How Does Your Gut Control Infections?
The health of your gut determines what nutrients are absorbed and what toxins, allergens, and microbes are kept out. It is directly linked to the health of your whole body.
1. HEALTHY MICROFLORA
There are 500 species of bacteria in your gut which form a huge chemical factory that helps you digest your food, regulate hormones, excrete toxins, and produce vitamins and other healing compounds that keep your gut and your body healthy.
This ecosystem of friendly bacteria must be in balance for you to be healthy.
Too many of the wrong bacteria, like parasites and yeasts, or not enough of the good ones, like Lactobacillus or Bifidobacteria, can seriously damage your health.
So keeping a healthy balance of bugs in your intestines is one factor to good gut health.
2. GUT-IMMUNE SYSTEM
Your entire immune system – and the rest of your body – is protected from the toxic environment in your gut by a lining that is only one cell-thick layer.
If that barrier is damaged, you can become allergic to foods you may normally be able to digest perfectly well, you will get sick, your immune system will become overactive, and it will begin producing inflammation throughout your body.
Filtering out the good molecules from the bad molecules and protecting your immune system is yet another important factor in gut health.
3. YOUR SECOND BRAIN (“GUT BRAIN”)
Your gut actually contains more neurotransmitters than your brain? In fact, the gut has a brain of its own. It is called the “enteric nervous system” and it is a very sophisticated piece of your biology that is wired to your brain in intricate ways.
Messages constantly travel back and forth between your gut-brain and your head-brain, and when those messages are interfered with in any way your health will suffer.
4. METABOLIZE TOXINS
Your gut has to get rid of all the toxins produced as by-products of your metabolism, which your liver dumps into bile. If things get backed up when you are constipated, you will become toxic and your health will suffer.
5. NUTRIENT ABSORPTION AND ASSIMILATION
Your gut must break down all the food you eat into its individual components, separate out the vitamins and minerals, and shuttle everything across the one cell-thick layer mentioned above so it can get into your bloodstream and nourish your body and brain.
As you can see, your gut has quite a lot to manage. Even in perfect world, it is hard to keep all of this in balance. But in our modern world there are endless insults that can knock our digestive systems off balance.
It is that much more difficult to maintain excellent digestive health and as a result, it’s just so much easier to get infections and to get them more regularly.