Gut: (Called Microbiota and/or Flora) The lower portion of the digestive system. Small Intestines + Large Intestines.
Microbe: Single celled organism. They include bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses.
Flora / Gut Microbiome / Microbial Community: These are all interchangeable. Whenever you hear about these, we are talking about the bacteria, fungus, yeasts that call your body home. They live on our skin, mouth, gut, hair, etc. The gut flora is becoming a health hot topic thanks to its ever growing connection with disease, cancer, weight, and optimal health.
Probiotic: A microbial supplement or food that has microbes that have been show to help with digestion and promoting diversity of microbes.
Prebiotic: Food that cannot be digested by our gut alone, but by our flora. This helps grow microbes! And in turn, the flora will produce vitamins and unlockable nutrients.
Microbial Diversity: These are the thousands of different microbial species living amongst one another. According to recent studies, the higher microbial diversity, the better your health.
Fermentation: The process of bacteria breaking down foods into different fatty acids and nutrients in the large intestine.
Overgrowth and SIBO: SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) – This is when our flora gets an opportunistic microbe that “blooms” and creates an imbalance in the flora.
Small Intestines: Largest organ in the body; if spread out would cover two tennis courts. This is where we absorb our foods nutrients. Small microbial community lives here. Having too many microbes inside of the small intestines will create SIBO. This will prevent the absorption of our nutrients from your food and supplements.
Large Intestines: Large intestines really isn’t that large, but its diameter is bigger than the small intestines. The large intestines or colon, is a fermentation hut. This is where you will find the largest amount of microbial diversity.
Villa: These are finger like extensions that hang off our small intestines. They absorb our foods and provide safe harboring for beneficial bacterial communities in our gut. Losing the villa can happen when the gut becomes inflamed and has breaks in the epithelial walls.
Leaky Gut: If the villa becomes inflamed it can create breaks in the gut lining. Since the gut is extremely sensitive (having only one cell of thickness), prolonged inflammation will create multitude of breaks in the gut. This will allow proteins, microbes, and other non-native by-products to flow into the blood stream.
What does the flora do?
The flora has been shown to play an important role in maintaining ideal weight, digesting foods, and now even preventing or creating disease. By harboring a diverse group of microbes and feeding them the proper foods, you can create a happy microbial community.
Why should I care?
The best way to stop disease from effecting us is by preventing it. Adopting a healthy diet + active lifestyle will give microbes the base needed to survive and flourish in your gut.
Is everyone’s different?
Each and every flora is different. You can call it your own microbial fingerprint. But we do know there are certain microbes that provide health benefits in the right amount of numbers. More information is coming each day about the function of each and every microbe.
Can I change my bugs and good flora?
YES!!! Each meal you eat, the flora changes, constantly shifting, according to the foods we consume. This allows us to form different communities according to our lifestyle and foods. It has been shown that consuming whole foods that have fiber can help create good microbial diversity of beneficial microbes. Plus, adding a Bacillus bacteria or other live probiotics to your daily routine will change your gut diversity for the better. Prebiotics are key to feeding the bugs. Feed the bugs so they protect you and keep you trim and well.
What is a good flora?
Good flora is a debatable topic, considering each and every one of us is unique, blood types, genes, and lifestyle all play a role in the type of flora that can be inhabited by our gut. Good flora would be flora that doesn’t produce toxic byproducts.
What is a bad flora?
A mismatch and out of balance flora is considered bad flora. There are known species that can cause gastro-distress. Everybody has their own unique match, but when you have bad flora you will know it via bad gas, poor stools, upset stomach, etc.