The Importance of Gut Health
Gut health is a very important part of the functioning of our bodies. A healthy gut can contribute to a strong immune system, effective digestion and even heart & brain health . Poor gut health can lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) including conditions such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but is linked to numerous factors such as stress, alterations in intestinal muscle resulting in food passing through your gut too slowly or too quickly, the gut nervous system and dietary influences . Optimising the microbiome is a potentially effective way of maintaining excellent gut health.
The gut microbiome is the name given to the population of trillions of bacteria that live in our gastrointestinal tract - where our food is absorbed & digested. This population of microorganisms is made up of 1000s of different species of predominantly bacteria . The gut microbiome can now best be thought of as a virtual organ of the body which can influence our overall health.
The gut microbiome has been shown to be associated with and influence numerous aspects of our health including our immune function, metabolism and cardiovascular health but how does it do this? The bacteria of the microbiome function to enable the fermentation of fibres and the production of metabolites known as Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA). These SCFAs go to different areas of the body to assist our internal processes. For example, one such SCFA, butyrate, can help with the maintenance and metabolism of our blood glucose  and can protect against diet induced obesity .
There are a number of ways in which we can influence our gut health, these include simple daily activities such as staying hydrated, getting the suggested minimum amount of sleep, exercise, optimising stress management and monitoring our diets to avoid irritating our gastrointestinal tract . Further ways to improve our gut health is through our daily nutritional intake of fibre, vitamins, prebiotics, probiotics & minerals. Foods such as vegetables which contain polyphenols such as. broccoli, spinach, tart cherries which are all included in Whole Supp have been shown to reduce markers of the metabolic syndrome . Examples of other vitamins and minerals which can positively influence our gut health include selenium, iron, zinc, magnesium and vitamins B, C & D.
Possibly the best way to influence our gut health positively is through our daily intake of fibre. Dietary fibre is acted upon by the gut microbes and metabolites such as short-chain fatty acids are produced from this interaction . In a review study of dietary fibre and the gut microbiota, it is reported that with increases in gut-derived short-chain fatty acids, there have been effects such as improved insulin sensitivity, weight regulation and reduced inflammation . Based upon these findings, the effect of fibre on the gut microbiome seems to have a knock on effect upon many other important aspects of human health. A great way to ensure you reach your daily recommended dosage of 30g of fibre per day  is through one serving of our Smart Food formulation, which contains 7g of fibre.
When looking at the minerals that affect the gut microbiome, there are a number which have an important impact. Selenium deficiency may result in a phenotype of gut microbiota which increases susceptibility to IBS, cardiovascular issues and even cancer . The amount of zinc we consume on a daily basis is also largely important to our gut microbiome, consuming too little zinc in our diets causes shifts in our guts which can cause inflammation . Magnesium is another important mineral when it comes to gut health, as it may ease symptoms of both abdominal cramping and constipation . One serving of Whole Supp offers us 20% of our daily requirements of each of these key minerals.
Vitamins also play a large role in our gut health. Vitamin C supplementation has been shown to have positive altering effects on the gut microbiota. This bacteria that can be positively altered by vitamin C has anti-inflammatory properties which are strongly associated with positive gut health . B vitamins are another key influencer on our gut microbiome. B vitamins in the distal colon have many positive effects, including regulating immune cell activity, supporting certain important bacteria & suppressing pathogenic bacteria . Another excellent aspect of a single serving of Whole Supp is that you can gain 20% of your daily dose of Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12 and C.
There are many aspects of our diet and lifestyle that can affect our gut microbiome & health. The largest influencer on the health of our guts is our daily nutritional intake. Whole Supp can most certainly go a long way towards supporting our bodies daily needs of vitamins, minerals and fibre & in turn boost the healthy bacteria that populate our guts.