Research continues to point to the importance of the microbiome on our overall state of health. It influences not only our digestion, but also our metabolism, brain and nervous system, immune system, hormones, and our risk of many common chronic degenerative diseases. The first 3-5 years of life are decisive in how our gut microbiota defines its unique “fingerprint”. This unique fingerprint will then decide how our microbiome expresses itself for the remainder of our lives. Taking steps to optimize our gut microbiota maybe one of the most important things we can to to improve our overall level of health.
Factors that Have an Adverse Effect on the Gut Microbiome
The cumulative and inter-generational effect of a disrupted microbiota passed from grandmother to mother to child caused by an accumulation of any of the factors as follows:
An imbalanced maternal microbiota, and the maternal use of antibiotics
Being born C-Section and having been formula-fed as an infant
Being raised in an overly "sanitized" environment
Indoor living, lack of contact with the outdoors
A diet high in processed foods such as sugar, flour products and industrial seed oils
Food additives, artificial sweeteners, artificial food colourings and food preservatives
GMOs: corn, soy, canola, cottonseed; meat/eggs/dairy from animals fed these grains
Pesticide residues in foods (ie glyphosate has been shown to have antibiotic activity)
Antibiotics - those prescribed and those found in the animal feed chain
“Disinfectant” chemicals: Chlorine in our water supply, hand sanitizers, Microban
Antacids and Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)
Anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxyn etc
Toxicity Encourages the Proliferation of a Unhealthy Microbiota
We are now starting to understand that one of the most significant contributors to the growth of an imbalanced microbiome is the level of toxicity of our tissues. The accumulation of toxins in our environment is now being echoed in our bodies. Certain microbes are drawn to this “garbage dump” of our bodies and find it to be a comfortable haven in which to live and proliferate.
Explore my posts on detoxification, fermented foods, probiotics, and prebiotics to learn more about how to repair your gut.