Myth #1: Digestive Problems only surface in the Gut.

Recent research has revealed that the balance of the bacteria in our gastrointestinal tracts effects a lot more than just our gut health.

In fact, an imbalance in the microflora, called dysbiosis, is associated with increased susceptibility to infections as well as to non-communicable diseases like:

- obesity

- metabolic syndromes (e.g., diabetes and cardiovascular diseases)

- allergies

- other inflammatory diseases [1]

- disrupted sleep-wake cycles (in mice and humans) [2]

From birth, the normal gut microbiota contributes to the development of gut function and to the regulation and maintenance of intestinal barrier function; it provides protection against infection, promotes tolerance of foods and builds the immune system.

Therefore, it make sense that an imbalance in the gut can weaken the overall immune system and make the host more susceptible to colds and other pathogens [3].

Moreover, emerging evidence suggests a link between gut microbiota and the brain, suggesting that these microbes may play a role in neurological disorders as well as in perception, behavior and emotional responses of the host.

However, it is still not clear whether the dysbiosis is the cause or the consequence of the associated conditions.

What is clear is that it may be possible to design new strategies for the management of many of these conditions and their associated symptoms by manipulating gut microbiota [1].

Probiotics and prebiotics have been at the forefront of such strategies. In addition to a healthy diet, pro and prebiotics help to correct dysbiosis.

While probiotics provide beneficial flora, prebiotics may offer an alternative or symbiotic benefit to probiotics as they have been used to stimulate beneficial bacteria to help to restore balance.

In contrast to the probiotic action, which provides living microorganisms, prebiotics stimulate the activity of healthful bacteria [4].

There is room for new and complementary techniques to further assist in correcting dysbiosis and its associated symptoms [1].

Products that reduce the occurrence of non-beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract, and help promote the attachment of beneficial flora to restore optimal microbial diversity, can improve gastrointestinal function and overall wellbeing.

So remember, even something as seemingly minor as just feeling tired or having a runny nose can be a sign that your gut is out of balance and you may need to take steps to rebalance.

Watch the rest of the video series here: Gut Busters


  1. Sirisinha, S. The potential impact of gut microbiota on your health: Current status and future challenges. Asian Pac J Allergy Immunol. 2016 Dec;34(4):249-264. doi: 10.12932/AP0803.

  2. Reynolds, AC., Paterson, JL., Ferguson, SA., Stanley, D., Wright, KP., Dawson, D. The shift work and health research agenda: Considering changes in gut microbiota as a pathway linking shift work, sleep loss and circadian misalignment, and metabolic disease. Sleep Med Rev. 2016 Jul 11. pii: S1087-0792(16)30061-2. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2016.06.009. [Epub ahead of print]

  3. Olivier G. Potential role of the intestinal microbiota in programming health and disease. Nutrition Reviews. 2015, 73 (1) 32-40; DOI: 10.1093/nutrit/nuv039

  4. Vitetta L, Coulson S, Linnane AW, Butt H. The Gastrointestinal Microbiome and Musculoskeletal Diseases: A Beneficial Role for Probiotics and Prebiotics. Pathogens. 2013;2(4):606-626. doi:10.3390/pathogens2040606.

#dysbiosis #symbiotics #prebiotics #bacteria #microbiome #beneficialbacteria #gut #gutflora #probiotics #guthealth #brain #microbiota #immunesystem

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