Gut Health -importance in Lifestyle Diseases - Archanaagarwaldiet.com
✅The gut is a slang term used for describing the Gastrointestinal the intestinal tract which is an organ system starting from the mouth from where we ingest the food to the rectum from where the food is eliminated after it is digested and absorbed!! Medically the small intestine specifically comes closest to defining the gut.
✅Body’s various systems work closely together to maintain optimal health and when one is off balance it ignites a cascade of health problems. The small intestine is the organ where maximum absorption of essential nutrients takes place. It is of utmost importance that any harmful pathogens or invaders which get ingested with our food are not absorbed into the bloodstream during this process.This is well taken care of by a strong immune system.The gut houses close to 70% of immune cells which are known as “Peyer’s patches”. These ensure that the mucous membranes of the small intestines are protected from pathogens and toxins ingested with our food by releasing white blood cells (T-cells and B cells). These cells act as a protective barrier between the invaders from the outside world and our bloodstream!
✅The integrity of these immune cells is maintained by the presence of colonies of healthy gut bacteria along with biodiversity of trillions of microorganism together called the gut microbiota. The microbiome is the collective genome of these microorganisms consisting of over three million genes producing thousands of metabolites.
✅ A lower density of the microbiota in the gut has been found and correlated to autoimmune diseases, obesity, cardiometabolic conditions as well in elderly people. Gut microbes have an intrinsic relationship and are key to many aspects of human health including our gut health, our immune, metabolic and neurobehavioural traits !!
✅ The gut microbiota provides essential environments for the fermentation of non-digestible substrates like dietary fibers and endogenous intestinal mucus. This fermentation supports the growth of specialist microbes that produce short-chain fatty acids mainly butyrate, acetates, propionate. Each one of them has a specific benefit –
a) Most important of these are the main energy sources of colonocytes.
b) Inducing apoptosis of colon cancer cells.
c) Glucose & energy homeostasis.
d) Maintaining oxygen balance in the gut preventing imbalances in the gut microbiota.
✅ The neurological functions which are of prime importance in preventing obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic disorders are governed by signals of satiety by gut fatty acid receptors and central appetite regulation.
Other areas where they contribute to good health are through cholesterol metabolism, bile acid metabolism, gut hormones regulation, reducing diet-induced obesity, prevention of atherosclerosis, adverse cardiovascular events.
Let us now reflect on the intimate connection between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract. The emotions like anger, fear, anxiety, sadness, elation are all reflected in the gut. This is because our gastrointestinal tract is very sensitive to emotions. The brain is the organ which triggers these emotions through the nerve pathways but these are reflected in the gut. No wonder we feel nauseated with anxiety before a presentation or feel butterflies in the stomach when excited or elated or a stomach-wrenching sensation when fearful or anxious !!!
✅ Psychosocial factors affect the actual physiology of the gut, a troubled intestine can have a direct disturbing effect on the brain disturbing the nerve pathways to convey important signals for body functions. Similarly, a troubled brain can send a distress signal to the stomach and the intestine. This may affect its movements and contractions, cause inflammation, which makes them more susceptible to infection. Research suggests that people under stress feel existing pain more acutely because of their greater response to pain signals from the GI tract.