Sunday, May 22, 2016
May 29th is World Digestive Health Day and we’re marking the occasion by sharing some lesser-known facts about your gut!
1. Your gut is a 'microbiome' - it controls everything from your immunity to your mood!
2. Every time you eat, go outside, share a kiss or take a course of antibiotics, it impacts the balance of microbes in your gut. That’ll explain the ‘gut feeling'!
3. When a baby passes through the birth canal, it picks up billions of bacteria which form the microbiome; this goes on to offer protection for the rest of that person’s life.
4. Babies who are not exposed to the same level of bacteria, because they are born through c-section, have higher rates of asthma, allergies and atopic disease.
5. Hepatitis A, which is transmitted orally, can be found in freshwater wells, so perhaps take along a bottle of water next time you hike!
6. Giardia is a disease normally seen in patients who go abroad to areas with poor water supply. However, it can also be picked up in the UK by drinking contaminated water.
7. Excessive hand washing can be bad for your health! Research suggests that rather than keeping us healthy, by washing away the good bacteria - as well as the bad - we are actually exposing ourselves to greater health risks.
8. Natural sources of good bacteria include: live yoghurt, onion, garlic, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, lentils and beans – so stock up!
9. Some studies suggest that as much as 90% of the body's "happy hormone" serotonin is synthesised by gut bacteria. Altered levels of serotonin have been implicated in conditions such as IBS, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
10. Positive visualisation, a hypnotherapy technique which involves patients imagining the digestive system as a river, has been shown to improve symptoms of IBS for as long as five years.
Want to know more? Our chief pharmacist recently spoke to Good Housekeeping. Read the story here.