What happens in the gut doesn’t just say in that organ. We now know that a whole range of diseases are linked to very specific bacteria located in the gut. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and ageing are all connected with the presence of certain gut microorganisms. We can do investigations to assess their presence and modulate their influence on those diseases and possibly even reverse them with appropriate interventions. Fibre for example, that increases the abundance of certain beneficial bacteria, can lead to the generation of new brain cells, which might bolster memory.
Similarly, inflammation, a state of immune system imbalance that can be quantified with blood tests, and weakening of the immune system can adversely affect the balance of bacteria in the gut which can in turn trigger the above diseases. Treating inflammation and boosting the immune system can positively alter gut bacteria and reduce the incidence of those diseases, as well as influence their outcome.
Prebiotics found in garlic, artichokes, onions, apples, asparagus, seaweed, flaxseed, bananas and cacao as well as probiotics, the good bacteria found in supplementary capsules or powders, can be utilized to lessen frailty, mitigate heart disease and have beneficial effects on ageing.