The Brain Gut Connection
If you’ve ever “gone with your gut” to make a decision or felt “butterflies in your stomach” when nervous, you’re likely getting signals from an unexpected source: your second brain. Hidden in the walls of the digestive system, this “brain in your gut” is revolutionizing medicine’s understanding of the links between digestion, mood, health and even the way you think. Scientists call this little brain the enteric nervous system (ENS). And it’s not so little. The ENS is two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells lining your gastrointestinal tract from esophagus to rectum.
“The enteric nervous system doesn’t seem capable of thought as we know it, but it communicates back and forth with our big brain—with profound results.”
The new findings may explain why a higher-than-normal percentage of people with IBS and functional bowel problems develop depression and anxiety, which is important because up to 30 to 40 percent of the population has functional bowel problems at some point.”
The Gut: Where Bacteria and Immune System Meet
Humans have more bacterial cells—a lot more—than human cells. Bacteria live on the skin, in the nose and ears, and, most of all, in the gut. Until recently, if most people thought about those bacteria at all, we tended to think of them as fairly separate from us. They help with digestion, but otherwise they stay on their side of the intestinal lining, and we stay on our side. But, in fact, there is a lot of interaction between the body’s immune system and bacteria in the gut. Researchers at Johns Hopkins are now in the early stages of figuring out how the composition of the gut changes in different diseases, how the body’s immune system interacts with these tiny hitchhikers and particularly how that relationship may function in disease. “A huge proportion of your immune system is actually in your GI tract,” says Dan Peterson, assistant professor of pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “The immune system is inside your body, and the bacteria are outside your body.” And yet they interact. For example, certain cells in the lining of the gut spend their lives excreting massive quantities of antibodies into the gut. “That’s what we’re trying to understand—what are the types of antibodies being made, and how is the body trying to control the interaction between ourselves and bacteria on the outside?”
Effects of probiotics on gut microbiome
Probiotics restore the composition of the gut microbiome and introduce beneficial functions to gut microbial communities, resulting in amelioration or prevention of gut inflammation and other intestinal or systemic disease phenotypes. Proposed mechanisms of probiosis include alterations of composition and function of the human gut microbiome, and corresponding effects on immunity and neurobiology.
Increased intestinal permeability and Autoimmune Diseases
The intestinal epithelial lining, together with factors secreted from it, forms a barrier that separates the host from the environment. In pathologic conditions, the permeability of the epithelial lining may be compromised allowing the passage of toxins, antigens, and bacteria in the lumen to enter the blood stream. In individuals with a genetic predisposition, a leaky gut may allow environmental factors to enter the body and trigger the initiation and development of autoimmune disease. Growing evidence shows that the gut microbiota is important in supporting the epithelial barrier and therefore plays a key role in the regulation of environmental factors that enter the body.
What Causes increased intestinal permeability?
The exact cause is a mystery.However, increased intestinal permeability is well known and occurs alongside several chronic diseases, including celiac disease and type 1 diabetes. Zonulin is a protein that regulates tight junctions. Research has shown that higher levels of this protein may loosen tight junctions and increase intestinal permeability. Two factors may stimulate higher zonulin levels — bacteria and gluten.There is consistent evidence that gluten increases intestinal permeability in people with celiac disease.However, research in healthy adults and those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity shows mixed results. While test-tube studies have found that gluten can increase intestinal permeability, human-based studies have not had the same effect.Aside from zonulin, other factors can also increase intestinal permeability.Research shows that higher levels of inflammatory mediators, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin 13 (IL-13), or the long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, may increase intestinal permeability .Furthermore, low levels of healthy gut bacteria may have the same effect. This is called gut dysbiosis.
