The brain and gut communicate with one another and changes to the microbiome as a result of different stressors are associated with changes to immune system and gut movement. Likewise changes in the gut alter the stress-response and behaviour which may be involved in diseases such as anxiety, depression, autism, parkinsons, alzeihmers and stroke. Your gut produces around 80% of your happy hormone serotonin and exposure to early life stress can increase the risk of gastrointestinal disorders later in life – the research is still growing in how this occurs so taking care of your mental health, diet and movement are all important in supporting a happy healthy gut.
Several studies have shown a relationship between microbiome composition and cardiovascular exercise and found that with no change in diet people’s microbiome diversity changed after 6 weeks of exercise, in particular there was an increase in certain microbes which help to produce fatty acids believed to reduce inflammation in the gut and the rest of the body! After returning to a sedentary state the changes in microbiome reverted to what they were in the start – So up your cardio in the form of walking, running, dancing, cycling, rowing, skipping – have fun with it! Pick an exercise buddy today and love that gut.
Another aspect of caring for your gut health is looking after your microbiome or all of the wonderful bacteria that live on the inside and the outside your body, for the purpose of gut health lets look at what bugs live in the gut.
You are more bacteria than human! For every 1 cell in your body you have around 10 microbes. These microbes are bacteria that make up your microbiome and like a fingerprint your microbiome is specific to you. Even identical twins who contain 99% of the same DNA share only about 20% of their microbiome. Your microbiome is highly dependant on your environment and lifestyle choices including:
Where you live
What you eat
Medication you take
How you were born