Category: Ultimate Guide

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The Ultimate Guide to the Gut-Immune Axis

We all want to feel our best at all times. Many people equate fighting off a cold or battling through flu season to a robust immune system. They are right. Our body produces immune cells that help our body fight off intruders such as inflammations, free radicals, and viruses. However, these cells must come from somewhere. This moment is where your gut biome steps in. Let’s take a close look at the gut-immune axis.

 

What is the Immune System?

 
Our immune system is a bit of an octopus. It has its appendages in so many other areas of our internal ecosystem. The immune system is represented in parts of our body including:
 
• Digestive system
• Skin
• Tonsils
• Bone marrow
• Lymph nodes
• Spleen
• Skin on Orifices
 
Tissues, organs, and cells in these areas work together with three common goals. They want to identify any intruders and come up with a plan to extract them. Oh, and they want to do it fast!
 
When our body encounters a pathogen, there are two different ways it may react. Let’s take a look at these two types of immune responses.

 

Parts of the Immune System

 
Our body is so amazing. It can figure out how to handle intruders in the short-term and the long-term. The immune system looks at your body as a chess board and plans its response strategically.
 
The immune system wouldn’t function without cells. The cells that run the joint include:
 
• Antibodies – Incite Inflammation to Defeat Invaders
• B-Cells – Produce Antibodies and Cytokines to Promote Inflammation
• Killer T-Cells – Aid B-Cells in Destroying Infiltrator
• Helper T-Cells – Assist Killer and B-Cells
• Lymphocytes – Immune Cells from Lymphatic System, Includes B-Cells and T-Cells
• Regulatory T-Cells – Regulates How Long Inflammation Lasts
 
In a healthy gut biome, these cells take care of everything. As poor gut health mounts, the cells get a bit frustrated and lash out. They attack other cells or can’t get to areas of the body in need of help. As a result, your intestinal flora is more susceptible to invasion.

 

Immune System and Inflammation

 
If you haven’t noticed the theme here–the immune system incites inflammation. Sparking inflammation may sound counteractive, but it’s actually quite helpful.
 
Acute inflammation damages the intruder and then gets put out by anti-inflammatory cells. It’s like the forest rangers performed a controlled brush fire.
 
The protection of the system is overseen by two parts with two different goals. One manages the day-to-day tasks while the other has long-term goals. Let’s get to know them better.

 

Innate Immune System

 
This is the first line of defense for our body against invaders. The innate immune system has no memory. It reacts swiftly like a venus fly trap capturing an insect. Except, innate immune cells attack viruses and inflammation.
 
Your innate immune response creates an acute inflammation.
 
The innate immune system is responsible for:
 
• Red/Blotchy Skin – Red Blood Cells with Immunity Properties Rushing to Area
• Swelling – Liquids Healing the Area Build Up, Causing Heat
• Pain – Throbbing Lets You Know Consciously That There’s an Invader
 
Your innate immune system strikes first and asks questions later. However, your body also has a long-term plan for immune support.

 

Adaptive Immune System

 
The immune system has an uncanny ability to evolve. It has a “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me” mentality. When your body gets ravaged by a virus or disease and wins, it creates an antibody.
 
Antibodies ensure that the system will never get infiltrated by this specific intruder again. This process is why you can’t get chicken pox after the first time. It’s also how vaccines operate. We get injected with enough of the polio strain, so our body develops antibodies to defeat the disease.

 

Types of Immunity Issues

 
Immune responses come in many forms. They are dependent on the pathogen that triggered the response in the first place. Some of these situations are as fleeting as a cold. Whereas others are incurable conditions such as AIDS.
 
Some of the most common causes of an immune response include:
 
• Allergies
• Body Rejection of Transplant Organs
• Autoimmune Disease
• Immune-Deficiency
• AIDS
 
Immune responses are of course, created by our immune system. So, let’s take a look at what exactly comprises this complex environment.

 

Gut Health and Immune System

 
Our body is a complex system run by chemical reactions continuously happening inside. We tend to take these interactions for granted because for the most part, they pose no threat.
 
When left to their own devices, the microbes living in our system captain the ship without a hiccup. This harmonious community of cells is known as your microbiome.