Other Ways to Improve Your Gut Health
Take a probiotic supplement: Probiotics contain beneficial bacteria that are naturally present in fermented foods. Taking a probiotic supplement can improve gut health if you don’t get enough probiotics through your diet.Reduce stress: Chronic stress has been shown to harm beneficial gut bacteria. Activities like meditation or yoga can help.Avoid smoking: Cigarette smoke is a risk factor for several bowel conditions and may increase inflammation in the digestive tract. Quitting smoking can raise healthy bacteria numbers and reduce harmful gut bacteria.Sleep more: Lack of sleep can cause poor distribution of healthy gut bacteria, possibly resulting in increased intestinal permeability.Limit alcohol intake: Research has shown that excessive alcohol intake may increase intestinal permeability by interacting with certain proteins
The following foods are great options for improving your digestive health.
Vegetables: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, arugula, carrots, kale, eggplant, beetroot, Swiss chard, spinach, ginger, mushrooms and zucchini.Roots and tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, squash and turnips.Fermented vegetables: Kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh and miso.Fruit: Coconut, grapes, bananas, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, kiwi, pineapple, oranges, mandarin, lemon, limes, passionfruit and papaya.Sprouted seeds: Chia seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds and more.Gluten-free grains: Buckwheat, amaranth, rice (brown and white), sorghum, teff and gluten-free oats.Healthy fats: Avocado, avocado oil, coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil.Fish: Salmon, tuna, herring and other omega-3-rich fish.Meats and eggs: Lean cuts of chicken, beef, lamb, turkey and eggs.Herbs and spices: All herbs and spices.Cultured dairy products: Kefir, yogurt, Greek yogurt and traditional buttermilk.Beverages: Bone broth, teas, coconut milk, nut milk, water and kombucha.Nuts: Raw nuts including peanuts, almonds and nut-based products, such as nut milks.
Food to avoid
The following list contains foods that may harm healthy gut bacteria.Wheat-based products: Bread, pasta, cereals, wheat flour, couscous, etc.Gluten-containing grains: Barley, rye, bulgur, seitan, triticale and oats.Processed meats: Cold cuts, deli meats, bacon, hot dogs, etc.Baked goods: Cakes, muffins, cookies, pies, pastries and pizza.Snack foods: Crackers, muesli bars, popcorn, pretzels, etc.Junk food: Fast foods, potato chips, sugary cereals, candy bars, etc.Dairy products: Milk, cheeses and ice cream.Refined oils: Canola, sunflower, soybean and safflower oils.Artificial sweeteners: Aspartame, sucralose and saccharin.Sauces: Salad dressings, as well as soy, teriyaki and hoisin sauce.Beverages: Alcohol, carbonated beverages and other sugary drinks.
New Gut Understanding Equals New Treatment Opportunities
Food Intolerance test
Food Intolerance testing in 222 kinds of foods, using only small amount of blood sample. Food Intolerance can be categorised into 2 types; Food allergies and Food intolerance, differentiated by symptomatic periods and types of symptoms, where inflammation, asthma, and edema will be observed instantly after foods taken in patients with food allergy. The allergy can also become a severe case, called “Anaphylaxis,”as it affects the entire body. This particular case is the reaction of body to adulterated substances through Immunoglobulin E or IgE. For food intolerance, it might not occur instantly after food consumption, instead it might take a day for the reaction to start showing. Symptoms of the case include physical abnormality sensation or even long-term health effects. This particular case is the reaction of body to adulterated substances through Immunoglobulin G or IgG. For the case of instant food allergies, patients are required to avoid consuming certain types of foods even in small amount. However, patients with food intolerance are able to consume certain foods that they are allergic to in small amount, differently, up to each individual.
Why should we do Food Intolerance Testing?
We somehow have no clues on what types of foods we are allergic to. Some of us might only have moderate reactions towards their food allergies, e.g., rash or cough, while some patients witness severe reactions like instant suffocation or even coma. Thus, if we realize the types of foods we are allergic to, we shall conduct our own nutritional planning and avoid consuming certain foods to prevent the risk of allergies.
Food intolerance testing with MicroArray technique
Using only 5 cc of blood sample for further screening with MicroArray technique to indicate the types of foods we are allergic to. The result will appear in digit form, implying the allergenic foods up to 222 types of foods. It is convenient and fast.The result will return with in a week.
Price 25,000 baht
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