Intestinal problems: gas, bloating, constipation or stomach ache. Unfortunately we have all suffered from these problems. However, some people are suffering from these symptoms on a daily basis. So... what or who is responsible for a healthy gut?
Our gastrointestinal tract contains a vast amount of bacteria. Besides bacteria that can harm us, there are also those from which we benefit tremendously. Usually these good and bad bacteria live in symbiosis - or a balance if you will.
Research shows that our gut microbiome has more functions than just processing our food. It also plays a vital role in the development and functioning of our immune system, our circadian rhythm, cellular metabolism, hormonal synthesis, and even our brain functioning.
Did you know that our gut contains between 700 and 1000 bacterial species?
Imbalance can cause problems
When our gut microbiome is altered or is composed of relatively more harmful bacteria, we can suffer from intestinal symptoms - such as, bloating, dyspepsia, constipation, stomach ache, etc - and problems related to a diminished immune system.
Studies show that this imbalance is one of the leading causes of immune- or inflammation related disease, such as Crohn’s disease or diabetes.
So how can we positively influence our microbiome?
Nutrition for your gut microbiome
Multiple factors contribute to the composition of our gut microbiome, which is developing from our infancy. Here we see that nature is providing is with ‘a helping hand’: breastmilk seems to contain a vast amount of good bacteria. After that, it seems that a person digests approximately 60 tons of feed in his or her life. This has a remarkable effect and can cause alterations of the composition of our microbiome. Every component of our nutrition can either positively or negatively our gut microbiome. Positive influences can provide a better digestion, a more efficient immune system, and is stimulating vitamin synthesis.
For example, did you know that our gut is synthesizing vitamins - such as vitamin B12 or vitamine K - because our own body cannot?
So what should we add to our nutrition to enhance our gut microbiome?
“Eat more fiber”
Often, the usual advice when experiencing these symptoms does not surpass adding fiber to your nutrition. Perhaps.. there is more we can do?
A growing interest can be observed which regards to pre- and probiotics. But what are they, and what do they do?
Pre- and probiotics
With prebiotics we refer to a group of substances that can stimulate the growth of certain bacteria. This group is comprised of dietary fibers that can feed the good bacteria in your gut, and they are present in various vegetables, fruit, nuts, legumes, etcetera.
When we provide our good gut bacteria with adequate nutrients, they can grow and function better.
In addition, probiotics are usually live bacteria that can exert a positive influence on your gastrointestinal tract. When we digest adequate amount of these, they can promote a healthy functioning gut microbiome.
We see that for certain cases doctors have suggested taking probiotics for people suffering from an imbalanced microbiome, which can be seen in:
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Brain related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s
- Rheumatoid artritis
So, pre- and probiotics can have a positive influence on our gut microbiome. While most people do not experience any side-effects from pre or probiotics, few have reported minor reactions - a temporary increase in gas and bloating - after high dosages.
Normal nutrition can fall short
We used to get sufficient amount of good bacteria through our nutrition. Nowadays we tend to excessive wash and heat our vegetables and fruit. On top of that we process these crops with chemicals in order to kill all bacteria - many of which are good bacteria.
This make it very unlikely that we get enough good bacteria through our daily nutrition.
This inspired us to find a natural prebiotic that has been long forgotten: Marine Phytoplankton.
plnktn: ancient prebiotic
Marine Phytoplankton contains special carbohydrates, vitamins and other substances that stimulate the growth of our gut friendly bacteria. This is one of the reasons that it is usually added to various yoghurts, cheeses, etcetera. Also, plnktn. seems to be unusually rich in fibers and contains an amount of 292 milligrams per daily dosage. These fibers act like a sponge and hold water, which can increase the weight and size of your stool and soften it. In order to hold water, you need to drink sufficient amounts of water. Make sure you drink a minimum of 2 liters a day.
On top of that, the fibers regulate transit time and slow down emptying of the stomach. As a result, the body can more efficiently absorb nutrients from the food we digest. A growing amount of research is suggesting that these fibers have a positive influence on the composition in our microbiome, favoring growth of the gut friendly bacteria.
Recently, data has been published suggesting that the carbohydrates from marine sources - such as Marine Phytoplankton - are a similar or better probiotic when compared to other sources. It is thought that the marine carbohydrates are degraded less in the digestive tract.
Many of our clients have experienced improvement of their gastrointestinal problems. Read the reviews in our website and let us know what you think.
Be aware that plnktn. is not a replacement of your normal diet. Make sure you eat sufficient amount of fruit and vegetables. This sound like a cliché, but this provides your body with at least some dietary fibers. Be aware you exercise regularly, this stimulates bowel movement.
Last but not least: research is showing is that the brain and gut directly communicate with one another. Have you ever experienced gastrointestinal problems when experiencing a lot of stress?
So be aware, and try to deal with stress as good as possible.
Let us know if we can offer you any additional information or advice.
Thank you again for reading!
Thom & Alexander