 

Gut Flora and Impact on Wellness

 
Unfortunately, numerous compounds we ingest are disrupting our gut healths. Some are the usual suspects like pesticides and GMOs. Others are things we’d never expect to hurt our intestinal flora!
 

10 Things Ruining Our Gut Health

Things You’d NEVER Expect to Ruin Your Gut Health

 
After a lifetime of processed foods, toxic cosmetics, and stress our gut health becomes compromised. Eventually, these foreign substances create an overly acidic environment.
 
When the pH balance goes past 7, your microbiome becomes harder for probiotic bacteria to survive. As a result, inflammations flare up.

 

Inflammation and Gut Brain Connection

 
Inflammation plays a role in every type of disease, condition, or illness. Whether it’s an autoimmune disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, or eczema, there is an inflammation at the root of the problem. Studies indicate that managing these conditions is dependent on finding harmony between the brain and the gut [*].
 
You may have heard that the gut is the second brain. One influences the other, and as a result, we experience the benefits and consequences of their unhappiness.
 
The gut and brain aren’t exactly next to one another. Yet, the gut brain connection is so strong. Therefore, they must rely on other cells and neurotransmitters to make communication efficient. Specifically, communication between the gut and brain relies on immune cells.

 

What is the Gut-Immune System Axis?

 
From our brain stem down to our colon, our body is constructed with a network that consists of cells in the trillions. The main component of this structure is known as the vagus nerve.
 
The vagus nerve is attached to the end of the brain stem and dips into the top of the gut biome. From there, the neural tissues at the end of the vagus nerve survey the situation. What it reports back depends on the intestinal flora in your GI tract.
 
If there is an overly acidic atmosphere a-brewing, these vapors will trigger the tissues on the vagus nerve. This action releases neurotransmitters to the brain. Through the gut brain connection, your mind interprets the message. Consequently, you experience the symptoms of the signal.

 

Vagus Nerve and Immune Cells

 
Along the pathway of the vagus nerve are thousands of immune cells. Their presence is so heavily felt that many science journals call our immune system the bridge that leads from the gut to the brain.
 
That’s because the immune cells are gut’s first line of defense. These little cells act as the moat that protects the castle from invasion. In fact, up to 80% of the immune cells our body creates are formed in the gut [*].

 

Immune Cells and Hormones

 
Immune cells do more than just get us ready to fight off a cold. They also play a pivotal role in communication along the gut-brain axis. Studies show that immune cells can produce neurotransmitters. These are our body’s built-in communication dialect.
 
Interesting enough, neurotransmitters have a lot of influence on our emotional response to situations. Some of the most well known-neurotransmitters include:
 
• GABA – Calming Neurotransmitter
• Dopamine – Reward Hormone
• Serotonin – Joy Neurotransmitter
• Melatonin – Sleep Cycle Regulating Hormone
• Testosterone/Estrogen – Reproductive Hormones
 
Seeing as neurotransmitters cover such a broad spectrum, this further illustrates the intertwined relationship between the gut, brain, and immune systems.
 

Autoimmune Disease and Gut Health

 
To further prove that everything is all connected, the immune system relies on your microbiome to keep it stable. When our gut health is out of whack, it’s known as dysbiosis. This means toxins are influencing your intestinal flora negatively. Many of the times, these adverse reactions are due to Leaky Gut Syndrome.
 
Studies have found that dysbiosis can lead to autoimmune disease issues [*]. That means everything from autism to Crohn’s Disease to Parkinson’s Disease all boil down to the bacteria (or lack thereof) in our human gut microbiota.

 

What Causes Autoimmune Disease?

 
What causes an autoimmune disease to develop are instances where an excited electron loses its way from the pack. When this happens, the excitatory molecule becomes a free radical and may latch onto anything that accepts an electron.
 
Naturally, the electron and its new companion will chemically react. Depending on what this rogue electron attached itself onto, the results may be catastrophic to your immune system.
 
Immune cells do more than just keep us from using our sick days on actually being sick. They also keep us alive. This was discovered in a study involving fruit flies. Unbelievably, humans and fruit flies have “70 % similarity in terms of their biochemical pathways [*] .”
 
