So…what does the microbiome actually do?
It’s true, we have a non-human entity living inside all of us that plays a super important role for our health! It’s pretty sci-fi! Our microbiome has several functions, here are four of the most important:
- It consumes fibre – which means that fibre actually feeds the good gut bacteria in our large intestine, keeping them healthy and well populated. A byproduct of this fermentation process is short chain fatty acid production (butyrate being the most important) which acts as an energy source for our colon cells. This can keep inflammation down, prevent leaky gut, and help to keep bowel cancer away.
- It helps to regulate immune function. It’s estimated that around 70-80% of immune cells are in the gut. The microbiome communicates and interacts with the immune cells, and influences the way our body reacts and responds to different antigens.
- It synthesises certain vitamins – like thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), pantothenic acid (B5), biotin (B7), folic acid (B9) as well as a large proportion of your daily vitamin K needs.
- It also manufacturers neurochemicals – including neurotransmitters like GABA, dopamine and serotonin. You’ll be shocked to learn that 95% of your serotonin – the feel good neurotransmitter – is produced by the microbiome in your gut!
Book a free 15 minute health discussion with me here to see whether your gut may be operating at optimum level.