The latest findings from health experts confirm how microbes in our gut play multiple roles in fighting infections, improving digestion and nutrient absorption, relieving constipation, managing weight by curbing appetite, and even improving our memory, focus and moods.
The excitement over these findings is generating much interest in social media about the value of adding probiotics in food and milk formula supplements for children’s health. Mom’s Gut Feel 101 provides you a series of articles to help you understand what is gut microbiome, its importance to your child’s immune system, metabolic balance, and multiple intelligence function, and how you can help support your child’s healthy gut microbiome.
Microbes in our gut – Yucky or Healthy?
The trillions of microbes and their genetic material that live in our digestive system or our gut is collectively called as Gut Microbiome. Mainly composed of bacteria, our gut microbiome is involved in functions critical to our health and well-being, or the state of being comfortable, healthy, and happy.
Our gut microbiome and digestion: Microbes in our gut play a key role in digesting the food we eat, help our digestive system absorb the essential nutrients that our body needs for growth, cell repair and regeneration, disease prevention, and other vital life functions.
Our gut microbiome and immune-system: The more diverse the microbes in our gut are, the healthier our gut and the stronger our immune system.
The less diverse gut microbiome among children born via caesarian section as compared to children born via natural or vaginal birth, for instance, is linked to higher risk of immune-related disorders such asthma, atopic dermatitis or eczema, allergies, infections of the gut and upper respiratory tract, and even development of chronic diseases such as diabetes in adulthood.
Our gut microbiome and metabolic health: Our ‘gut bugs’ are involved in important processes beyond our gut including metabolism, appetite regulation, and weight management —referred to as our metabolic health. Our gut microbiome produces and secretes hormones that play a role in digestion and satiety. These mighty microscopic bugs in our gut also regulate other hormones that influence metabolism, appetite, cell growth and reproduction.
Our gut microbiome and multiple intelligence function: Heard of ‘gut feeling’ or our intuitive feeling or instinctive reaction without a logical rationale? Scientifically, our gut and our brain are interconnected through our vagus nerve, the longest and most complex nerve that links our brain to our neck, heart, lungs and our gut! Our gut microbiome is involved in processes that activate specific neurons traveling through our vagus nerve, which acts as signals to the brain that something may be threatening or dangerous. While the ‘gut feel’ we know refers to warning against a potentially unfavorable decision, our gut microbes play a similar crucial role on the production of neurotransmitters important for promotion of positive mood and motivation, suppressing anxiety, and enhancing memory and concentration.
Now that you know how important the gut microbiome is, if you are interested to know how gut microbiome is developed, and how you can help optimize your child’s gut microbiome for enhanced immunity, metabolic health and multiple intelligence function, check out our related articles about the topic.