When scientists discovered that increasing the biodiversity of microbes in fruit flies’ systems increased their lifespan by 60%, it opened up researchers’ eyes. By supplementing with probiotics, these insects’ immune responses protected them against “chronic diseases associated with aging.”

 

Allergies and Immune Response

 
50 million people suffer from allergies each year, with the numbers increasing exponentially since the industrial revolution [*]. There are many reasons for this alarming statistic.
 
Some of the most common reasons for an increased allergic response among humans include:
 
• Use of Pesticides
• Consumption of Processed Foods
• Increased Intake of Artificial Sugars/Coloring
• GMOs Altering DNA of Microorganisms [*]
• Lack of Biodiversity in Microbiome
• High-Fat Diets
• Eating Food Treated With Hormones
• Pollution
 
Allergies happen as a result of a foreign substance weakening your immune response. As a result, you feel symptoms that range from an itchy throat to excessive sneezing to stomach pains. However, studies of 23 different bacterial strains found that your gut health has a crucial impact on how your body responds to attacks courtesy of allergens [*].

 

Stomach Bacteria Associated with Immunity Issues

 
Now that you have a better understanding of how the body works as a whole to keep you healthy, you should get to know the microbes making it happen. They are the unsung heroes of our daily lives.
 
Seeing as we interact with so many people, travel to several areas throughout the day, and come in contact with a litany of items others touch, our immune system is always on edge. It’s like your child saying “mom” or “dad’ over and over again. These outside forces are constantly poking the bear that is your immune system.
 
While a few cases of the sniffles typically does the trick in expelling these nuisances, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, these little critters can be quite cagey. Unfortunately, there are hoards of opportunistic bacteria out there that can do lasting damage to immune cells if they remain unchecked.
 
Common bacterium known to wreak havoc on immune cells includes Listeria monocytogenes. This well-known food-borne pathogen is dangerous because it can survive in the presence of oxygen. You know…the thing we need to survive? Due to its aggressive nature on our system, 20% to 30% of cases of Listeria end in fatality [*].
 
When your immune system is beaten down, another opportunistic bacterium likes to rear its ugly head. Agrobacterium has shown to change the genetic code in plants [*]. Seeing as Agrobacterium infects elderly, newborns, and those with low immune cells, it may also alter the DNA of these impressionable systems as well. As a result, Agrobacterium can become a catalyst for the development of autoimmune disease.
 
As we noted, the immune cells crowd around the gut-brain axis. Therefore, immune cells are also present in reproductive regions. Unfortunately for many, immune systems can be easily compromised in these oft-ignored, yet, regularly-used areas.
 
Studies have found that pathogenic bacterium like Campylobacter fetus has a profound impact on men and women. This opportunistic bacteria contains many surface layers. Due to its complex composition, Campylobacter fetus can actually trick immune cells. CAMPylobacter? More like CAMOylobacter!
 
While most sexually transmitted infections are superficial, Campylobacter fetus may negatively impact reproductive systems [*]. This is especially true if a male transmits the bacteria to a female. Cases of transmission increase the chances of infertility exponentially, much like the immune-suppressing bacteria strain, Chlamydia trachomatis [*].
 
Just like the reproductive system is affected by our immune cells, so is our respiratory system. After all, why else do you take immune-boosting supplements when it’s cough-and-cold season? There are many bacteria inside of our body that wait for the right opportunity to strike a lessened immune system. When this happens, strains of bacteria such as Escherichia adecarboxylata can spawn an upper respiratory tract infection [*]. Even scarier, strains of bacteria like Escherichia adecarboxylata are beginning to exhibit traits of antibiotic resistance.

 

Ways To Improve Your Immune System

 
When it comes to your body, one thing is for sure. Teamwork makes the dream work! Every microbe in your body has a purpose. Your body needs a variety of microbes to fill all the roles necessary to function properly. Here are a few ways to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.

 

AIP Diet

 
Food is so critical to immune health. While pollution and pesticides may be beyond our control, we can control what we ingest. Every food we consume, healthy or not, is made of chemical compounds.
 
Each time we eat something, we are eating those compounds, causing a chemical reaction with the compounds already in our body. Depending on the food, some of these interactions may cause a negative effect that may result in stomach pains, anxiety, or skin irritations.
 
