All about gut health?
As the name suggests, gutwellsoon is a website dedicated to sharing information about the role gut bacteria plays in health. Over the last decade evidence has been mounting that the bacteria in our body, predominantly our digestive tract, is directly correlated with our physical and mental health. In particular that fermented foods have an important role to play in maintaining a healthy level of gut flora (the quality and quantity of beneficial gut microbes). This website shares scientific findings, personal insights and links to other resources. All visitors should take a look at the terms and conditions for users. Whilst we do feature some personal accounts, the blog’s primary goal is to share scientific knowledge and highlight media reports. We make no claims about the information we link to on these pages, other than we think it is worth sharing. We do not offer advice for specific health condition, although we encourage visitors to share their experiences via the comment boxes. The publishers cannot take responsibility for third party comments.
We (the publishers) began this blog after first coming into contact with home fermentation, our initial project was simply to increase the diversity of our own gut bacteria. But once you start reading about the human microbiota (the collection of bacteria, archaea, fungi, protists and viruses that lives within and on humans) it becomes a compelling pursuit. Compelling because the scientific evidence linking gut bacteria (in particular) to human physical and mental health challenges many of the ideas that we generally hold to be reliable. For example that what we eat is related to mental health problems like depression. Dysfunctional eating has long been seen as a symptom of depression or stress or anxiety. Increasingly science is demonstrating that what we eat may be part of the cause rather than a symptom.
A key issue to consider is correlation, often physical and metal health problems are correlated to gut bacteria. That means people with a certain microbiota signature appear more likely to suffer from a particular disease. The relationship between the disease and the microbiota is not always clear, but it is generally assumed that improving gut health is fairly simple. This opens a door to a radical change in how we think about illness. Firstly we can instantly reduce the risk of developing a wide range of health problems by changing our diet, secondly we might be able to cure certain conditions currently treated by pharmaceutical or therapeutic interventions through our diet! This is where fermentation starts to be important, some fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kefir are known to introduce literally billions of beneficial microbes into your digestive tract, cheaply and safely. Many fermented foods are traditional but there is growing evidence that some commercially available fermented products contain less beneficial bacteria that you would expected to find if you made them at home. I know drink home made soya kefir every morning and orange kefir every evening, I also regularly ferment cabbage and ginger. As far as I can tell it has made significant changes to my health.
So this is the background to why we blog about fermentation, it would appear to offer cheap and simple life changing benefits to most of the population. Do some research and you will find strong evidence linking human microbes to migraines, depression, obesity, poor memory and anxiety and even Alzhiemer’s disease. There is a second point to make and that is if we eat food that limits the healthy performance of the body, or restricts the gut flora can also be harmful. There are a number of important studies that show diet has been correlated with cancer (for example colon and breast cancer), therefore inevitably any discussion linked to the microbiome and fermentation overlaps into diet and health more generally.
We always welcome feedback, please leave comments if you have something to share.