Being involved in naturopathic medicine, all diseases began in the gut, is a statement I have have heard that for many years. I was not sure if I truly believed that was true. Now, new scientific research is showing the accuracy of that statement and how our diet plays a major role in our health.
The health of our body including our brains health is proving to be connected with the intestinal organisms that live within our body. It’s interesting to note that there are more organisms living on us and on us than there are of our own cells.
Our health is being dictated by what is going on inside our gut. More importantly, scientists are now telling us that the health of our brain is being influenced by our intestinal health. This should give us great cause for concern with regard to our diet and what we are putting into our mouth.
Advocates of GMO foods like to tell us that there is no proof of genetically modified foods damaging any cells within the human body. That may be true however there is proof that genetically modified organisms can damage the healthy intestinal organisms living inside of us. That is why I am not interested in purchasing anything that is genetically modified.
Scientist call organisms within our intestines the microbiome. Research is now showing that this plays a pivotal part in our health, regarding detoxification, vitamin production, inflammation, neurotransmitters within the body, and whether you feel full or feel hungry. All of these factors can figure into chronic health issues like dementia, ADHD, cancer, asthma, allergies, and other chronic health concerns.
What was very interesting to me is to learn that the microbiome can also affect your mood, your perceptions of the world, thoughts of clarity and even your libido. Researchers are now suggesting that a dysfunctional intestinal gut may be the foundation of chronic headaches, inability to concentrate, anxiety, and an overall negative outlook on life.
If you think about it, the microbiome seems to be affecting just about everything in our health. Our physical and emotional health may all be determined by the state of our intestinal well-being. To find out if this is true or not the National Institute of Mental Health allocated over $1 million to research the relationship between gut flora and our health.
Given the microbiome’s potential person-specific physiological roles, recent studies suggest that it may serve as a good predictor for disease risk (Griffin et al., 2015xDoes our gut microbiome predict cardiovascular risk? A review of the evidence from metabolomics. Griffin, J.L., Wang, X., and Stanley, E. Circ Cardiovasc Genet. 2015;
My goal is to consume only non-GMO foods and to buy organic food items as much as possible. I’m also going to be looking at supplementing my health with probiotics and prebiotic’s that support my intestinal health.
Similarly, studies have suggested a role of the gut microbiota in the risk of developing neuropsychiatric illnesses like schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism and even chronic fatigue syndrome. Researchers have suggested that in genetically susceptible people, altered microbes in the gut may disrupt the blood-brain barrier, leading to the production of antibodies that adversely affect normal brain development.