If a food causes consistent immune responses, this may cause a problem down the line. That’s because these irritations might spring inflammations. In turn, your body is susceptible to the development of an autoimmune disease.
 
Those who are prone to inflammatory responses should enter an elimination diet. Following an Autoimmune Protocol Diet (AIP Diet) a lot like Low FODMAP or Paleo in principle.
 
Nuts-and-bolts, an AIP Diet is retracting processed and synthetic foods from the menu plan. However, other common allergens are also eliminated.
 
Stay away from these foods to follow an Autoimmune Protocol Diet (AIP Diet):
 
• Grains
• Dairy Products
• Legumes
• Seeds and Nuts
• Refined Sugars
• Processed Foods
• Eggs
• Chocolate
• Nightshade Vegetables
• Alternative Sweeteners
 
This may sound limiting, but it’s really not. There are plenty of vegetables and lean proteins that you can consume on an AIP Diet.
 
Just make sure you are only using high-quality olive oils, eating more fermented foods, and consuming collagen and gelatin (such as bone broth). These little dietary tweaks will all go a long way in helping you absorb nutrients more efficiently while repairing your gut lining.

 

Diversify Your Microbiome

 
It’s in moments of little microbial diversity where illness springs up, or electrons go rogue to foster autoimmune disease. Diversity is so essential for a healthy microbiome. This is why a lack of probiotic strains is the leading cause of many immune-related symptoms.

 

Probiotics and Immune System

 
Studies have shown that decreased activity of Lactobacillus acidophilus in the gut may be the reason behind frequent bouts of the common cold [*]. However, this isn’t the only strain of Lactobacillus that has proven to have a lasting effect on our immune systems.
 
Two distinct strains of Lactobacillus paracasei have a monumental impact on how our body defends itself. Research has proven that Lactobacillus paracasei Th1 and Th2 modulate the immune system in their own unique way. Together, these strains of bacteria have a strong resistance to allergic reactions that eat away at your immune cells [*].
 
As you may have noticed, there are strains dubbed Th1 and Th2. This corresponds with some other scientific breakthroughs that have been discovered with probiotics. Over time, the absence of these probiotic strains can lead to the development of autoimmune diseases. The first line of defense against these traitors are other T-Cells [*]. Unfortunately for T-Cells, they too are the target of autoimmune disease.
 
Studies have found that having beneficial probiotic strains in your system helps create more helper T-Cells [*].
 
There are two types of helper T-Cells:
 
• TH1 (T Helper Cell 1) – Generates Response to Attacks
• TH2 (T Helper Cell 2) – Deals with Attacks
 
T-Cells have been scientifically proven to be strengthened by different strains of probiotics. Therefore, those who are looking for preventative immune health will have a different microbiome than those who are under an immune attack. That’s what makes personalizing your probiotic supplements so critical in boosting your immune health.

 

Microbiome Testing To Boost Immune System

 
Our immune cells are the formative ones that gave us structure as a fetus in our mother’s womb. Diversity within the microbiome is what keeps the cells strong. As they say, kids need to roll around in the dirt and get exposed to germs to boost their immune system! This is why research suggests that having an abundance of probiotics in your system will help you fight through cough-and-cold season.
 
To achieve diversity, you need to know what you are working with first. That’s why you need microbiome testing. At Thryve, we use state-of-the-art gut health test kits to determine your stomach bacteria. Based on the intestinal flora in the sample, we formulate personalized probiotics to promote balanced immunity health.
 
In addition to probiotics, be sure to up your intake of micronutrients. Many of those preventative cough-and-cold remedies rely on nutrients you can find in everyday foods. Instead of splurging on over-the-counter medicines rich in Vitamin C and zinc, consume more fruits and vegetables. Eating whole foods full of beneficial micronutrients is especially crucial during the changing of seasons.

