The Intestine - More Important Than We Thought

Wednesday, 23. March 2016

The Intestine - More Important Than We Thought

The old adage that "all health begins in the gut" hits the nail on the head. The foundation of the immune system is located there, which is why it is important to keep the intestines healthy. Everyone can do a little something for better health. 

The intestine is a highly underrated organ. For decades, it was mostly ignored by medical research. Now, we are starting to understand the importance of the gut and the importance of a healthy intestinal flora for the immune system. Even in ancient times, we knew that poor digestion can cause many diseases. It's is only logical: if the intestines can't absorb nutrients adequately, the body will lack vital nutrients.

Facts & Figures

If you look at a few figures concerning the intestine, one can only marvel at this complex and sensitive organ. The average length of the intestine is eight meters long. It is controlled by about 100 million neurons. For this reason, the intestine has been nicknamed the "second brain". The importance of the gut is also reflected in the phase "to make a gut decision". 

A home for bacteria

100 trillion bacteria live in the gut. 99 percent of these bacteria belong to only four different strains. These bacteria form their own ecosystem, a whole different world inside every human being, and take over many tasks in the body. 

They:

  • prevent the spread of pathogens in the gut and protect against infections.
  • regulate the immune system.
  • are responsible for Vitamin K production.
  • protect against toxic substances and toxins.
  • stimulate bowel movement.

A Question of Health

The enormous importance of digestive tract health is evidenced by the following fact: 80 percent of the immune cells of the body are found in the gut. If there is a malfunction of the gut, it has far-reaching consequences. The following reactions can occur: 

  • mood swings
  • skin diseases
  • allergies
  • food intolerances

Improper diet can greatly impact the intestine, and can also greatly affect your energy. If you eat poorly, you'll feel sluggish and listless.

No need to panic though, the intestinal flora is relatively stable. Some factors may upset the balance though. These include eg. medication (antibiotics are like a nuclear bomb for the gut), bad eating habits and lifestyle factors (stress, psychological stress and environmental factors).

What you can do 

Each person has their digestive health in their own hands, because with the right habits can do a lot of good. The most important thing you can do is to support your intestinal flora or rebuild after hard times. Many foods are suitable or even specifically targeted probiotics for the intestinal flora. In addition, a low fat, low sugar and high fiber diet contributes significantly to the maintenance of a healthy gut or to restoring upset intestinal flora. This will help you stay healthy into old age.