The GUT and its influence on Disease.

As we explore the origins of illness, we come to realize that the GUT is the ultimate go to. For many of us, it is a revelation that the gut with its 100 trilllion plus microbial cells, is the largest organ of the body (Boulangé, Neves, Chilloux, Nicholson and Marc-Emmanuel Dumas, 2016)

This microbial mass interacts on a molecular level with its host: our body.

The main roles of the GUT microbiota are :

  • to protect the body against pathogens,

  • support digestion

  • aide the body in the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals .(Shoemaker, C 2017)

We are all aware that the GUT microbiota we have, originated with our mothers.

As life takes its toll, many factors disturb or destroy the GUT microbiota.

These factors to name a few, include:

  • diet

  • stress

  • drug interaction

  • antibiotic use

  • disturbed circadian rhythm (Shoemaker, C 2017)

As the microbiota become unbalanced we start to see the cascade affect it has on systems of the body.

The GUT microbiota influences the body's energy metabolism, lipid accumulation (FAT), and immunity.

 

Typical symptoms of GUT microbiota imbalance include:

  • low grade inflammation

  • decreased insulin sensitivity

  • increase fat deposition. (Boulangé, et al)

The long term affect of an imbalance presents as Inflammatory diseases and syndromes

Some of these include:

 

Arthritis

Allergies

Irritable bowel disease

Cancer

Cardiovascular disease

Metabolic syndrome

Autoimmune diseases (Shoemaker, C 2017)

Many critics ask how this is possible. Lets look at Autoimmune diseases as a possible example to explain this effect.

Autoimmune diseases, such as:

  • TYPE 1 diabetes,

  • Celiac disease,

  • Hashimoto thyroiditis

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

have a common factor of increased permeability of the patient's GUT: i.e. Leaky Gut Syndrome.

In short, the holes in the GUT which are caused by an imbalance or destruction of the microbial mass, allow large particles to enter the blood stream.

These large particles are seen as invaders by the body and the body responds by triggering the immune system.

When this continues for a long period of time, the immune system starts to see healthy cells as foreign and attacks them.

Autoimmune disease is the result.

References:

Boulangé C, Neves A., ChillouxJ , Nicholson J and Dumas M. (2016)  Impact of the gut microbiota on inflammation, obesity and metabolic disease. Boulangé et al. Genome Medicine (2016) 8:42

Shoemaker, C (2017) Sanescohealth.com. Inflammation and the microbiome.