7 surprising facts about the gut
There’s a popular saying in the natural health world,
“I’ve got 99 problems, but healing my gut will probably solve 95 of them”
There is rarely only one root cause of any health issue, but it’s definitely true that the gut is linked to health all around the body more than any other organ. It’s linked to immunity, nutrient levels, energy, inflammation, mental wellness and skin health, and even how well you sleep.
So let’s dive in and learn some of the reasons that make your intestines so interesting!
1: The gut contains as many neurons as the brain of a small cat. It might not be composing poetry, but it’s certainly not stupid.
2: The bacteria in the gut communicate with the brain in our head through the vagus nerve. If they’re not happy, chances are we won’t be happy either. Some scientists think they may also be behind cravings, especially for sugar!
3: The population of microorganisms residing in the large intestine contains 150 times more genetic information than our own bodies.
4: When you’ve finished eating, electricity passes through the stomach and intestines to propel the contents along and control the bacterial levels
5: The lining of the small intestine is only 1 cell thick, which makes it surprisingly delicate.
6: The bacteria in our gut break down certain nutrients and manufacture others for us that we wouldn’t be able to access or make ourselves. This is why it’s called a symbiotic relationship as we give them a safe place to live and in return, they provide us with nutrients and energy.
7: Our saliva contains a painkiller that is stronger than morphine (only in tiny amounts though)!
As we previously mentioned, the function of your gut is key to your overall health.
There are two pillars of gut health: maintaining a good barrier and maintaining healthy gut microbes. The main way to improve both of these naturally is by eating nutrient-dense whole foods. That would mean foods filled with nutrition, probiotics, and fiber. Eliminate common gut irritants like added sugar, processed foods, and alcohol.
If you are finding that you have a gut or digestive issues, I would recommend the following functional test that I offer,
The ‘Doctor, my Stomach’s not right’ Panel – A Digestive Stool Analysis + SIBO test + 60-minute consultation
An advanced stool test that provides actionable clinical information for the management of gastrointestinal health.