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microbiome digestion and metabolism

May 2024

 

The Microbiome

  • Microbiome 101
  • The Microbiome & The Immune System
  • Microbiome, Digestion & Metabolism
  • The Microbiome & Your Mood

Microbiome Digestion and Metabolism

The process of turning food into nutrients is labor-intensive. Fortunately, we got help. The microbiome in your digestive tract helps you break down and release some of the nutrients from your food.

Your mouth is the gatekeeper of your gut.

The digestive system is like a tunnel that begins in your mouth and ends in your bum. Thousands of bacteria live in your mouth and play an essential role in teeth and gum health. Your mouth microbiome competes with harmful bacteria over resources or releases acids that keep them at bay. 

 

microbiome digestion and metabolism<br />

Studies show that imbalances in the mouth microbiome, usually caused by a diet high in simple carbs and sugar, can cause gum inflammation and tooth decay. Inflammatory messengers trickle from the mouth to the gut, triggering systemic inflammation that may lead to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and even cardiovascular disease. 

While brushing and flossing every day is essential, you might want to consider using an herbal mouthwash that is not strongly antibacterial so you don’t wipe out your mouth microbiome.¬†

 

Your stomach is hot as hell.

A normal stomach PH is between 1.5 and 3.5, which is not a welcoming environment for living critters. The acidity of the stomach plays a vital role in neutralizing harmful bacteria that enter your body with food. 

One strain of bacteria that can tolerate the acidic environment of the stomach is H. Pyroli. For a long time, people considered H. Pyroli a harmful bacteria, but research now shows that in the right amounts, H. Pyroli increases T regulatory immune cells that suppress the immune system, thus playing an important role in reducing allergies, asthma, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBD). 

H. Pyroli was also found to regulate ghrelin, the hunger hormone produced in the stomach, and leptin, the satiation hormone produced by fat tissue. Lower numbers of H. Pyroli are associated with increased hunger sensations and weight gain.

 

Your gut is the soil of your garden.

The small intestines are where you break down most of the food you eat and absorb nutrients. Although you want gut bacteria to help you carry out this labor-intensive job, you don’t want the critters competing with you for nutrients. That is why healthy small intestines contain far less microbiome than the colon.

In the small intestines, your microbiome plays a couple of vital roles:

  • Manage bile production to improve fat digestion.
  • Regulate energy intake, preventing weight gain.
  • Modulate glucose metabolism, thus reducing your chances of type 2 diabetes.
  • Communicate with the cells of the gut to regulate the gut immune system reaction.

Dysbiosis is the condition of microbiome dysregulation. Dysbiosis is not so much about good and bad bacteria as about balance between different bacteria strains. For example, it is OK to have gram-negative bacteria in your gut as long as gram-positive bacteria balance their numbers. Gram-negative bacteria release an inflammatory compound called LPS associated with type 2 diabetes. If your lifestyle encourages the growth of gram-negative bacteria, their proportion in your biome might tip the balance, increasing gut permeability and inflammation in the body. 

The most common dysbiosis in the small intestines’ microbiome is called Small intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), which can cause bloating, gas, cramps, constipation or diarrhea, and acid reflux.

 

The colon – beyond your wildest imagination

The colon is home to trillions of microbiomes. This is where the fibers and resistant starch you can’t break down arrive. Your microbiome thrives on your leftovers.

The microbiome in the colon synthesizes vitamins B2, B12, and K, which are essential for blood clotting and bone strength. 

Butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid, is one of the products of the microbial digestion of carbohydrates and dietary fibers in the colon. It provides you with 10% of the energy that your body needs.  

To sum it all up, the role of the microbiome in the digestive tract:

  • Release enzymes that break down nutrients from food.
  • Regulate the immune system in the digestive tract so it doesn’t overreact.
  • Protect you from harmful pathogens by competing on “real estate” and food.¬†
  • Modulate hunger and metabolism so you don’t overeat and you expand energy effectively.¬†
  • Produce 10% of the energy your body needs

A holistic approach to digestive and metabolic conditions such as SIBO, obesity, and type 2 diabetes considers the role an imbalanced microbiome plays in creating these conditions and addresses these imbalances in the care plan.

Struggling with digestive symptoms, food cravings, or having a hard time losing weight? I can help

Now that you know that a balanced microbiome is important for healthy digestion and a balanced metabolism, what can you do about it? The Epidemic Of Absence is a six-week program that teaches a four-step protocol for rebooting your microbiome.

It’s a lot!
But that is why I am here.
Need help to figure out the details? Do you need support while implementing an inflammation-free lifestyle?
Let’s chat!
Link in the comments.

 

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Disclaimer: This document is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. You can view my full disclaimer here.
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