Most people start fermenting good gut bacteria from their mother's breast milk. There are around 40 trillion bacterial cells in your body. They come from a wide variety of sources. One type can only be found in the milk or meat of cud chewing bovine. If your gut bacteria are destroyed, it is very difficult to re-establish. Eating and/or drinking probiotics will not in-and-of-itself re-establish good gut bacteria. COVID (and other conditions) destroys good gut bacteria resulting in a compromised immune system. The best way to re-establish your good gut bacteria is to consume breast milk for at least 6 months. Alternatively, you need to get all the right ingredients for fermentation including the proper 300 to 500 bacterial types, chemicals for the reaction, and lots of fiber.
Your gut bacteria changes throughout the day. The makeup of the bacteria cultures varies depending on what your body is doing. Eating, exercising, and sleeping will alter the good gut bacteria needed for the job. Changing your sleep schedule, or other changes to lifestyle, may result in noticeable changes in your digestion (runny stool to constipation.) Other reasons you may notice changes in your good gut bacteria activity include breaking down toxic food compounds or providing protection from pathogenic organisms (that enter the body through drinking or eating contaminated water or food.)
There is a symbiotic relationship between good gut bacteria and vitamins. "It has been known for decades that intestinal bacteria make important contributions to human metabolism and physiology. Perhaps the example best known to clinicians is the microbial synthesis of the essential nutrient vitamin B12 ó the enzymes required for B12 synthesis are possessed by bacteria but not by plants or animals." (Microbial production of vitamin B12)
Several bacterial genera that are common in the distal intestine (e.g., Bacteroides, Bifidobacterium, and Enterococcus) are known to synthesize vitamins. Thiamine, folate, biotin, riboflavin, and panthothenic acid are water-soluble vitamins that are plentiful in the diet, but that are also synthesized by gut bacteria. Likewise, it has been estimated that up to half of the daily Vitamin K requirement is provided by gut bacteria. Interestingly, the molecular structure of bacterially synthesized vitamins is not always identical to the dietary forms of the vitamins. In fact, several specialized epithelial transporters have been recognized to participate specifically in the absorption of vitamins derived from gut bacteria. (Contributions of Intestinal Bacteria to Nutrition and Metabolism in the Critically Ill)
Vitamin D and its nuclear receptor (VDR) regulate intestinal barrier integrity, and control innate and adaptive immunity in the gut. (Vitamin D and the Host-Gut Microbiome)
Sunlight and the photosynthesis of vitamin D also play an important and symbiotic role in maintaining good gut health.
Soluble fiber benefits your digestion, gut bacteria, and blood sugar levels.
New knowledge about the gut microbiota and its interaction with the hostís metabolic regulation has emerged during the last few decades. Several factors may affect the composition of the gut microbiota, including dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is not hydrolyzed by human digestive enzymes, but it is acted upon by gut microbes, and metabolites like short-chain fatty acids are produced. The short-chain fatty acids may be absorbed into the circulation and affect metabolic regulation in the host or be a substrate for other microbes. (Dietary Fiber, Gut Microbiota, and Metabolic Regulation)
The best sources of dietary fiber are: beans, whole grains, brown rice, popcorn, nuts, baked potato with skin, berries, and bran cereal. Juicing and/or blending destroys most of the fiber.
A study "Cancer Prevention with Resistant Starch" (conducted over the last 30 years) shows that resistant starch reduces your risk of cancer. Good sources of resistant starch include rice or potatoes that have been cooked and cooled, as well as, whole grains such as barley and oats. The resistant starches produce good bacteria that reduces a type of acid that promotes changes to your DNA. The changes to your DNA increase the risk of many types of cancer. The discovery may also explain in part why COVID increases your risk of cancer. COVID is known to destroy good gut bacteria.
How to improve your biome
1) Increase your intake of fiber and fermented foods. There are 2 types of important fiber foods: fructans (that include onions, garlic, and wheat) and cellulose (that include broccoli stems, carrot peels, and asparagus stalks.) Fermented foods include yogurt and cheeses with live active cultures, as well as pickled vegetables.
2) Sunlight. Exposure to the sun plays important roles in your microbiome. Circadian rhythms are natural body processes that primarily respond to light and dark including changes to microbes. Sunlight turns on and off biome processes in the gut. Sunlight is also crucial in the photosynthesis of vitamin D. Sunlight hits the skin and photolyzes previtamin D3, photo proteins, melatonin, other hormones and important ingredients needed for good gut health.
3) Eat at least 30 varieties of plant foods (herbs, fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds) every week. The American Gut Study found people eating a diet diverse in plant foods had a significantly more diverse microbiome. It is not the quantity that is most important. By eating more than 30 varieties you will be sure to get enough of the many different kinds of sources needed for good gut biome. Whole foods (not blended nor juiced) should be bitten, chewed, and swallowed. Even the touch and aroma promote biome growth.
4) Exposure to certain microbes found in the air or acquired by touch. Deep woods walks and "forest bathing" provide phytoncides. The US Department of Agriculture reports, "These chemicals are natural oils that plants use to defend themselves against unwanted pests such as insects, bacteria or fungi. Phytoncides improve the human immune system by increasing natural killer cell activity. These cells respond rapidly to virus-infected cells and tumor formation. Studies show that increased natural cell activity can last for more than 30 days after a trip to a forest, suggesting that a trip once a month would enable individuals to maintain a higher level of natural killer cell activity. Other benefits from phytoncides include an increase in anti-cancer proteins; a reduction in blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormones; reduced test scores for anxiety, depression, anger, fatigue, and confusion; and increased scores for vigor." Exposure to pets that are mammals, in particular dogs. The study "Cohabiting family members share microbiota with one another and with their dogs" found that adult skin microbiomes are more similar to their own dogs than other dogs. Dog-owning couples living together shared more microbes than couples without a dog. Even if dog owners aren't living in the same household, they have more microorganisms in common with each other than those without dogs.
5) Beer. Several studied have found beer is good for gut microbiome. The study "Impact of Beer and Nonalcoholic Beer Consumption on the Gut Microbiota: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled Trial" found: Nonalcoholic and alcoholic beer increased gut microbiota diversity which has been associated with positive health outcomes. Hop polyphenols contain interesting amounts of prenylflavonoids, namely xanthohumol. Similar to other classes of phenolic compounds, beer polyphenols might reach the gut where they can modulate bacterial growth. In addition, some beers may contain live fermentation microorganisms.
6) Vinegar. The Cleveland Clinic advises: Raw apple cider vinegar contains natural probiotics (friendly bacteria which may help with your immune system and gut health) and antioxidants (substances that can prevent damage to your body's cells.)
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