Let's talk Gut Health with Tina McGuire - Accredited Practising Dietician.
So you may have noticed in the past 5 years or so the trend towards gut health, with products like kombucha, kefir and probiotics hitting the supermarket shelves. But what is it and can you change it?
The gut and the gut microbiota:
Our “gut” refers to our gastrointestinal tract, this goes from our mouth to our anus (includes oesophagus, stomach, small intestine and large intestine). The role of our gastrointestinal system is to break down and digest the food we eat, to extract nutrients for use or storage and excrete waste.
The gut microbiota refers to the billions of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa) that reside in the intestinal tract. Our gut microbiota is unique to each of us and research has shown dietary modification can induce microbial change in less than a week! Lifestyle factors such as smoking, certain medications, antibiotics and chronic stress can also impact our gut microbiota. Typically, we have a balance of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria.