Gut health is everywhere. From products Marketed specifically for gut health with the hashtag #guthealth for the video, which has more than 3.7 billion views on TikTok, the term has become a wellness buzzword — but experts say it’s much more than that. Is.
gut health It is not just a trending topic but an important aspect of health affects everything From obesity to cancer rates, says Dr. Aditya Srinivasan, a gastroenterologist at New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital. It can also affect mental health.
“The main reason it’s becoming so common is because there’s more and more data[and]understanding that what’s happening in our gut or[gastrointestinal]tract is linked to all kinds of big health consequences — not only that we much more than we usually use to think about GI issues like ulcers, gas bloating or colon cancer,
So, what exactly is “gut health” and why is it so important?
“When people talk about gut health, they are largely talking about the microbiome and its interactions with various physiological processes,” Dr. Shilpa Ravela, a gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University. She explains that the gut microbiome “refers to the trillions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi that live in our intestines.”
One of the most important ways the microbiome affects health, says Ravella, is through its effect on our immune system.
“What happens is, from birth until death, our microbiome really helps shape our immune system,” she explains. “And this is important because today we know that inflammation is very relevant to our health. Low-level inflammation or chronic inflammation is tied to almost all of our modern disorders. So when you have a gut microbiome that is in imbalance or dysbiosis If that happens, you’re more likely to have more of this inflammation going through your body.”
So while most may think of the intestinal track as just a tube where food moves in and out, it is much more than that.
in 2020″60 minutesreports, CBS News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. John Lapuk spoke with Dr. Jeff Gordon, who has spent decades exploring the secrets of the bacterial community in our gut and is recognized as the “father of the microbiome.” “
“[Microbes]help process the food we consume, but they do much more than that. They make vitamins… They’re able to produce essential amino acids, they help our immune system. able to help talk about and educate the immune system.”
In a landmark experiment, Gordon and his team made a lean mouse obese by giving it bacteria from an obese mouse, suggesting that part of the cause of obesity may be the types of bacteria that are in the microbiome.
“We see that people who are obese have a less diverse microbial community than lean individuals,” Gordon explained.
In 2021, a study found that the gut microbiome could potentially indicate whether a patient with rheumatoid arthritis would improve their condition over time. And research continues on the connection between a healthy microbiome and heart health, diabetes and other conditions.
Products promising gut health benefits are on the rise, including drinks marketed to support a healthy gut. At the same time, scientists’ understanding of probiotic supplements is also changing. Once seen as a useful daily dose of commercially made mixtures meant to replicate the healthy bacteria found inside our bodies, some experts now say These products may not be as helpful As I once thought