In Chinese Medicine, all organs are connected into each other being the Stomach the most important organ ever. Why? Because nutrients are coming from it. Without the stomach, there is no digestion as there are not nutrients coming into the bloodstream. Therefore, the rest of the organs die.
What about the Heart or the Brain? They’re important but can’t survive without the Stomach.
In our gut lives such an amount of bacteria (also known as microbiota), that its genetic information (also known as microbiome) is one hundred and fifty times greater than the of the DNA of our cells. This means that we have more bacteria than cells in the body, and these bacteria interact with the body controlling our metabolism, immune system, emotional mood and all hormones.
For this reason, we should not just keep a close look at the intestine only when we have digestive issues, but we should analyse in depth the intestine and all the bacteria that inhabit it in order discover what happens to people with overweight, obesity’s syndrome, chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hormonal imbalances, anxiety, depression or virus infections due to a previous low immune system.
It’s been proven a connectivity link between the intestine and the brain that begins during pregnancy. The bacteria in the mother’s mouth are the first to arrive and grow in the intestine of the foetus, hence it’s is critically important to enjoy of good oral hygiene during and even before trying to conceive. If you are pregnant and your gums bleed, visit your periodontist, because the alteration of the bacteria in your mouth will negatively affect the baby. Please keep this in mind
There are multiple factors that can alter the balance of our microbiota throughout life. These are the most important:
2. Antibiotics and other drugs
3. Environmental toxins
4. Sex hormones
If we have imbalances in the microbiota then we will be more predisposed to suffer problems such as: PCOS, acne, hirsutism, IBS, constipation, worsening of any chronic pain, increase of the number of infections due to a compromised immune system, low stress response or autoimmune diseases.
Let’s go even further, there are clear differences between the microbiota of men and women, that explains why men need a different calorie intake and different nutrients than women: oestrogens (the female hormones or the main sex hormone in women) favour a richer bacterial diversity which means women have a wider variety of bacteria than men. Interestingly, women often follow diets rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes and cereals, which are foods that also increase bacterial diversity. In contrast, men have less bacterial diversity and a predominance of Bacteroides (don’t worry about the names of the bacteria, little by little you will become familiar with them in the following posts), which help not to get weight easily, or being diagnosed with overweight and obesity.
There are more differences in how it affects the microbiota in men and women. For example, in one study it was shown that male sex hormones such as testosterone increase in women who take antibiotics, causing polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and other signs of increased male hormones, and instead decreases in men taking antibiotics, causing low libido, low physical resistance or overweight. This response to antibiotics is due to the loss of bacterial diversity and the imbalance of bacteria flora and, therefore, only balancing them can reduce the testosterone and those symptoms.
Bacteria that have been shown to be effective in resolving this microbiota imbalance are Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus casei.
Photo by Pawel Czerwinski