 

Case Studies

I had Eczema growing up and it started to get more and more drastic as I got older. I noticed a lot of different foods would trigger my Eczema and cause it to flare up for days at a time. During my flare-ups I realized my digestion was usually always shot as well with diarrhea and bloating. When I started researching about gut health it started to make more sense, that our bacteria which helps train and regulate our immune system could be the solution to my problem. I was able to track using Thryve’s Gut Health program that I was low in diversity, Bifidobacteria (good probiotics), and increased levels of Staphylococcus aureus on my skin. I’m thankful to say that while on the program I was able to test myself every month to see how my microbiome was shifting into a better state. I was able to increase diversity, lower Staphylococcus aureus, and increase bifidobacteria. By applying their personalized diet recommendations and their immune supporting probiotics my Eczema hasn’t shown up in months!

– Michelle Z.
 

What’s Thryve Gut Health?

 

 

 

Probiotic Comparison

 

 

Microbiome Testing Companies Comparison

 
 
• Gut Microbiome Test Kit done at home
• Personalized dietary recommendations for foods to enjoy
• Customized probiotic supplements to replenish good bacteria
• Two week turnaround, shipped directly to your door

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Holding my tired baseball player

The Ultimate Guide to the Gut-Brain Axis

The gut is known as the second brain. However, it might just be the one that’s actually in charge. Within your gut lies an ecosystem of microbes that influence every aspect of your everyday life. This profound impact includes your mental health and mood. Gut health is detrimental to your emotional state due to the gut brain connection.

 

What is the Gut Brain Connection?

 
To comprehend the intricacies of the gut-brain axis, it’s essential to understand the levity of poor gut health. As Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, famously stated,
 

“All disease begins in the gut.”

– Hippocrates
Hippocrates made this bold statement because the gut biome is at the epicenter of everything going on in our system.

 

Standard American Diet (SAD) and Mental Health

 
Everything you consume, whether it’s a beverage, food, or medicine, goes down to the gut. Either these consumed items get broken down for nutrients and energy (gut healing foods) or flushed out with toxins (processed foods).
 
With a McDonald’s on every corner, it’s safe to say that the average person isn’t always eating diets rich with micronutrients. Fatty foods, GMOs, and pesticides have done a number on the Standard American Diet.
 
These inorganic options are confusing for your body to process during the digestion of food. Overconsumption of foods containing artificial ingredients and unhealthy fat content causes backups in the system.
 
Anytime there is a backup, it spurs the growth of harmful bacteria. These bacteria feast on sugars and fats within your body. In turn, they destroy healthy cells and tissues in the gut lining. This creates forts of dead cells that serve as shelter for inflammation.

 

What is The Gut-Brain Axis?

 
Your gut-brain axis is a bit more complicated than getting hangry after a couple of hours without eating. Our body has a built-in alarm company that allows your system to know there are invaders onboard. These are neural tissues. They live on the ends of cells and nerves.
 
Neural tissues act as barometers for what is going on inside your body. When all is well, they don’t react much. However, when inflammation is present, the neural tissues get on the case!
 
Inflammations alter the pH balance in their surrounding environment [*]. Overly acidic environments release vapors that negatively stimulate the neural tissues. These neural tissues send messages back to the brain. The brain reacts accordingly, triggering pain sensations and other tactics to draw our attention to the inflammation within [*].

 

Vagus Nerve and the Gut Biome

 
Some of the most influential neural tissues in the system lie at the end of the vagus nerve [*]. The vagus nerve attaches to the brainstem.
 
Like a turkey thermometer, the base of the nerve sits at the top of our gut. Neural tissues at the tip of the nerve gauge the activity going on in the stomach. Based on their reaction, the neurons will send electric impulses across their axons. This critical role makes the vagus nerve is the backbone of the gut-brain axis.

 

Gut Biome and Mood Disorders

 
As we mentioned, bacteria play a crucial role in the formation of inflammation. Just like harmful bacteria have an impact on the system, so do beneficial bacteria. No matter which side of the spectrum these microorganisms reside on, they can all be classified as microbes.
 
Different types of microbes include:
 
• Archaea
• Bacteria
• Fungi
• Yeast
• Virus
 
Microbes were your first introduction to life. They were beside you in your mother’s womb and helped formulate the immune system you have today. These tiny life forms have been with you since day one, coexisting with over a trillion other microbes in what is known as your microbiome.
 
