the type of bacteria found in your digestive tract.
Here are 9 science-based ways to improve your gut bacteria.
Especially the leafy green ones! Vegetables are loaded with fibres, which cannot be digested by people but are consumed by the good bacteria in your gut. It has been observed that people who follow a diet rich with fruits and vegetables are less likely to grow disease-causing bacteria. Some great examples of vegetables that feed your microbes are:
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Typically, it will take the body time to balance the microbiome to healthy, diverse bacteria levels. In fact, research shows that it takes about 6 months to recover from the damage done by antibiotics. And even then, the body might not even be back to its pre-antibiotic state.
Saccharomyces boulardii, a probiotic yeast is particularly good at preventing and alleviating antibiotic-associated diarrhea and travellers diarrhea. Its also a friend to your gut bacteria that supports good bacteria and prevents inflammation.
Lactobacillus acidophilus, a probiotic bacterium best known for being in yoghurt is also great for your gut. Studies show that its good at treating and preventing infections, and reducing the digestive side effects of antibiotics.
Other bacteria that help recover from antibiotic use include:
When it comes to losing weight, most diets focus on calorie reduction and exercise. While eating less and exercising more will usually result in weight-loss, Dr. Kellman says that if you get your microbiome healthy, you will lose weight. Its all about correcting the overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria, which is making you crave the wrong foods and triggering inflammation. This makes sense because when you change your gut bacteria, you change how your body produces and metabolizes energy.
This also explains why so many people lose weight only to gain it right back because the bad bacteria are still present in your gut. The bad bacteria remember when you were fat, and they want to continue to live, so they trigger cravings for the foods that feed them.
In addition to the steps I outline above, here are 15 more ways to set up your gut for weight loss:
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These good-for-you types of bacteria are a sure way to replenish good bacteria after antibiotics. Prebiotics work alongside probiotics to help restore the good bacteria in your gut in order to keep your health in tip-top shape. Prebiotics and probiotics can be incorporated into your diet through supplements or by eating certain probiotic- and prebiotic-rich foods:
While common sense would tell you to down these foods at the same time as antibiotics to cancel them out, thats not how our body works. In order for your body to actually benefit from the prebiotics and repopulate good bacteria, prebiotics should be eaten a few hours either before or after you take your antibiotics. If antibiotics are taken along with prebiotics, the medication will kill the good bacteria immediately instead of allowing your gut to absorb it properly.
Chemicals and pesticides that flood our environment disrupt our inner flora and can even kill it. A common ingredient in antibacterial soaps called Triclosan has been linked to food allergens and thyroid issues. The FDA issued a final rule establishing that over-the-counter consumer antiseptic wash products containing the active ingredient Triclosan can no longer be marketed.
Overuse of antibiotics Im not against antibiotics. I think theyre necessary in some cases, but they are way overprescribed and wind up causing more damage than they do helping if theyre not used properly. If you do need to take an antibiotic, then you need to also rebuild your ecosystem when the antibiotics wipe out the good and bad bacteria indiscriminately. There are many ways to do this and ingesting cultured foods is a great place to start. You can check out this article for more help. What to do if you have to take an antibiotic.
Eating processed and junk foods devoid of nutrients starves your microbiome and can even cause them to die. When you start feeding your body real whole foods, your body and microbe population will start to crave them and eating healthy will be easy and fun. You are what you eat!
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Good news: it’s easier than you think. To increase and diversify the good bacteria in the gut microbiome, start eating more plants. One month of eating more plants can result in an increase of commensal microbes and a decrease in the pathobiont population , resulting in reduced intestinal inflammation.
Your genes adapt overtime when you change what you eat. For example, when you cut out meat and diary, you reverse your ability to convert choline into TMAO.
Before looking at how to replenish gut bacteria, you need to understand how it may be affecting you. This will tell you if you have a gut bacteria imbalance.
Hardly anyone considers how their mental health could be linked to their gut health. However, this is one of the most obvious signs that your gut health could be suffering.
Gut microbes produce neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, acetylcholine, and GABA,all of which have an effect on the brain. Most notably, concentration, mood, anxiety, and motivation are all affected by your gut bacteria and the number of neurotransmitters that are being produced. Depression, anxiety, and the ability to control and process emotions are all symptoms of bad gut health.
Your metabolism is also adversely affected by bad gut health. This can eventually lead to issues such as type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are caused by a lack of anti-inflammatory gut bacteria. This also makes developing arthritis more likely.
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A babys microbiome begins to properly develop at birth. However, studies suggest that babies may be exposed to some bacteria even before birth .
During the first 2 years of life, an infants microbiome is continuously developing and is rich in beneficial Bifidobacteria, which can digest the sugars found in breast milk .
Many studies have shown that infants who are fed formula have an altered microbiome with fewer Bifidobacteria than infants who are breastfed (
A number of studies have shown that vegetarian diets may benefit the gut microbiome, which may be due to their high fiber content.
For example, one small 2013 study found that a vegetarian diet led to reduced levels of disease-causing bacteria in people with obesity, as well as reductions in body weight, inflammation, and cholesterol levels .
A 2019 review noted that plant foods are rich in specific nutrients that can increase levels of beneficial bacteria and decrease harmful strains of bacteria to support gut health .
However, it is unclear if the benefits of a vegetarian diet on the gut microbiome are due to a lack of meat intake or if other factors may also play a role.
Vegetarian and vegan diets may improve the microbiome. However, it is unclear if the positive effects associated with these diets can be attributed to a lack of meat intake or if other factors may be involved.
