cucciaman360 karma2021-08-04 17:25:27 UTC
Thanks for the great question! While this list is not exhaustive, here are a few things that have been associated with improving or harming your gut microbiome.
Improvement of microbiome:
An important habit that affects the microbiome is the food you consume. Your diet not only provides you energy and nutrients, but also feeds the bacteria living throughout your gastrointestinal tract. In order to improve and maintain your gut microbiome, it is important to provide the nutrients healthy bacteria need to survive.One dietary pattern that has been associated with improved gut microbiomes is the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, olive oil, and meats such as fish and poultry and limits consumption of red meats and refined grains.
Another way to improve your gut microbiome health is by adding fermented foods, such as kombucha, kefir, yogurt, kimchi, to your diet. Fermented foods contain live, beneficial bacteria that can lead to improvements in your gut microbiome. In addition, contain a lot of compounds formed through the process of fermentation that are beneficial to you and the bacteria already in your gut.
In addition, other lifestyle aspects have been associated with features of a healthy gut microbiome. Specifically, some studies have identified links between good sleep quality and exercise with positive aspects of the gut microbiome.
Disruption of microbiome:
Just like your diet can improve your gut microbiome, it can also disrupt the bacteria in your gut and allow for growth of harmful bacteria. Diets high in processed foods, sugars, and fats and with low intake of fibre and fruits and vegetables have been linked to disruption of the gut microbiome. In fact, these diets are thought to play a role in the increasing incidence of the chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Cigarette smoking also harms the gut microbiome and has been identified as a risk factor for chronic diseases such as IBD.
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cucciaman245 karma2021-09-22 16:17:07 UTC
Hey u/VS-Banana & u/LordFluffy! I always love discussing this topic! The research on microbiome and mental health is ongoing and never fails to fascinate me. The brain-gut axis is a two-way relationship and these two organ systems basically communicate with each other through signals, the microbiome, and the vagus nerve. Here's an example of this research. The brain-gut axis is linked to both microbiome and mood disorders.
For example, mood-related disorders like anxiety and depression have been linked to abnormal gut microbiome activity, such as stress responses and inflammation occurring due to compounds produced by gut microbiota (for example, short-chain fatty acids and serotonin). The risk of such mood disorders is also increased in people with gut issues, such as inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome, due to changes in healthy gut bacteria and the stress of coping with chronic, stigmatized gut health issues, among numerous other factors. In fact, this study suggests that people with IBS are three times more likely to have anxiety or depression, so that's not a link we can really ignore if we want to investigate the relationship between the brain and gut.
So gut microbiota trigger stress responses that affect mood, while being stressed or anxious can also trigger gastrointestinal symptoms. It makes sense why many people with gut issues are encouraged to try meditation; healing and centering the mind and body can help relieve symptoms (including anxiety, abdominal pain, etc)! This helps to explain why we consider the relationship between the brain and the gut bidirectional. You can read more on the science here!
cucciaman225 karma2021-09-22 16:27:08 UTC
To start with, at this point no probiotics have been approved for the treatment of any disease. But this doesn’t mean they do not have the potential to help in the future. Several clinical trials have been completed to determine if probiotics have an effect on a variety of different health measures. One exciting probiotic in development is VSL no. 3 which consists of 8 different probiotic bacteria. Some small clinical trials have suggested this probiotic helps prevent pouchitis in adult patients, although further larger studies are needed to better assess the probiotics efficacy (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17033538/).
One aspect that makes developing a probiotic difficult is the personalized nature of the microbiome. The gut microbiomes of two individuals can vary drastically depending on a variety of lifestyle factors, with these differences affecting whether the probiotic bacteria will be able to thrive in their gut. In future studies, it will be important to identify the bacteria in the patient’s gut before and after probiotic treatment to better understand the dynamic changes occurring and hopefully identify you will be responsive to the probiotic.
As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, one of the best ways to maintain a healthy gut is through the food you consume. Your diet not only provides the nutrients you require but also those that the bacteria in your gut need to survive. One dietary pattern that provides a rich source of nutrients for you and your gut is the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, olive oil, and meats such as fish and poultry and limits consumption of red meats and refined grains.
cucciaman221 karma2021-08-04 17:19:07 UTC
Hi u/ripthatsong, thanks for the question. There's a saying that the gut is your second brain, and I think that's a fitting way to get into the topic of the link between the brain and gut. The brain-gut axis is a two-way highway of communication between these regions of our bodies. This relationship is bidirectional, meaning the activity and functioning of one can affect the other.
In short, all the germs in our guts, what we call gut microbiota, have a lot to do with our mood, due to this brain-gut axis. For example, mood-related disorders such as anxiety and depression have been linked to abnormal gut microbiome activity, such as stress responses and inflammation occurring due to compounds produced by gut microbiota (for example, short-chain fatty acids). The risk of such mood disorders is also increased in people with gut issues, such as inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome, due to changes in healthy gut bacteria and the stress of coping with chronic, stigmatized gut health issues, among numerous other factors.
Not only can gut microbiota trigger stress responses that affect mood, but being stressed or anxious can also trigger gastrointestinal symptoms. There's a good reason why many people with gut issues are encouraged to try meditation; healing and centering the mind and body can improve symptoms! This helps to explain why we consider the relationship between the brain and the gut bidirectional. There's tons more we could discuss on the topic of mental health, mood, the gut microbiota, and gut disorders, but I hope this provided a brief synthesis of some evidence to answer your question! -LC
cucciaman202 karma2021-08-04 17:40:21 UTC
There is definitely a link between microbiome and autoimmune disorders. Almost every autoimmune disorder has been linked with changes in the gut microbiome as well as its corresponding microbiome (ex: skin microbiome of individuals with psoriasis is distinct from healthy individuals). What is surprising and interesting is that something like the gut microbiome, which is so far from the skin, is linked to psoriasis.
Our current understanding of this is that the gut microbiome has some form of two-way relationship with the immune system, which in turn is the direct driver of autoimmune illness. Therefore, the gut microbiome is indirectly connected to these illnesses via the immune system.
In terms of diet, there is definitely a possibility to reduce flareups with a change in diet. Diet has a large impact on the microbiome and diets high in processed foods and sugar such as the Western diet have been directly linked to increases in psoriasis severity. This is believed to be because of the fact that such a diet may promote the growth of non-beneficial bacteria that actually trigger the immune system.
As I mentioned in a comment about Ulcerative colitis above, the unfortunate part of this is that it is highly personalized. A diet that might help with psoriasis in one person might not help someone else. What there is consensus on though is that common triggers such as stress, processed sugar, alcohol, and dairy should be first eliminated from the diet prior to larger diet changes.
I am actually working with a team of doctors, data scientists as well as autoimmune patients on an app that allows patients to track their symptoms and lifestyle in order to quickly discover lifestyle and dietary triggers and help them manage their illness. This of course is not a substitute for medication in treating things such as psoriasis, but can be highly beneficial when used in combination.
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