Our digestive system (gut) is central to supporting our health – it contains more than 70% of the body’s immune system and 10 times more bacteria than we have cells in our whole body (the gut microbiome).
The microbiome is made up of many different species of bacteria, some of which are considered friendly and others termed pathogenic. The bacteria line the gut wall and help to stop toxins and harmful substances passing through the gut into the body – so ideally, we need a lot more good than bad. The ideal ratio has been estimated at 85% good to 15% bad bacteria and if this balance is affected it may lead to digestive symptoms such as bloating or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The stresses of our modern lifestyles have been shown to have an impact on reducing the levels of friendly bacteria and potentially give the unfriendly bacteria species a chance to become dominant. This can then impact on our immune system and our energy levels as the good bacteria are involved in energy creation and production of some B vitamins.