Insights into the complex role of our gut
Our gut, often referred to as the "second brain", plays a crucial role in our health and well-being. The importance of gut health extends far beyond the mere digestion of food. In In this article we take a closer look at the fascinating world of the gut, its functions and how we can support its health in the best possible way.
The gut: a versatile organ
Our gut not only serves to absorb nutrients, but also fulfils a key role in the immune system. About 70-80% of the specialised cells of the human immune system are located in the gut. The intestinal microbiome, the individual colonisation of the mucous membranes with billions of microorganisms, plays an important role here (1). These bacteria, viruses and fungi help maintain a healthy balance and not only protect against harmful microbes, but also enable a variety of desirable body functions.
The functions of the gut at a glance
Digestion and absorption of nutrientsThe small intestine is largely responsible for the digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fats (2).
Immune defenceThe gut microbiome strengthens the immune system by fighting off pathogens and controlling inflammation (3).
DetoxificationThe gut contributes to the removal of waste and toxins from the body (4).
Neurological linkThe gut is often referred as our "second brain". The gut-brain axis enables communication between the gut and the brain that can influence our mood and cognitive functions (5).
Maintaining gut health
To promote the health of our gut, we should focus on the following aspects:
Balanced DietA high-fibre and plant-based diet with fruit, vegetables, whole grains and fermented foods supports the diversity of the gut microbiome (6).
Probiotics and prebioticsProbiotic foods (e.g. yoghurt, kimchi) and prebiotic foods (e.g. garlic, onions) promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria (7).
HydrationDrinking enough water helps digestion and maintains a healthy intestinal environment.
Stress managementChronic stress can affect the gut microbiome. Relaxation techniques such as meditation as well as adequate rest periods can help (8).
ActivitiesRegular physical activity promotes blood flow to the intestines and contributes to to helps to keep it healthy (9).
Gut health has far-reaching effects on our health and should have a special focus when making a desired lifestyle change. From digestion to immune defence and even balancing our mental health, a healthy gut is the key to a healthy life. By consciously taking care of our diet, lifestyle and stress management, we can maintain the wellness oasis of our gut and promote our health in a simple and natural way.
To support our immune defences, it can be useful to use food supplements. AASAYA immun is a premium product containing 17 different bacterial strains, 5 dietary fibres and 12 essential vitamins. It provides a valuable supplement for those who want to support their gut health and immune system naturally.
For more vitality and quality of life
(1) Sender, R., Fuchs, S., & Milo, R. (2016). Revised estimates for the number of human and bacteria cells in the body. PLOS Biology, 14(8), e1002533.
(2) Hall, J. E. (2015). Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology. Elsevier.
(3) Belkaid, Y., & Hand, T. W. (2014). Role of the Microbiota in Immunity and Inflammation. Cell, 157(1), 121–141.
(4) Bischoff, S. C., Barbara, G., Buurman, W., Ockhuizen, T., Schulzke, J.-D., Serino, M., ... & Wells, J. M. (2014). Intestinal permeability—a new target for disease prevention and therapy. BMC Gastroenterology, 14(1), 189.
(5) Mayer, E. A. (2011). Gut feelings: the emerging biology of gut-brain communication. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 12(8), 453–466.
(6) O'Keefe, S. J. (2016). Diet, microorganisms and their metabolites, and colon cancer. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology, 13(12), 691–706.
(7) Gibson, G. R., Hutkins, R., Sanders, M. E., Prescott, S. L., Reimer, R. A., Salminen, S. J., ... & Scott, K. (2017). Expert consensus document: The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) consensus statement on the definition and scope of prebiotics. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology, 14(8), 491–502.
(8) Konturek, P. C., Brzozowski, T., & Konturek, S. J. (2011). Stress and the gut: pathophysiology, clinical consequences, diagnostic approach and treatment options. Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 62(6), 591–599.
(9) Vincenzo, V. D., Nicola, D., Massimo, C., Martina, C., Marco, M. A., & Eugenia, M. (2017). Physical activity and intestinal health. Scientifica, 2017.