In my previous article Why Gut Health is So Important? I gave a basic explanation, merely scratching the surface, on why gut health is the root of our health, wellness and vitality.
We learned that our digestive system is the largest immune organ in our body. According to Neurologist and medial doctor Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride, it is estimated that around 85 percent of our immune system is located in the gut wall. (1)
Our Gut Flora Directly Affects Immune Health
There is a powerful system of communication between the immune system in the gut wall and what lives inside it, which is our gut flora. There is much research being done on how our gut flora communicates and directly effects the state of our immune health. (1)
A 2009 study from the Nature Reviews Immunology medical journal states:
“This raises the possibility that the mammalian immune system, which seems to be designed to control microorganisms, is in fact controlled by microorganisms (2).”
As I mentioned in my previous article, about 90 percent of all cells in our body consists of our gut flora. (1) That means we are mostly comprised of these powerful micro-organisms.
They are responsible for regulating our digestion, immune function, absorption of nutrients, and keeping our gut-lining strong, and intact. Doing this, in order to keep toxins from leaking into our bloodstream.
Therefore, it is of utmost importance that your gut flora is healthy and balanced. The good beneficial gut bacteria should far outweigh the pathogenic bacteria.
Dis-regulated Gut Flora: The Downward Spiral
When your gut flora is out of balance, your immune system weakens, making you more vulnerable to sickness and disease (such as autoimmune diseases) (2). The tight junctions in the lining of your gut walls weakens often resulting in leaky gut.
The condition of our gut lining is directly related to the health of our gut flora. In a healthy gut, the junctions in the cell lining of the intestine are tightly sealed, keeping the contents in your intestines (such as partially digested food, toxins, etc.) from entering your bloodstream (1).
When you have leaky gut:
-your digestive system is unable to work properly
-you are unable to properly absorb nutrients from your food
-dangerous toxins leak into your bloodstream instead of being safely eliminated through your bowel and out of your body
-you are at a higher risk for developing allergies, autoimmune diseases and even neurological imbalances
All this nightmare results from damaged gut flora.
Antibiotics: One of Our Gut Flora’s Biggest Foes
We live in a world where antibiotics and prescription drugs are passed out like candy for any and every health malady that exists. This began in the 50 and 60s and is now widely accepted as normal.
The problem with this is:
- We are too often prescribed medication for an illness that would best be handled by our body’s own innate ability to fight and heal on it’s own.
- We are not told to supplement with probiotics during and after the course of antibiotics is finished to help restore our gut flora.
I personally under went many rounds of amoxicillin during my childhood and teens. This is not to mention all the over-the-counter drugs I took at random such as ibuprofen, NyQuil, aspirin and prescriptive acne medications.
Why is this a problem? Upon taking a course of antibiotics, you not only wipe out the pathogenic bacteria but also the beneficial gut bacteria in your gut wall(3). This is devastating for your health(2). There are antibiotic side effects regardless of what the doctor tells you.
Should antibiotics be Avoided Completely?
Absolutely not. Antibiotics are helpful and often necessary in certain cases. However, it is important to avoid them when possible as they wipe out much of your good gut bacteria. There are major antibiotic side effects.
When you do have to take an antibiotic you absolutely must have a probiotic supplement along with it. Not only should you be taking a normal dose but increased doses are recommended to deal with the die off (3).
I know that I was on Antibiotics as a child at least 2 times a year. How often were you on antibiotics as a child?