The Importance of Gut Health

The importance of gut health

Bacteria are organisms that seek to live in an environment that best suits their survival. Bacteria can be found in a range of locations such as soil, fruit, vegetables, fermented foods and even in the air.

As many as 1000, and possibly many more strains of helpful bacteria reside inside each one of us.  We need to consume millions of different bacterial organisms for our health. On average our gut is colonized by 10 trillion microbes of many different species, amounting to 1–2 kg in weight. We do need bacterial biodiversity in our gut and problems can arise when the balance is disturbed. Our gut plays an important role as an interface between the person and the environment.

The gastrointestinal tract in our stomach is colonised by bacteria that helps digest food, remove toxins, and process vitamins that are necessary for the functioning of the human body.  It has been shown that over 80% of our immune system is controlled by the gut from what is eaten and the bacterial present.

The intestine is colonised by billions of bacteria of different species and the balance has been shown to play an important role for the management of a range of diseases.

Probiotics are live microorganisms (bacteria) which when given in adequate amounts can provide a beneficial health effect. There are known benefits of immune stimulation from probiotics, and it has shown to help combat a decline in the immune system due to aging.  The mechanisms probiotics work can include stimulating receptors and enzymes in our gut, reducing the ability of unwanted bacteria adhering in our gut, and altering the acid level in our gut.

Probiotics are being used with increasing frequency as a treatment for several medical conditions such as allergic diseases (dermatitis and allergic rhinitis), gut disorders, irritable bowel, autism, childhood diarrhoea, infantile colic, reflux, bacterial vaginosis, urinary tract infections, prevention of dental caries, and respiratory infections such as influenza and pneumonia.

There has been an increased incidence of allergies over the last few decades and there is significant data suggesting the range of bacteria in the human gut plays an important role. An infant’s gut bacteria at birth is highly influenced by the mother’s bowel bacteria.  Good bacteria are also passed through breastmilk to an infant.  So, the use of an appropriate probiotic during pregnancy and lactation could reduce conditions such as dermatitis in the children of allergic parents.

Another common allergy that occurs in 8% of children is a food allergy or intolerance, mainly caused by only eight foods (Wheat, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, eggs, fish, and crustaceans).  The intestinal microbiota of allergic children has clearly been shown to be different to non-allergic children. This clearly shows that food intolerance is linked to the good bacteria in our body.

Another important factor to consider are prebiotics such as lactulose, inulin, and psyllium which are critical to create a healthy environment for probiotics. These are nondigestible food ingredients stimulating the growth and activity of bacteria in the gut.  They can be found in onions, garlic, asparagus, leeks, artichoke, bananas, tomatoes, wheat, oats, soy beans, and other plants.

Antibiotics, in contrast, are compounds that kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria.  Certain probiotics have also been shown to help minimise antibiotic associated diarrhoea given during and after an antibiotic treatment. It has been suggested to take a probiotic two hours after an antibiotic to be most effective during an antibiotic treatment.

This information shows the importance of gut health, and how the use of the correct probiotic can help strengthen your immune system and improve the body’s response and recovery rate to infections. For more information, speak to your pharmacist or health care professional.


A very popular product to support a babys gut health is Qiara Pregnancy and Breast Feeding



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Tick Treatments

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