What happens in the gut doesn’t just stay in the gut. As much as the gut is the venue for breaking down and absorbing all the nutrients we need to survive and flourish it’s also the home for the many microbes, the balance of which having a seismic impact on the wellbeing or absence thereof of every cell in our body. Diseases such as obesity, diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease have all been associated with a microbial signature which differs from that of healthy individuals.
These bacteria can generate harmful chemicals which significantly contribute to heart disease. Our emotions, mental function and our memory are also substantially impacted by these chemicals. The converse is equally important. Beneficial bacteria can also be harnessed to seed healthy brain function. Probiotics have been utilised to alleviate stress and anxiety.
Too many bad guys, not enough protective microbes and mounting inflammation as a consequence can hasten physical and mental decline. How we look after our gut dramatically impacts the nature and quality of our gut flora which determines if we age healthily or experience accelerated infirmity and decrepitude as this diagram reveals.