The Gut Microbiome and Probiotics

OptiStart Chiropractic
December 6, 2018

Did you know that there nine times as many bacteria in the human gastrointestinal tract as there are cells in the human body (Peterson 2002)?

And that an adult on average carries 2 kg of bacteria in the gut? (Campbell-McBride)

Colonization of the newborn occurs during delivery, and factors influencing the development of a child’s gut flora include:

- type of delivery  - Infants born by caesarean birth are more likely to have poor colonisation.

- the mother’s flora type, gut health, and general health.

- feeding type - infants formula fed will have a different colonization.

- use of antibiotics early in an infant’s life, or throughout childhood.

- allergies.

- poor nutrition.

- high stress    

- Gastro-intestinal transit time                                                                   (Peterson 2002)     

The benefits of good colonization of the gut include:

·      production of essential metabolites                                                    (Jeffery 2013)

·      degradation and utilisation of complex carbohydrates                        (Jeffery 2013)

·      biosynthesis of vitamins                                                                      (Jeffery 2013, Kau 2012)

·      absorption of key minerals. E.g. iron                                                  (Kau 2012)

·      immune benefits                                                                                  (Drisko 2003).

       -  Gut/Brain relationships

       -  links to various childhood neurological conditions including:

                     autism, ADHD, ADD, OCD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, sleep disorders, allergies, asthma and eczema                                          (Cambell-McBride)

·      production of short chain fatty acids, which have multiple digestive, gut movement benefits, metabolic and anti-inflammatory effects.                  (Jeffery 2013)

Diet and gut transit time also have a great influence on the gut flora composition.

There are various strains available, and research continues to accumulate on the specific strains that can be used in different situations.  For example, a different strain may be chosen for a person who has diarrhoea, versus a person with allergies, or a person with atopic dermatitis. For specific advice please consult with one of our practitioners, or with Lorraine (Casey Natural Healthcare).

In addition to supplements some probiotics foods include:

·      Yogurt

·      Kefir

·      Sauerkraut

·      Dark Chocolate

·      Microalgae - e.g. as spirulina, chorella, and blue-green algae.

·      Miso Soup

·      Pickles

·      Tempeh

·      Kimchi

·      Kombucha Tea

Again, for more specific advice in this area we recommend Lorraine at Casey Natural Healthcare.