Lifestyle Medicine & Wellness Blog

Looking to Get Healthy? Focus on the Gut!

New Years Resolutions nearly always include a goal of weight loss.

And this year will be no different in that sense. What is different in the last few years is that we now know that weight loss is not just calories in = calories out anymore!

In Functional Medicine, we assess all the systems of the body for imbalances and work to correct those imbalances so the body can heal itself.  Key to this is optimizing the balance of good and bad bacteria in your intestines!

Yes, the gut microbiome is at the forefront of our quest for optimizing our health in 2019! As a matter of fact, we now call this conglomeration of bacteria living in symbiotic harmony within us, a “new” body system! And we are seeing that the types and balance of bacteria in the gut affect everything from our metabolism, to inflammation, to production of certain vitamins, to cancer protection, to brain function and neurotransmitter balance and more!

If your gut isn’t healthy, you are not healthy! It is true! Now the mainstream medical field is understanding this core concept that the integrative field has been talking about for years!

We know that no two people have the same combination/balance of gut bacteria, and we are learning more every day about how those balances affect the individual.  One-third of the bacteria in our gut seems to be similar between individuals, but the remaining two-thirds differs between individuals.  Given we know of 1000 different species to date, there is a lot to learn about how they function and interact!

A study last year in the journal GUT looked at a microbe in the gut called Akkermansia muciniphila.  This bug represents only about 2 to 5% of the total amount of the over 1000 bacteria in any one person’s stomach and small intestine (what we call the gut microbiome).  In mice, a healthy amount of Akkermansia muciniphila in the gut was associated with better blood sugar (glucose) metabolism and healthier weight in the mice.

So researchers did a study on humans looking at glucose metabolism, blood fat ratios (lipids), and other health risk parameters like body fat percentage and waist to hip ratio.

Participants that had higher levels of A. muciniphila from the outset had more efficient metabolism, and a healthier “metabolic profile”; i.e., healthier blood sugar levels; lower triglycerides; lower insulin levels; and better body composition and waist to hip ratios.

New studies are being done giving A. muciniphila to obese and diabetic patients this year.  There is much to learn in this new field of science on the gut microbiome, but what we do know is that “If your gut isn’t healthy, you are not healthy!”

Let us help you to the healthiest 2019 possible! We specialize in gut health with a functional medicine approach at Optimal Health Solutions in Rochester Hills!

Remember, today is the first day of the rest of your life!


The Gut Microbiome and Health

The Human Microbiome Project has shown that the intestinal microbiome has communication networks with other organ systems including the gut-brain, gut-liver, gut-adipose axes, and it plays a critical role in our health, brain function, body weight and fat maintenance. Nature, 2012.

Breast Milk, “Good Bacteria” and Immune Health

Why is mother's milk so healthy for the baby? Not only does the composition of the milk change from week to week to best suit the needs of the baby, we have known that breastfed babies have better immune function and protection in later life than bottle fed babies.