The Gut Microbiome

Oct 12

The incredible complexity of the gut and its importance to our overall health is a topic of increasing research in the medical community. Numerous studies in the past two decades have demonstrated links between gut health and the immune system, mood, mental health, autoimmune diseases, endocrine disorders, skin conditions, and cancer.

In celebration of National Nutrition Week, 101 Collins spoke with Clinical Nutritionist Stephanie Gobbo to discuss our gut microbiome and how a healthy gut can impact our overall health and wellbeing.

What is the gut microbiome?

The gut microbiome (or gut microbiota) is the term used to describe the vast, yet microscopic community of microbes that live within our gut.

Scientists have identified approximately 1,000 different species of bacteria, each playing a different role within the body. This is an incredible area of advancing study which accounts for part of the trillions of bacteria living within our body.

The composition of your gut flora is as unique as your fingerprint. Some strains of bacteria can be harmful if overgrown or become pathogenic, however many are extremely beneficial and necessary to keeping your body healthy.

The digestive system and our microbiome are critically important for optimal health and wellbeing for a number of reasons, including:

  • Your digestive tract is where you break down and absorb the majority of nutrients from the food you eat. A healthy digestive track and gut microbiome allows for optimal absorption of nutrients to be instantly utilised by the body.
  • The gut is not only responsible for digesting the food we eat, but also for the emotions you experience and your mood. For this reason, the gut is often referred to as the “second brain”. Interestingly, approximately 80% of the body’s chemical messengers responsible for modulating our mood are produced in the gut. These include neurotransmitters such as serotonin, more commonly known as the happy hormone. It is also lined with 100 million nerve cells, which is why you feel so much within your gut. We call this the enteric nervous system, which plays a role in the “mind-gut connection” and digestion.
  • Your gut microbiome houses 70-80% of your immune system cells. The gut is one of the primary areas of the body that comes into contact with the external environment. For a strong immune system, we also want a healthy digestive system and microbiome.
  • The gut plays a role in detoxification of the body which is critically important to support our other detox organs, such as our liver.
  • Our gut functioning and microbiome can positively or negatively influence our mood, energy, skin, metabolism, immune system and sleep. This is why achieving healthy digestion should be a priority for optimal wellbeing.

Register now for our exclusive webinar on Friday, 16 October where RISE by Studio PP Founder Stephanie Prem and Clinical Nutritionist Stephanie Gobbo discuss the importance of our gut, healthy habits and how to stay on top of our nutrition.

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