The body thrives on food either from an emotional need or physical need. How well we choose the food we put into our bodies will directly affect how well our bodies will perform. Humans, like any other animal, must expend less energy acquiring food than what the food delivers. In other words, a wolf must get more energy (nutrition) from eating a rabbit than he or she spends chasing and killing it; otherwise, the wolf would be in a nutritional deficit and die.
Humans have become the epitome of this philosophy. We drive seated in our cars to the grocery store, pick up our packaged food, drive home, stick it in the microwave or conventional oven, and when the timer goes off, we eat. Or worse yet, we drive to a speaker and tell a faceless voice what we would like to eat, drive to a window, and handed our food.
The food caloric consumption for what we eat versus the number of calories we have expended on getting it into our mouths, explains why we are an overweight, diabetic, under exercised challenged society facing a high risk of cardiovascular disease and colon cancer.
Health challenges occur when systems of the body are out of balance. Often this imbalance is due to nutritional deficiencies and the overabundance of food that congests the body, making organ and gland function sluggish. Over time, if left unaddressed, this sluggishness leads to an actual tissue change in the body, through deposits, growths, under or overproduction of certain hormones and eventually a change in function.
An example of this is Irritable Bowel Syndrome. First, it presents as occasional bowel gas and cramping, then moves to a more immediate elimination by way of looser stools followed by constipation bouts. Eventually, this inflammatory disorder gives way to polyps and the possibility of more cellular severe change with the end diagnosis of Colon Cancer.
Microbiome and Microbiota and your Immune System
These two words used interchangeably are the “other organ” of the Gastrointestinal Tract. Our microbiome is our living companion and friend that joins us at birth and stays with us our entire lives. Without this organ, we would become ill and probably die within the first five years of birth.
The microbiota is found in the Oral cavity, the Respiratory Tract, the Skin, the Gastrointestinal Tract, and the Genito-urinary Tract. It is comprised of living bacteria that start their colonization process through exposure from the environment at birth. The intestinal microbiota acquires adult characteristics and is formed by two to three years of age. It is vitally essential that babies and young children get their microbiome healthy from the start. The types of bacteria that comprise the microbiome influence the immune system and other systems of the body.
In perspective, there is 100,000 billion microbiota in the Intestine, 1000 billion on the skin in an adult. The Intestine is so much more than a digestive and an absorptive organ; it is the most significant interface/barrier with the environment. It is the most abundant immune organ comprising 80% of the immune system, and 60% of hormones are gut-based. The intestinal microbiome weighs about 1.5 kg, consists of 3.3 million genes, and the acquisition of antibiotic resistance occurs in the intestines.
Up until 2009, there had been very few scientific studies on the microbiome, but there has been a considerable jump with almost 10,000 scientific articles published since then. Science is proving the importance of healthy flora for immune health and digestive disorders such as IBS and brain health.
The microbiota needs to maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria vs. harmful bacteria to optimize the Immune System. Things that influence that balance are antibiotics, infections, diet, stress, and ageing.
So how can we maintain a healthy balance with so many things that negatively influence the microbiome?
Probiotics have proven to influence a healthy microbiome from infancy onward positively. Probiotics are “live micro-organisms which, when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit of the host” (Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation, 2001).
Proven human strains are preferred as they will continue to colonize for six to seven weeks compared to dairy or plant strains, which stop colonizing after just one week.
As different parts of the GI tract host other bacteria, it is best to know which type of bacteria will be most beneficial, depending on an individual’s particular health history.
The foods you eat also help define a healthy gut, and a healthy gut encourages a healthy microbiome. Choose lots of alkalizing foods (see food chart on the “Ion Cleanse” page).
We can help you review your diet and nutritional needs to optimize your wellbeing.