A growing body of research suggests that the trick to a long, healthy life lies in the gut. Your combination of gut bacteria may determine how well you age.
Let’s take a look at why and how you can actively alter that bacteria so you can live a long and healthy life.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: WHAT ARE GUT BACTERIA?
All of us have thousands of tiny bugs that hang out in our gut, and bacteria are the most studied of these microbes. There are bad and good types of bacteria. The goal is to have a healthy balance of both in your gut microbiome.
Gut bacteria are extremely important and they work hard for us, but studies have found that too much bad bacteria can cause diseases. On the other hand, good bacteria are crucial to help digest food, safeguard your immune system, and produce B vitamins and vitamin K, which help make proteins that clot blood. So now you must be thinking, is there a good and bad bacteria war happening in my gut every day? Well, just know that the good bacteria helps to keep bad bacteria in check, so everything is in balance (homeostasis).
As research on gut microbiome progresses, we’re discovering that gut bacteria may contribute to even more than we think. The balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut can determine your ability to lose or gain weight, and it can affect the occurrence of certain leading causes of death such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's, and cancer. Gut bacteria may also contribute to migraines. One research study found that patients with migraines had greater levels of gut germs that break down nitrates like those found in processed meats and leafy greens.
Your gut bacteria also influence your brain structure and cognitive function. In one study, some gut bacteria were shown to grow myelin–the fatty layer that insulates brain cells and helps them communicate through electrical signals.
Keeping your brain sharp and in working order is necessary for a long life, and gut bacteria plays a vital role in it.
GUT BACTERIA AND AGING: THE RIGHT MIX
Each of us have a different balance of gut bacteria; however, healthy individuals share specific and optimal microbiota compositions that could help them live longer.
One Chinese study conducted research on healthy elderly people, some over 100 years old, and it showed they had a comparable mix of gut germs to healthy individuals in their thirties. In this context, "healthy" means having no known health issues or family history of illness.
Gut bacteria can likewise impact your mitochondria that act like batteries in powering your cells. They provide your body and your brain the energy needed for peak performance and healthy aging, making them essential to remain youthful.
One research study found that certain bacterial mutations increased the life expectancy of worms by producing polysaccharide colanic acid (CA), which helps stabilize mitochondria and keeps them running. These bacteria mutations are common, much like gene and hereditary mutations.
GUT BACTERIA AND WEIGHT
Being obese reduces your life expectancy. If you're overweight, you're more likely to get diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, and that’s just for starters. Staying within a healthy weight range will go a long way to keeping you healthy and feeling young for years to come.
What's your gut bacteria got to do with weight? Emerging research reveals that obese individuals and thin people have different types of gut bacteria. One study looked at 77 pairs of twins in which one twin was overweight, the other wasn't. The researchers discovered that the overweight twin had different gut microbiome and less of a diverse mix than the thinner twin.
Naturally lean individuals have more germs of the Bacteroidetes type and less of the Firmicutes type. Firmicutes are industrious bacteria and break down food very thoroughly, they get out every bit of energy and promote storage of that energy to the body. Bacteroidetes break down starches and fiber into energy that can be used immediately. You can't purchase Bacteroidetes as a supplement, however you can increase your levels of it by consuming foods loaded with antioxidants called polyphenols, like vegetables, beans, nuts, coffee and tea.
Gut bacteria are also responsible for producing a hormone called FIAF (Fasting-Induced Adipose Factor) which informs the body to burn fat instead of saving it. You can starve the bacteria of starch and sugar if you want to motivate more FIAF production. When bacteria are "starving," they make more FIAF, and you burn more fat.
OK, SO WHAT DO YOU DO NOW?
YOGURT, GUT BACTERIA, AND WEIGHT GAIN
If you want to stay lean and age well, you should try to stay away from yogurt, and here's why…
Some bacteria strains frequently discovered in yogurt-- a so-called "natural food" -- increase your levels of histamine, the exact same chemical your body produces during an allergy. When you have too much histamine in your system, your body launches adrenaline to get rid of the excess, which with time triggers inflammation. And long-term inflammation triggers signs such as brain fog and weight gain.
CONSUME PLENTY OF ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS
These foods heal your gut and lower histamine intolerance. The more of these you eat, the lower your histamine intolerance go. Think of foods that have phenols, antioxidants, healthy fats, and are loaded with minerals.
- Wild Fish
- Pastured Eggs
- Grass-fed Beef & Whey - Seabuck Protein is a great option
LOAD UP ON POLYPHENOLS
Polyphenols-- found in brightly colored vegetables, berries, coffee, and chocolate-- can alter the composition of your gut microbiome, increasing the quantity of good germs and decreasing the quantity of bad ones. In one study, individuals who drank a wild blueberry beverage for six weeks saw an increase in helpful gut bacteria.
GET A GUT TEST
You can send out a fecal sample to a company to analyze it and tell you precisely what's going on in your microbiota. You'll get a detailed report that consists of a list of all the bacteria in your gut, how your composition compares to other people, and suggestions for supplements to take and foods to consume. You can check regularly to see whether any modifications you've made are working.
EAT MORE RESISTANT STARCH
Resistant starch is a type of starch that functions as a prebiotic. This magic starch supports beneficial bacteria in the gut, and it’s been found that resistant starch elevates probiotic bacteria levels and feeds your microbiome. This is extremely important for you and your gut health. Resistant starch can be found in a host of foods. I've detailed a short list: green bananas & raw plantains (including flours), raw potato starch, raw oats, sushi rice, peas, yams, cooked and cooled white rice, lentils, and chickpeas.
Here are a list of the benefits:
- Improves insulin sensitivity.
- Improves overall function of the gut.
- Lowers the blood glucose response to food.
- Reduces fasting blood sugar.
- Increases satiety.
- Can find and get rid of “bad” bacteria.
SELECT PROBIOTICS WISELY
Avoid probiotic supplements that contain Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus reuteri, and Lactobacillus bulgaricus. These histamine-producing bacterias germs can be found in organic food like conventional yogurt and fermented or aged foods. NutraV Plantbiotic is a natural gut support made from a blend of active natural ingredients with cleansing properties to help flush out bad bacteria in your gut and balance out your gut microbiome.
Eat clean food rich in polyphenols, avoid inflammatory food, and take natural supplements to boost your gut health, and you’ll be on your way to a long and healthy life. Since supplementing is one of the fastest ways to support your gut, take a look at our immune boosting line up. Our Seabuck Whey is loaded with anti-inflammatory properties & healthy fats and is a powerhouse for gut bacteria; and our Plantbiotic is a natural gut support to increase healthy microbiome function that removes unhealthy bacteria.
So now you know, and remember to live better naturally!