It’s not just what we eat that can affect our gut bacteria. What we do (or don’t do), where we spend time and who we spend time with all have effects.
Your gut bugs love exercise! Elite athletes have a specific set of gut microbes – for example marathon runners contain an abundance of Veillonella which thrive in a high-lactate environment. But all types of exercise, from yoga to running a marathon, result in homeostatic and physiological changes that affect your gut microbiota. It’s a win-win!
Health and well-being are intricately linked. Mental stress can have physical effects too. Our bodies respond to stress by releasing chemical messengers such as catecholamines. These trigger responses from many body systems, including the gut. They can decrease stomach acid production, changing the bacteria that gain entry to the gut, increase gut muscle activity changing the passage of food through the gut and over time decrease immune system function, which impacts on gut health.
Microbes are all around us, in vast numbers. Different environments contain different microbes and thus change the bacteria that we are exposed to. The built environment of towns and cities contain very different microbial communities from rural settings. This impacts on the microbiomes of our bodies, linking our external and internal environments.
Each person has a unique microbiome, so perhaps its not surprising that the microbiomes of different species are quite distinct, including those of our pets, and we’re exposed to their microbiomes when we interact with them. But don’t worry, pets can add to the microbial diversity of our home environments, and this can be a good thing, although care must be taken as some bugs that are harmless to them can be a problem for us in some circumstances.
Find out who’s living in your gut today!
Healthy Bacteria = Healthy Living