Do you ever wonder what ‘Gut Health’ actually means? What about what causes Gut problems? Well we’re here to explain! PLUS, we delve into Gut-loving supplements, Gut Test results and what they really mean…
Gut Health; Let’s start from the beginning…
The lining of our large intestine is called the mucosa and, embedded in this wall, is our gut microbiome which is composed of lots and lots of bacteria. The composition of our gut microbiome is completely unique, like how our fingerprints are also unique to us. The microbiome contains upto 1000 species of bacteria!
Determining how healthy your microbiome is, depends on two factors:
- Diversity – this implies how many species of good bacteria you have. The more diversity you have, the healthier your microbiome is. That’s because individual bacteria species have specific beneficial roles to play.
- Abundance – this implies how many you’ve got. The higher the quantity of good bacteria you have, the healthier your microbiome is. The good bacteria help to maintain the health of our body in many ways (stimulate our immune system, produce healthy products (like Short-Chain Fatty Acids) and, suppress the growth of bad bacteria).
If your gut health score is equal to ten, it means you have a good proportion of healthy bacterial species.
However, you must remember that everyone is completely unique. You may have some of the same species as someone else, but have very different other species, so your value will be completely different.
So how do we get a gut health score of 10?
Let’s take a 35 year-old Male named Bill. The composition of Bill’s microbiome is a direct result of the 35 years of his life. This may sound hard to believe, but this starts from whether he was born through vaginal delivery or if he was born through Cesarean and even if he was breastfed or bottle fed. Our microbiome doesn’t vary much day-to-day, however a diet intervention, or introduction of medicines, can introduce significant changes. When you are born your gut is sterile (no bacteria) and so the formation of our microbiome starts from the very early days of our life. The first three years of our lives are very important, coined the ‘window of opportunity’. By the age of three, we pretty much have a fully developed microbiome, similar to an adult one.
This means that some people will have poorer gut health scores than others which is due to how they were brought up in those first three years of their lives, as well as their diet and lifestyle since then and also their genetics. However, the good news is that things can be done to change the composition of the microbiome. In this regard, the diet is the most influential factor. There is still vast research going on today around gut health so each day we are getting more information and learning more about it.
Implementing lifestyle changes and incorporating supplements
Certain lifestyle habits will affect the good gut bacteria and the abundance of it, more than others. For example:
- Drinking Alcohol
Let’s take a look at Bill again. Bill doesn’t eat many vegetables, he doesn’t eat much fibre (which means his diet isn’t very diverse) and he certainly doesn’t hold back on the pints at the weekend, but, he wants to improve his gut health as he has been experiencing some unwanted symptoms which he knows is a result of the state of his current gut health. He realises he has to change his diet and he wants to start taking supplements to help support this change. However, sometimes the addition of a supplement can be too much of a drastic change when starting from nothing.
Bill starts taking Aguulp for Gut which is a prebiotic (and fibre), that will feed all of his good bacteria and have the ability to change the composition of the bacteria in his gut microbiome. Some bacteria like it more than others. The good bacteria will feed on it, accelerate and multiply and this will reduce the amount of bad or opportunistic pathogenic bacteria. However, since Bill hasn’t had a varied diet full of fibre before, his tummy starts to react to the addition of fibre in Aguulp for Gut. He experienced some tummy pains and also a bit of bloating at first.
This is very common when first introducing Aguulp for Gut (it’s powerful stuff), or other prebiotics, since some people’s bodies aren’t used to the sudden increase in fibre. To reduce these initial symptoms, we therefore like to suggest reducing the amount to begin with (e.g. start with taking ½ a sachet per day) and then as your body gets used to it and symptoms calm down, you can progress to a full sachet per day.
Supplements say it in the name, they supplement a healthy diet and lifestyle. As we mentioned above, supplementing can then cause a drastic change in the gut which the body is not used to. The state of it can go up and go down and it can be complete chaos until everything settles down. Achieving optimal gut health also takes time. It’s not a quick fix and that’s why our “Gut It All” 12-week programme is three months, as we know that not everyone will experience benefits after a month or two, but it’s a long game and we should endeavor to adopt habits to ensure we continue to strive for the best results.
Gut Test results – The Second Test
If you have taken a second gut test after being on a course of probiotics, prebiotics or our “Gut It All” Programme, you may want some more information on the results of your second test. The second test can sometimes give a result that you may be confused by. We’d all expect to see improvements wouldn’t we? Well that’s not always the case. Your second test could also result in a neutral result or even a negative result. Let’s find out why…
- Positive results
Most people will see an improvement to their gut score after making positive changes to their diet and lifestyle, which is what we all want to see right? However, this does depend on the composition of your gut. We mentioned before about the three years it takes to develop our gut microbiomes and the state of that determining our future gut health. We also mentioned how to improve it through diet. These are both important factors to consider. So with that in mind and if you previously had an unhealthy diet (or didn’t focus too much on what you were putting into your body), you will likely see a positive second test result after a 12-week course of Aguulp for Gut, combined with making improvements to your initial diet and making other lifestyle changes. This is great, but remember to carry on with all of these amazing changes you’ve been doing so you can turn them into habits and continue to see improvements!
- Neutral results
Neutral results can also occur. If you are already eating well, have a healthy lifestyle, then you incorporate Aguulp for Gut into your diet, you won’t always see an immediate effect. However, there will be one in time and you have to persevere! Like we said before, achieving optimal gut health is a long game and it varies per person how long it takes to see improvements. Don’t just quit when you achieve it, you have to carry on maintaining it to ensure it continues to thrive!
- Negative results
This is also common, so do not be disheartened. If you receive a decrease to your gut score, compared to your first one, it’s because your gut is trying to find a new equilibrium. It takes time for good bacteria to multiply and then start producing key metabolites. As the good bacteria start to multiply, pathogenic bacteria start to reduce. When the good bacteria are stable, then they’ll start producing key metabolites, such as Short-Chain Fatty Acids. However this process can take 3-4 weeks or even 3-4 months depending on the current composition of your gut.
Short-Chain Fatty Acids are manufactured by the bacteria in the gut from our diet. So to increase the levels of SCFA’s, we want to improve our diet and the diversity and abundance of bacteria in our gut. Aguulp for Gut is a prebiotic which feeds our good bacteria and helps gut microbes to thrive by providing the right conditions for them to multiply, increasing the diversity and abundance of them. As the pathogenic bacteria then starts to reduce as a result, the good bacteria will start to produce more of these key metabolites (SCFA’s). In turn, this will reduce inflammation of the gut, digestive issues such as IBS and also have an effect on a whole load of initial unwanted symptoms.
Think of it as a weighing scale, tip the scales in favour of the good bacteria and they will thrive and multiply, protecting the mucosa from harmful invasions and improving our overall gut health.
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