The gut is a buzz word in modern health and wellness circles, with many insisting that the microbes found in our gut influence nearly every aspect of our health. This topic has prompted significant confusion, but preliminary research indicates that the gut microbiome has an important role to play. Below, we separate fact from fiction with a detailed explanation of the gut microbiome — and why it’s worth protecting.
What Is the Gut Microbiome?
Sometimes referred to as the gut flora, the gut microbiome or microbiota consists of the many microorganisms that reside in our digestive tracts. These microbes can play a valuable role in our everyday health, allowing us to get essential nutrients from foods we might struggle to digest. Gut bacteria are also believed to assist in producing vitamins B and K, which are critical to healthy immune function. Research suggests that our microbiome may even influence whether we are prone to obesity and related health conditions.
Protecting the Gut Microbiome
While genetics appear to play a significant role in the formation of the gut microbiome, everyday habits can also determine how essential microorganisms influence our health. A diverse diet is key; fermented foods, in particular, are believed to promote gut health. Preliminary research suggests that probiotics may also support a desirable gut microbiome. Sugar and artificial sweeteners, unfortunately, have the opposite effect, potentially prompting harmful imbalances. Antibiotic overuse should be avoided, but unfortunately, CDC research suggests that 30 percent of doctors prescribe unnecessary antibiotics.
As you take every step possible to preserve your health, you want to feel secure in knowing that health care professionals are doing the same. When medical malpractice enters the picture, it’s important to hold responsible parties accountable. Regan Zambri Long PLLC can help — reach out today to learn more.