Unbeknownst to you, there’s a battle for supremacy going on inside of you. While it’s happening at all times, you feel the most when the harmful bacteria are winning. These are the moments where mental health issues may arise.

 

What Causes Mental Health Issues?

 
Mental Health covers a number of issues that can be moderate to life-threatening. When we talk about mental health, we mean conditions that can have a negative impact on your brain and/or thought process.
 
So, we’re also covering issues such as:
 
• Anxiety
• Autism
• Depression
• Cognitive Abilities
• Memory
• Stress
• Mood Swings
• Insomnia
• Fatigue
 
While many life occurrences may trigger these episodes, there always seems to be one culprit always in the thick of things. We’re talking about the hormone, cortisol [*].

 

Cortisol and Mental Health

 
Cortisol is essential for your body. It’s the system’s built-in instinct. When you encounter a stressful situation, it triggers the adrenal glands to pump out cortisol. As this hormone hits the bloodstream, your brain makes a split decision–fight or flight.
 
When cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands, it causes us to approach the current situation with a sense of urgency. Based on the interaction, your body will supplement with a follow-up hormone.
 

In the case of getting through a public speaking assignment or walking down the aisle for your wedding, cortisol will succumb to dopamine (calming neurotransmitters) or adrenaline (energy-bursting hormone). These are signs that the situation is going to be all right. Now, cortisol production can cease.

If the situation we face is continuous stress (like a bad marriage or harsh working conditions), more cortisol will pump into our bloodstream. These are the moments where you can’t handle going to work, don’t want to get out of bed, or refuse to get together with loved ones. Inevitably, stress breeds more stress.

While each mental health condition is unique, they are usually tied to too much cortisol. Think of filling your gas tank. Whether you use unleaded or premium, a 10-gallon tank holds 10-gallons. Anything more will spill out. So, if you pour in 9 gallons of unleaded, it’s impossible to add 2 gallons of premium as well.

 

Hormones Affected by Cortisol

 
Under chronic stress, the flood gates for cortisol are wide open. Therefore, your body doesn’t have the time or room to create other beneficial neurotransmitters and hormones such as:
 
• GABA – Calming Neurotransmitter
• Dopamine – Reward Hormone
• Serotonin – Joy Neurotransmitter
• Melatonin – Sleep Cycle Regulating Hormone
• Testosterone/Estrogen – Reproductive Hormones

We need a variety of hormones and neurotransmitters produced to keep our systems in check. Let’s take a look at how these hormones contribute to our mental well-being.

 

Hormones and Mental Health

 
Our bodies are a delicate machine. The sum of the parts keeps the whole together. When there is a lack of any hormone being produced, it will throw your entire system out of whack. As a result, you may suffer from bouts of mental health issues.

 

Testosterone and Estrogen

 
Hormones you lack in the wake of stress include testosterone and estrogen. This will deplete your sex drive and may increase the chances of infertility.
 
Signs of low testosterone/estrogen include:
 
• Disinterest in Sex/Too Much Interest in Sex
• Erectile Dysfunction/Premature Ejaculation
• Mood Swings
• Lack of Sleep
• Weight Gain
• Excess Weight in Breasts/Gynecomastia
 
Coming to terms with these life-changing situations can cause anything from a fleeting bout of anxiety to maturing into full-blown Major Depressive Disorder.

 

Melatonin

 
Another hormone that cortisol overload disrupts is melatonin production. Due to our circadian rhythm, our body has figured out when the sun sets and rises. On cue, you should get tired around two hours prior to bedtime and start to stir awake moments before your alarm goes off [*].
 
With too much cortisol in the system, there is no room for melatonin. Therefore, you stay awake all night. Insomnia is further exasperated by cortisol as you fidget in your sleep. The cortisol in your body draws extra attention to the fact you can’t sleep, making it even harder for you to get some rest.
 
As you know, your body needs rest. The waking hours don’t lend itself to your body repairing itself from the damage we cause daily. During our rest period, the body is not fighting off the germs of others, dealing with the stresses of co-workers, or using energy to function as it does during the day. Most of your hormones are created while you are asleep [*]. Therefore, no sleep? No hormones.

