The microbiome is the combination of all the organisms living in our body, or gut flora. Some of these organisms are healthy, and some not. Hundreds of different strains exist. The combination of strains in the gut is determined at birth. If the baby is born through the birth canal, baby will receive mom’s bacteria. Babies born through C-sections do not have the same benefit. They can be more prone to infections and food sensitivities, unless probiotics are supplemented.
The healthy organisms in our gut produce vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting, and some of our B vitamins. They also take part in digestion, repair the intestinal wall, and keep the harmful organism levels manageable. The levels of good organisms can be negatively affected by sugar, chlorine in water, low stomach acid, pesticides, antibiotics, allergenic foods, and artificial sweeteners.
The harmful organisms thrive when not enough stomach acid is produced. Their waste matter is toxic to us. As a result, when the balance of healthy to harmful organisms is thrown off, inflammation can be seen in the body. They even have the ability to make healthy organisms convert into harmful ones (picture a Jedi going to the dark side).
Intestines are naturally porous, in order to absorb nutrients and digested food into the blood stream. When the bacteria ratio favours the harmful bacteria (also known as dysbiosis), these pores become too big, especially without the needed number of healthy organisms to fix the intestinal walls. This allows larger food particles to find their way into the bloodstream. Since these particles are not fully digested, the immune cells in the blood do not recognize these particles. The cells see these food particles as intruders, and attack the particles. This can help food sensitivities develop.
The state of your gut flora also affects emotional well-being. Neurotransmitters are produced in the gut. If the gut is damaged, the necessary neurotransmitters are not produced properly. This can lead to depression, anxiety, and other psychological troubles. Additionally, nutrient absorption is impacted by gut injury. Nutrients are crucial because they are the building blocks of the neurotransmitter.
Weight loss highly depends on a healthy microbiome. Healthy organisms are partially responsible for blood sugar management. Fluctuating blood sugar levels are responsible for cravings. Additionally, unmanaged food sensitivities make it difficult to lose weight. They can cause the body to retain up to 15 pounds of water weight, and disrupt proper hormonal function. The healthy bacteria are also responsible for managing hormone levels. Since many different hormones play a role in weight management, it is crucial to keep healthy levels of desirable gut organisms.