Some bacteria get to work very soon after birth. One of the first occupants of our gut microbiome, Bifidobacteria, helps in digesting the healthy sugars in breast milk which are important for growth. Some bacteria help in digesting fibres.
This may help prevent weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and the risk of cancer. The gut microbiome can also influence our immunity by communicating with the immune cells. About 70% of the immunity stays in the gut in the form of these microorganisms!
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Every dose of antibiotics wipes out a large portion of bacteria throughout your entire body, including the good guys. After that, the good microbes and the unfriendly ones slowly rebuild, and if all goes well, they come back into balance. But, it takes time, and they dont always colonize in harmony.
To keep one strain of gut flora from taking over, take a probiotic supplement while youre taking antibiotics. The friendly probiotic bacteria may not colonize in the gut, but they can still help you through a course of antibiotics.
If you time your probiotic dosage right, the good bacteria that are just passing through will be able to do their job and keep the bad guys in check. A few will even survive and be able to continue to keep the balance until the next dose of antibiotics wipes them out.
What you eat has a big impact on your gut microbiota. But to give healthy gut bacteria their best chance, there are some other things you can do as well.
To restore gut flora after antibiotics, make efforts to keep mental stress under control. Research has shown that emotions like sadness and elation can trigger changes in the gut . Scientists call it the gut-brain axis, a connection that can potentially affect gut flora.
Last but not least, sleep quality has an impact on gut health. Poor sleep quality or sleep deprivation can negatively impact the gut microbiota. This effect is also believed to be mediated via the gut-brain axis. Lack of sleep can trigger sugar cravings, and sugar feeds bad bacteria in the gut.
The bottom line is that taking antibiotics is not entirely avoidable and the negative impact of antibiotics on the gut microbiota is well known. But by eating a healthy diet including whole foods, fruits and vegetables, and fermented foods taking probiotics and prebiotics keeping stress under control and getting enough good-quality sleep, you can restore a healthy gut flora after antibiotics, boost your immune system, and enhance your overall health.
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A healthy skin microbiome has a pH level of 5, which is slightly acidic to curb the growth of pathogens on the skin.
In case you don’t remember from highschool chemistry, the term “pH” in pH level refers to the “potential of hydrogen” and is measured on a scale of 0 to 14.
Levels ranging from 0 to 6 are considered acidic, levels from 8 to 14 are considered fundamental, and a pH of 7 is considered neutral.
However, it is essential to remember that the skin’s pH keeps on changing according to a person’s:
Therefore, it is always recommended to use skincare products that are gentle and do not compromise the skin’s average pH level.
Dr Freitas is excited about the far-reaching implications developments in our scientific understanding of microbiome health will have on innovation at the France-headquartered dairy-to-nutrition company and he certainly doesnt see the applications being limited to Danones specialised nutrition business.
This research can unlock new avenues of innovation not only limited to specialised nutrition. Although very much needed, we know that administration of antibiotics has a true detrimental impact in the microbiome. Other common lifestyle factors that can have an impact on the microbiome include lack of sleep, stress, dehydration, alcohol, certain eating patterns. On the other hand, we also know that certain biotics, such as pre and probiotics can change the microbiome in a favourable way. Biotics with strong science can be incorporate in different product segments, from fermented dairy, to fluid milk and infant formula.
Innovation in microbiome health which to date has largely been the prevail of the nutraceutical sector is therefore expected to be increasingly seen in mainstream food categories, the R& D vice president predicted.
Alterations of the fecal microbiota in relation to acute COVID-19 infection and recoveryMolecular BiomedicineDOI: 10.1186/s43556-022-00103-1Authors: Yue Sandra Yin, Carlos D Minacapelli, Veenat Parmar, Carolyn C Catalano, Abhishek Bhurwal, Kapil Gupta, Vinod K Rustgi, Martin J Blaser
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Modern society has an immunity downside, which stems partly from a multipronged onslaught in opposition to our intestine microbiome. Many of us reside in a world that doesnt expose us to sufficient pathogens to exercise our immune methods. We kill useful micro organism with soaps and sanitizers we dump repeated doses of antibiotics into our our bodies and we eat diets that starve the nice micro organism and feed dangerous micro organism.
But there are issues you are able to do to shield and even heal your intestine, which might strengthen your immune system. One of the most effective methods to enhance intestine well being is by enhancing your food regimen. Focus on entire meals, particularly fruits, veggies, entire grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and fermented meals. Eliminate processed meals, sugar, and factory-farmed meat .
That method, youll have the opportunity to say about your intestine micro organism what Max Martin wrote for Katy Perry within the track Part of Me: This is the part of me / That youre never gonna ever take away from me.
Once you have these principles in place, the next thing to know is when you are on the right track. How are you supposed to know if your gut is repairing itself?
âYou should have reduced gastrointestinal issues and generally feel more energized and clear-headed,â says Gilbert. Dr. Macciochi adds that beyond that, more noticeable benefits should follow: âOver time, the positive effects will extend beyond your digestion and you may see further improvements in the appearance of skin and a better mood.â
She also warns of another potential post-antibiotic problem â loss of tolerance to dairy or other foods. âKeep eating a very small amount, increasing slowly over time,â she advises. âEliminating foods for good without a medical reason, such as a diagnosed allergy, can make food intolerances worse.â
Because we have a totally personalized gut microbiota, recovery will also be totally personal. âWe share 99.5% of our genes, but only about a quarter of our microbes â even in identical twins,â says Professor Spector. Some peopleâs gut microbiota can repopulate in days, others in weeks, but no matter how long it takes, âyou can be sure your microbes will thank you for feeding them,â says Cunningham. Itâs the best approach after a course of antibiotics, but itâs a plan for good gut health for life.
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