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How’s Your Gut Health? (And Why It Matters)

How’s Your Gut Health? (And Why It Matters)

By Susan Williams

Last week I attended a seminar given by our local university on gut microbiota.

During the session, information was shared about all the different types of bacteria that live in our guts and how important a role they play in our overall health and well being.

I intuitively knew that my gut health was important but had no idea of the reach and the impact it really can have.

So what exactly can these over 100 trillion bacteria living in our digestive system have on our overall health?

Here’s just some examples;

  • A study discovered that there seems to be a very strong linkage between your gut microbiata and how well you age. The study found that healthy 90 year olds had a similar gut profile to those decades younger.
  • An article published on Harvard Medical School shared how our gut bacteria may actually influence and be used to help us stay healthy. Here’s some of what they shared;
  • “Rheumatoid arthritis. Two studies from the Mayo Clinic suggest gut bacteria may predict susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as well as offer a possible treatment.
  • Cancer. A study published online April 13, 2016, by PLOS ONE offered some evidence that a particular strain of the bacterium Lactobacillus johnsonii may protect against some cancers.
  • Heart disease. Research in the February 2016 Journal of Applied Microbiology found the bacterial strain Akkermansia muciniphila could prevent inflammation that contributes to fatty plaque buildup in arteries.
  • Immune system. In a study published online Nov. 5, 2015, by Science, University of Chicago researchers found that introducing a particular bacterial strain into the digestive tracts of mice with melanoma prompted their immune systems to attack tumor cells. The gains were comparable to treatment with anti-cancer drugs called checkpoint inhibitors.”

As we were told during the seminar, research in gut microbiota is considered quite new when it comes to research  and new findings are being discovered everyday.

Are you interested in finding out more about gut bacteria and what you can do to help keep it healthy?

The following video from TED-ED provides more insight into this extremely interesting area of our health:

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Susan Williams is the Founder of Booming Encore. Being a Boomer herself, Susan loves to discover and share ways to live life to the fullest. She shares her experiences, observations and opinions on living life after 50 and tries to embrace Booming Encore's philosophy of making sure every day matters.