The Gut Microbiome: What Is It and How Do We Keep It Healthy? Thursday #Healthtip

On average we have 100 trillion microbes in our body, weighing as much as three pounds total! Diet plays a major role in the composition of our microbiome, and evidence suggests a diverse microbiome is important for good health.

A poor diet, along with overuse of antibiotics, can disturb this diversity and disrupt the balance of organisms, allowing undesirable bacteria to flourish at the expense of helpful ones. This disruption can lead to poor digestion, inflammation, and disease.

Much remains to be learned about the microbiome, and the research is sometimes fuzzy. But in the meantime, say hello to your little friends. I hear they like leafy greens and apples!

 

More Information:

Trusting Your Gut: The Importance of Your Microbiome—“How we treat our own microbiome will determine if we have a healthy and high quality of life.”

Can Gut Bacteria Improve Your Health?

The Garden in Your Gut

I Contain Multitudes, The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong

*     *     *

standing color cropped tiny for blog postsCarrie Rubin is a medical thriller author with a background in medicine and public health. Her novels include Eating Bull and The Seneca Scourge. For full bio, click here.

92 Responses to “The Gut Microbiome: What Is It and How Do We Keep It Healthy? Thursday #Healthtip”

  1. Kourtney Heintz

    Great tips, Carrie. I don’t usually think about my gut unless something is going wrong. But as I get older, well, more things go wrong. I’ll keep these in mind when I’m at the grocery store.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Thank you. And thanks for your comment over on my IPPY Mag post! I haven’t been responding to them, because I’m worried every time I do, my FB friends will get notified in their timelines. I don’t want to annoy them! 🙂

      Like

  2. mainepaperpusher

    Wonderful post! I haven’t had meat in decades and I try to eat well, but there are good tips here that I need to employ. Thanks for the motivation.

    Like

  3. Mayumi-H

    Thanks for sharing, Carrie! Now that I’m older (ugh) and know I’m not an invincible 20-something anymore (double-ugh), I realize it’s important to stay keen on these topics. As much as I might not like to think about it, I like even more not needing to think about my personal regularity. 😉

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Ha, I here you on all counts. Especially since my days of invincibility are even farther away in the past than yours!

      Like

  4. pegoleg

    Thanks for this timely hint, Carrie. I’ve had a hell of a week with my once-dependable digestive system. Looks like it’s time to go back to the drawing board with what I eat.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Sorry to hear you’ve been struggling. That’s no fun. If only those little gut guys weren’t so picky. It’d be so nice to feed them pizza and cheesecake every day!

      Like

  5. Jilanne Hoffmann

    I was “introduced” to cryptosporidium via a waterskiing excursion where I drank half the lake (which happened to be above normal in temp because it was a nuclear power plant water dump). I was never treated for it because the symptoms are self-limiting as I understand. But I started to develop allergies to many things after that. I had giardia when I was first pregnant, so they couldn’t give me flagyl. I can’t recall what they gave me, but I had to take it for a couple of months because it took a long time to work. They told me I had crypto, too, but weren’t going to treat me for it. I still wonder if the crypto plays a part in my allergies and associated mental fogginess….

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Sounds like that crypto is out to get you!

      Had someone told us in med school back when I went that the gut played such an important role in all these functions, we would have laughed. Oh, how times have changed. And yet there’s still so much we don’t know.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sheila

    Thank you for inspiring me to eat more yogurt to keep those little friends happy! After hearing “Say hello to my little friends,” I’ll have to watch Pet Detective again now too.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      When I hear ‘Say hello to my little friend,’ I think Al Pacino in Scarface. But Pet Detective sounds like a far less violent reference. 🙂

      Like

  7. Ted

    100 trillion microbes! …. and just when I thought it was safe to back in the gut 😉

    Most of this I agree with, but sometimes the foods are not available when I’m on the road, so have to suck it and see. I like yogurt, but it’s not always available (beer is a good substitute at times though) – gives those microbes something to do so they don’t get bored.

    The weird thing was last year’s hernia operation, where they slammed a load of antibiotics in as matter of course and a bad infection (that England’s NHS never checks for) was slaughtered. Normally I avoid AB’s, but this time it actually helped. A pain free gut that is now enjoying it’s itself once more.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Oh yes, when we need antibiotics, thank goodness they’re there! They can be a godsend. What’s referred to here is seeking antibiotics for colds and other viruses where they won’t do any good. Antibiotics only treat bacterial illnesses, but doctors have overprescribed them for non-bacterial illnesses and patients often request them for the same. We’re getting better about this, but we still have a ways to go. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Kate Johnston

    Love knowing this. I heard too much anti-bacterial soap isn’t good for us so I try to use old-fahioned soap and water when I can! More and more I’m trying to steer away from processed food because of all the junky ingredients. I love to bake, so that’s how I try to satisfy my sweet tooth. I’d say it’s probably healthier (generally speaking) to make our own cakes, cookies, brownies, etc, right?

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      That’s what I like to tell myself, anyway. 😉 But joking aside, I think it is in the sense that it’s fresh when we bake the products, and there aren’t all those preservatives. I have a weakness for baked goods too. They’re such comfort food.

      Thanks for the Twitter share. Have a great week ahead!

      Like

  9. Diane Henders

    I’ve been blessed with a gut that can handle anything I throw at it, but I didn’t realize I was playing a part in keeping it that way. I already do all the things on the list, so maybe that’s why my little gut-buddies are happy. Now I just have to convince Hubby to get with the program… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. diannegray

    I drink filtered water now, Carrie – I don’t know how good it is for me, but is seemed every time it rained here I would bet some kind of yucky bug from the tap water. Who’d have thought – living in such a pristine rural environment? Anyway, I’ve seen the guys on the road lately digging up and replacing the water pipes so hopefully this will help. I hope you and the family are having a lovely Easter xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carrie Rubin

      Thank you, you too! And I usually drink filtered water too. Water microbes are usually not the ones we want to have. Diarrhea, run run run. 😬

      Liked by 1 person

  11. roughwighting

    I kinda like thinking of those microbiomes as little purple soft and fuzzy balls. 🙂 I was surprised when at my doctor’s office for a physical, she stressed the importance of using an anti-bacterial pump on her hands to keep her germ-free and from catching anything that her patients brought in. But as you stated here, I thought there was a fear of over-using them…?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carrie Rubin

      I think in places like clinics it’s reasonable to have them. Also places where people can’t easily wash their hands, for example, entering a restaurant or other public places. But for home use they’re not necessary when we can use plain old soap and water.

      Those purple balls are kind of calming, aren’t they. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Mohamad Al Karbi

    Thank you for the information – very good for me as I’m not so much into healthy diet and these things. However, I avoid white (processed) sugar to the max. And, I can guess now that antibiotics affect the good microbes in our body.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carrie Rubin

      Thank you for reading. And if you avoid processed sugar, you’re doing far better than most of us! Sugar causes so many problems, but it’s so hard to resist.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. acflory

    Excellent advice. ‘We’ really are what we eat, although it’s weird to think we play host to a universe of tiny creatures. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: