The innumerable number of bacteria occupying the human gut is what is known as the gut flora. For optimum health of any human being, a healthy gut floral is paramount. The bacterial community in human gut belong to any of these four groups: Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Bacteriodetes. Not all bacteria in the gut are beneficial or friendly but the beneficial ones in a healthy gut far outnumber the non-beneficial ones. A situation whereby there are too many harmful bacterial in the gut compared to the beneficial or friendly ones is known as bacterial imbalance or Dysbiosis.
Dysbiosis has been discovered to be responsible for several conditions such as obesity, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS), Insulin resistance, colorectal cancer and weight gain. It is therefore necessary to ensure that the population of friendly bacterial is kept at maximum to ensure optimum gut health. To this effect, you have to take note of some very common lifestyle practices that are detrimental to your gut bacterial. Some of these include
Absence of Prebiotics in Your Diet
The category of fibers that remain undigested in your body but goes to your colon to promote the growth of friendly bacterial are known as prebiotics. When this fiber foods are lacking in your diet, you are at a greater risk of losing your Gut’s health. Some of the food that harbor this fiber in high proportion include Konjac Soluble fiber, Konjac Noodles, oatmeal, bananas, onions, nuts, garlic, beans, lentils, chickpeas and Amarantus. This prebiotics, when eaten promote the promotion of short-chain fatty acids such as propionate, butyrate and acetate which serves at the primary source of nutrients for the cells in your colon. When absorbed into your blood, they can equally support digestive and metabolic functions of your body. The short-chain fatty acids equally reduce the risk of colorectal cancer and inflammation
Excessive Intake of Alcohol
Alcohol has the tendency to turn its consumer an addict. Apart from its psychological and physical harmful effects, it has a very serious effect on the human gut if it has become an every-day diet. It can lead to a bacterial imbalance infection known as dysbiosis. In fact, a recent study of the gut of 40 alcohol takers and that of 10 healthy non-alcohol takers reveal that 27 percent of those who take alcohol had dysbiosis. This is so because most alcoholic drinks decrease the number of beneficial bacterial in your gut while that in turn, gives the harmful bacterial their ample opportunity to multiply. The result of this is dysbiosis.
The Use of Antibiotics
Antibiotics by their very name fight against microorganisms. They are drugs manufactured to treat certain infections mediated or directly caused by microorganisms especially bacterial. Their mode of action is either by being bacteriostatic, that is stopping the further growth and multiplication of bacterial or bactericidal that is, totally killing the bacterial. Some common infections usually treated by antibiotics include sour throat and urinary tract infections. If used for just a period of time, the diversity of the gut floral may quickly re-adjust but a continuous and perhaps, abusive use of antibiotics can permanently damage the gut by suppressing the beneficial bacterial and encouraging the growth of the harmful ones especially species of Clostridium.
Inactivity or Irregular Body Exercise
The benefits attached to being physically active can never be over-emphasized. When you walk, run or do some gardening, you burn some calories. These physical activities have been discovered to increase the production of a certain short-chain fatty acid called butyrate required for bacterial requiring butyrate for growth. When the guts of some sportsmen were compared with those who are engage in lesser physical activities, studies showed that the friendly bacterial population and diversity in the former far outnumber those in the latter. For instance, species of Akkermansia and Bifidobacterium were abundantly found more in physically active men compared to their less-physically active counterparts. This means that the saying that activity is the law of life also holds true for Gut’s health.
It is an incontrovertible truth that we are what we eat. However good a food item may be, if it is the only one making constant appearance on your plate and bowel, your friendly bacterial diversity is not guaranteed. A plant-based diet made up of many variety of fruits and vegetables remain the best option for gut overall health. Bacterial like ourselves need enough and differs nutrient to thrive and not eating well or rightly is never a way to go if their presence in your gut must be sustained.
Tobacco from which cigarette is made, consists of numerous chemicals majority of which are carcinogenic. In fact, it remains the most risk factor for Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS). A separate study by scientists has revealed that cessation from smoking by some sets of people increased their gut bacteria tremendously.
There is indeed time for everything. Sleep is a natural gift from which even gut bacterial benefit from. Our bodies are programmed in a rhythmic pattern such that it requires us to lay still at certain moments. Failure to honor this order poses a great threat to a person’s overall health, that of the gut inclusive.
The bacterial in the gut play important roles in human’s overall heath and any habit such as the ones listed above which can seriously hamper their diversity and population must be jettisoned.