Part 6 – Microbiome and disease
Part 6 - Your microbiome and the link to diseases.
Moving in to the 2nd half of this 10-Part short series looking at the human microbiome and gut health, in this post today Dawn explains some of the connections scientists are unravelling between the microbiome, gut health, immune function and certain diseases.
As this area of science is emerging and becoming clearly, it’s all quite fascinating and at the same time possibly quite worrying. Remember, it takes a long time for science to ‘prove’ things beyond doubt. One study will highlight a possible link, suggesting ‘more research is needed’ and that’s an open invitation for other scientists to run a study delving deeper..and then often we see ‘rinse and repeat’ of that process over and over. It takes years to conduct studies; time to design the research, raise the funding, recruit volunteers, conduct the research, analyse the results, write up the conclusions, put it through peer review and eventually publish it for the public, doctors and other academics to read. This is why it sometimes takes decades for research to make progress in certain areas.
In the fields of human health and nutrition, some big areas that are emerging through this long-winded process now are genetics, the microbiome and gut health, links between our diet and disease, links between our lifestyle (alcohol, stress, sleep, etc.) and disease.
Personally, after half a lifetime (28 years now…) studying, trying, experiencing, learning about these things for myself (ummm, using a ‘study population of n=1, namely me, myself and I) through trial and error, I am utterly certain that a vast amount of the chronic disease burden we are experiencing in the Western World today, could be alleviated, eased or reduced in some way by individuals adopting a healthier lifestyle, somewhat more in tune with the natural world we live in. What do I mean by that?
- reduce the amount of processed foods we consume
- eat a diet largely comprised of fresh whole foods
- cut back on “additives” which means things like added refined sugar, and refined seed oils
- move more, exercise every day in a variety of ways
- healthy sleep: your bedroom should be dark, cool, and free from electronic devices!
- drink more water (less fizzy drinks, alcohol, sugary drinks and juices and those damned energy drinks - do everything on this list and you won’t need energy drinks, you’ll have much more natural energy in the first place!)
- get plenty of healthy natural daylight
- minimise the amount of chemicals you come into contact with, things you spray around your home and breathe in, things you put on your skin, and things in your food (buy organic)
You see, these are simple actions, nothing extreme, but I believe that over the next 40 years, science is going to show us that these kind of actions are a huge step in the right direction towards decreasing the international cancer burden, the heart disease burden, and the prevalence of auto-immune conditions.
Of course, you know, this is all built in to the 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet. Ha, like I needed to tell you that…
Well, now read on to see what my friend Dawn has explained to us in Part 6, all about the links between your microbiome, gut health and diseases.
To your very best health in 2019!
The differences between peoples’ microbiomes is one reason why we each have different susceptibility to different diseases.
Microbial imbalances are thought to contribute to disease through the cross-talk between the microbes, the chemical waste products they produce and our immune cells. When toxic, this drives an inflammatory response.
Dysbiosis is the name given to an imbalance between beneficial and unbeneficial microbes; typically too many “bad” ones and too few “good” ones. Research is currently unravelling which microbes are beneficial, which ones are neutral and which ones are harmful.
Dysbiosis causes bloating, cramps and abdominal pain as the microbes produce gas and other chemicals, which can distend and irritate the gut. Mild, sub-clinical gut disorders are increasingly common these days. Many people are living with tolerable, but uncomfortable, levels of bloating, gas, digestive disorders and irregular bowel movements. They are called functional disorders, like IBS, because the functionis affected but there…
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