The human digestive or gastro-intestinal tract is such a vital organ in our bodies and we often fail to fully grasp the enormity of the role it plays.  Our gut is often referred to as our petrol tank, but it is so much more than just a food processing plant. 

The human gut houses 80% of our Immune or Surveillance System.  The microflora, all 100 trillion of these friendly bacteria, that are attached to receptors on the gut wall, contribute to this immune response greatly.  In  particular they are responsible for stimulating the immune cells to secrete IgA antibody, which plays a very protective role in mucosal membranes.  Friendly, healthy microflora also contribute greatly to keeping the gut wall impermeable

An impermeable, healthy gut wall functions well and is vital to for good health.  However, when this barrier is permeable and not working well, this may lead to many problems and pathologies, including allergies and autoimmune diseases.  Maintaining healthy bacteria in your gut is always the first line of defence for good health.  With  any health problem, healing and re-sealing your gut wall is always  a prerequisite to restoring good health.

As far back as 1948, Dr Orla-Jensen, at the Royal Danish Technical College in  Denmark compared the gut bacteria of young people with that of healthy seniors, as well as with seniors suffering from dementia.  He found that as we age, we have a greater proportion of pathogenic or wrong bacteria to healthy microbes in our intestinal tract.  This was even more pronounced in the seniors with dementia.

Since then several studies have supported these early findings.  A study done at University of California at Davis found that E coli and Salmonella bacteria in mice produced fibre-like structures very similar to the inflammatory brain plaques seen in people with Alzheimers disease.  From such research it appears that your brain is influenced by bacteria in your digestive tract, and that disturbed gut flora in seniors can possibly contribute to premature aging.

Looking after the “microbiome”, this “other body of healthy bacteria” that inhabits our gastro-intestinal system, is of vital importance to the health of the entire body, including that of our brain.



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