The Importance of a Healthy Gut

Posted on 12/11/2013 by Dr. Adrian den Boer
Categories: gastrointestinal, inflammation, leaky gut, probiotics

Life begins completely sterile, but at the moment of vaginal birth, we get inoculated with billions of beneficial bacteria.  These bacteria are the beginnings of what make up our “microbiome,” which is comprised of over 100 trillion beneficial bacteria with 1,000 different strains in our bodies.  They are absolutely vital to our wellbeing, and safeguard us against a barrage of diseases and illnesses. Unfortunately, it is all too common that I see patients with compromised guts, and in turn, compromised health.
Indeed, our gastrointestinal system and gut health begins at the moment of our first breath, and continues to build in the early stages of life. Breast milk contains 600 species of beneficial bacteria and oligosaccharides, which feed the bacterium. The first three days of breastfeeding even contains a very special blend of nutrients and antibodies in high concentrations, called colostrum (Science Daily, 2013).  This helps to turn on the infant’s delicate intestinal tract for life, like turning on the lights in the house. 
As the gut continues to develop over the next three years, it eventually makes up 50% of hormone breakdown, 70% of our immune system, 90% of neurotransmitters, and fuels the entire body.
As our guts become more and more Westernized due to C-sections, antibiotics, and pharmaceuticals, manufactured foods and chemicals, and environmental toxins, our gut microbiome integrity is compromised. Invaders start populating our guts, and our health and the resulting strength of our body’s systems dramatically decline.
Poor gut health may be the root cause of numerous diseases and illnesses. Signs and symptoms of poor gut health include the following, amongst so many others: 
- Obesity
- Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.)
- Autoimmune diseases like (like rheumatoid arthritis)
- Common cold
- Eczema
- Heart disease
- Osteoporosis
Improving your gut health will improve ALL of your health; the body is profoundly affected in a positive way when the microbiome is healthy!
Steps to take to improve gut health include:
1) Removing offending foods
2) Removing unfriendly bacteria, yeast, and/or parasites
3) Replacing with friendly bacteria and enzymes
4) Repairing the gut lining and liver
For more specifics on healing the gut, refer to my post here!