The Complexity of the Microbiome Made Simple
The terms ‘microbiome’, ‘good bacteria’ and ‘gut health’ are commonly promoted by a range of brands, spokespersons and ambassadors. But what do these terms actually mean? Here is a quick dive into the world of the Microbiome; a complex organism that we will simplify for your benefit!
The ‘gut microbiome’ refers to the plethora of microbes (including bacteria, archaea and fungi), which are found in the intestinal system. The microbiota, refers to the specific microorganisms that exist within a specific environment, such as the gut. These microbes found within the gut microbiota are numerous, to say the least, as they are ten times higher than the number of cells in the body.
The function of the gut microbiome is to provide the essential fermentation of non-digestible substrates (such as dietary fibres), in order to support the regulatory functions of the body. Not only is the gut microbiome crucial for maintaining health, but it is also crucial for preventing gut microbiome dysbiosis (the term given to the events that results from the deregulation of diet and lifestyle choices).
The state of the gut microbiome also dictates the potential for disease or health within the gut. A dangerous level of sugar (fructose) intake, excessive consumption of protein and increased intake of saturated fatty acids, can have a number of negative affects. This includes the inflammation of the gut, insulin resistance and potential cognitive decline. Sugar alternatives, like sweeteners, have been shown to have negative effects on gut microbes, as sucralose, aspartame and saccharin all disrupt the balance and diversity of the gut microbiota. Similarly, food additives (such as emulsifiers), which are commonly found in processed foods, have been proven to have negative effects. Conversely, an increased intake of dietary fibre and probiotics will have positive results. By prioritising the health of the gut, you will experience low inflammation in the gut, reduced risks of infections and the increased production of antioxidants (amongst other benefits).
Diversity is key indicator of microbiota health, as people with diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and arterial stiffness (amongst other conditions), have been observed to have lower bacterial diversity. Additionally, studies of overweight and obese participants have revealed a shared characteristic of a lower level of bacterial diversity. Thus, the diversity of bacteria is indicative of a “healthy gut”.
Welcome Organics is pleased to provide a large range of products rich with probiotics and dietary fibres. Prioritise your gut health today and view our products that will strengthen your gut microbiome and improve your health.