How Healthy is Your Gut?

Scientists that were experimenting with fruit flies in order to try and understand how some people remain in good health well into old age are finding out that it might have something to do with the gut.

There have been other recent studies have also started linking diseases like diabetes and Parkinson’s to changes in a person’s gut bacteria. The cause of gut problems are vast and hard to find a cause to how this can happen. With age the number of bacterial cells increase and bacteria does change inside the gut.

Researchers used fruit flies because they have a very short life span. Normally they live for a period of about eight weeks and they are good to study because of the diverse ages at which they die.

“One of the big questions in the biology of aging relates to the large variation in how we age and how long we live,” Walker said.  In addition, scientists have managed to identify all of a fruit fly’s genes and are able to turn them on and off individually. That capability adds a number of variables to experiments and research.

According to Agence France-Presse:

“Springboarding off previous research in which they observed that the flies develop leaky guts within days before dying, they analyzed the gut bacteria  — collectively referred to as the microbiota — of more than 10,000 female flies.”

What they did was isolate distinct groups of flies.  Then they gave antibiotics to reduce the number of species found in the intestinal tract.  This resulted in improved digestive function as they aged.

“When we prevented the changes in the intestinal microbiota that were linked to the flies’ imminent death by feeding them antibiotics, we dramatically extended their lives and improved their health,” Walker told AFP.

Flies that were given antibiotics lived for an average of 20 days.  This is substantially longer than a normal flies lifespan.

Obviously Good Gut Health is important for a healthy body:

Working in conjunction with researchers from the Scripps Research Institute in Florida, a team took a large portion of flies that had no germs at all and whose guts were had no microbes. Those flies lived an average of 80 days or about 1.5 times longer than flies that had not been altered.

The study followed another in which researchers were able to map out how microbiota change over the course of a lifetime. The earlier study has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Cell Reports.

We all know that having a strong gut is the key for wellness.  In 2013, Natural News wrote an article which stated that researchers at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta were surprised to discover that healthy gut bacteria helped to regrow damaged intestinal tissues: Here is what they found:

Lactobacillus bacteria was observed to stimulate the production and cellular proliferation of NADPH oxidase 1 which serve as signaling messengers for the various systems of the body that regulate normal and healthy bodily physiology. Without these important messengers, the digestive system in particular will not work well and in a sense kind of go crazy.  This will result in metabolic and infectious disorders, allergies and gut conditions like inflammatory bowel disease.

Gut problems are increasing in our community because of unhealthy eating, pesticides in our food and processed or boxed foods.  Our guts try hard to stay healthy but long abuse of foods and internal toxins make their job difficult.  Please be good to your body and give it what it needs….fruits, vegetables and healthy fats.  It will fuel your body well!