Gut Health Facts That Will Blow Your Mind

 

You’ve probably used the phrases “gut feeling” or “trust your gut.” But have you ever thought about why your gut is so important or how you can best take care of it?  

In this article you’ll learn 3 gut health facts that will blow your mind and illuminate just how important a healthy gut is for overall wellbeing! 

Before we dive in, let’s clarify what we’re talking about when we discuss the gut: 

 

What & Where Is Your Gut?  

The gut, also known as the gastrointestinal tract, is essentially one long tube that starts at the mouth and ends with the rectum. It encompasses all our digestive organs, including the stomach, small intestine, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, and large intestine.  

Your gut is responsible for digesting foods, absorbing nutrients and eliminating waste. However, studies have shown that the gut can do so much more! 

Read on to learn about these surprising and important facts about your gut. 

 

Gut Health Facts 

 

1) Your Gut Health Affects Your Mood  

Have you heard of the gut-brain connection? It’s a network of nerves and molecular signals that transmit information back and forth from your gut and nervous system.  

Studies have found that the healthy bacteria in the gut, also known as probiotics, produce calming and mood-lifting molecules like GABA, serotonin and glycine (1). These friendly bacteria are found abundantly in fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi as well as probiotic supplements. Further research has shown that taking probiotics can reduce negative thoughts associated with low mood (2).  

 

2) 80% of Your Immune Cells Are in Your Gut 

It’s true! Gut-associated-lymphoid tissue (GALT) is the gut’s immune system and consists of almost 80% of all the immune cells in your body.  

Probiotics in the gut can produce fatty acids, amino acids and vitamins that directly affect our immune response. Studies have found that probiotics can increase the activity of immune cellsreduce allergy symptoms and crowd out unhealthy microorganisms that cause harm (3)(4)   

 

3) Poor Sleep Affects Your Gut Health and Vice Versa!   

Restful sleep is vital for healthy immune function. More studies are also showing that poor sleep and poor gut health go hand-in-hand.   

A study done on rats found that depleting their healthy gut bacteria with antibiotics reduced slow wave sleep - the deepest stage of sleep necessary for healthy brain function (5). This shows that gut health can directly affect sleep quality.  

But does sleep quality have an impact on the gut? Absolutely! Melatonin, our body’s sleep hormone, has been shown to activate and balance the activity of gut-specific immune cells (6). 

 

Take-Home Message 

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, once said that all disease begins in the gut. He clearly understood the widespread importance of having a healthy gut and research continues to support this idea.  

How are you taking care of your gut health? Tag us on Instagram @liveTrulyfe and let us know!    

 

 

References:  

  1. Kali, Arunava. Biomedical Journal. 2016 June: 39(3): 223-224. DOI:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6140288/ 
  2. Steenbergen L, et al. Brain Behavior and Immunity. 2015 Aug: 48:258-64. DOI:  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25862297/ 
  3. La Fata G, et al. Probiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins. 2018; 10(1): 11-21. DOI:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5801397/ 
  4. Zajac A, et al. International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology. 2015 June; 5(6): 524-32. DOI:  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25899251/ 
  5. Brown R, et al. Physiology & Behavior. 1990 Oct; 48(4): 561-5. DOI:  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2075208/ 
  6. Ma N, et al. Medical Research Reviews. 2020 March; 40(2): 606-632. DOI:  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31420885/