 

Dopamine, Serotonin, and GABA

 
The most effective way to fight off cortisol is by generating “reward” neurotransmitters and hormones such as dopamine, GABA, and serotonin. When your mind receives messages from these hormones, it feels sensations such as calmness or elation. As a result, your adrenal glands don’t get the signal to push out more cortisol. By having dopamine and serotonin on hand, all the other hormones can be created, restoring balance in the system.
 
Further proving the connection between the gut and brain, research has found that 90% of the serotonin in our system comes from our gut [*]. Therefore, if you have poor gut health, a majority of the serotonin that your body needs to fight off mental illness is destroyed before hitting the bloodstream.

 

Hormones and Gut Health

 
The best way to foster the growth of extra beneficial neurotransmitters and hormones is to alkalize the gut biome. You need to create an environment that isn’t conducive to the growth of harmful microbes.
 
Fix the ecosystem inside of your gut by:
 
• Get Microbiome Testing & Receive Personalized Probiotics
• Eat Prebiotics for Your Probiotics
• Consume Fermented Fruits and Vegetables
Exercise
• Drink Probiotic Beverages like Kombucha or Kefir
• Avoid Stress
 
Improve your gut health so that probiotic bacteria can flourish. These microorganisms will fight off inflammatory bacteria that may cause gastrointestinal distress and trigger bouts of mental health disorder.

 

Stomach Bacteria Associated with Mental Health and Mood

 
The microbes in our internal network are so unique that they can trigger a multitude of events throughout the body. When there are an abundance (or lack) or any bacteria in the system, it allows room for one strain to become dominant. That is a much nicer way to say “bullies.”

 

Candida and Mood

 
One of the biggest bullies of the bunch is Candida… especially when this yeast becomes infected. Studies indicate that too much Candida in the system can cause people to have trouble concentrating. That’s because Candida increases pro-inflammatory cytokines in the system. Prominently, they facilitate the growth of TNF-alpha, IL-1, IL-6. These three are a formidable combination against your body as they cause oxidative stress. A byproduct of this oxidative stress is the experience of brain fog [*].

 

Stomach Bacteria and GI Issues

 
Other than Candida, there is no clear-cut way to know which bacteria may be causing you mental health and mood concerns. That’s because there’s a myriad of other issues going on in the system that’s leading to the imbalance. It all depends on what other symptoms you may be showing. For instance, if you’re suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), the overabundance of  Coprococcus comes in your microbiome is throwing the scales off balance [*].
 
Speaking of scales, perhaps it’s excess weight causing the problem? Build-ups of sticky plaques and adipose tissues cut off oxygenated blood cells from making the rounds efficiently. This allows bacteria such as Sarcina maxima to create the acidic environment necessary to set off your barometer.

 

Ways to Improve Mood/Mental Health

 
Before all else, you should seek the guidance of a mental health professional. Unnecessary stigmas surrounding mental health has slowly become lifted. There is nothing to be ashamed of. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 450 million people suffer from mental illness [*]. So, please reach out for help.

 

Gratitude and Mental Health

 
With that being said, there are many things you can do that can help your disposition. For one, you can keep a gratitude journal. By putting things into perspective, it can help you not feel so lost in the everyday hustle and bustle.
 
Keep the journal next to your bed. That way you can get in the habit of writing in the journal first thing every morning. Starting the day off on a positive note can do wonders for setting the tone for the rest of your day.

 

Exercise and Mental Health

 
In addition, start exercising. We know, not the most ideal. However, as we learned from Legally Blonde, “exercising creates endorphins. Endorphins make people happy…and happy people don’t kill people.” Sure, her degree is in law, but Elle Woods makes a valid point.
 
Research shows that exercise can increase the amount of dopamine in the system [*]. However, it also shows that it can help diversify the microbes in your body as well [*].
 
By exercising, you mix up the gut biome. Intestinal flora have chemical reactions with other bacteria in stomach. This causes the gut biome to diversify.

 

Types of Exercise for Gut Biome and Mood

 
Exercise doesn’t mean running on a treadmill or pumping iron and getting swole. Try yoga. Not only will you firm your body but yoga is a great way to clear your mind. As you practice yoga, you are marrying your movement with breath. This type of concentration will help calm overexcited electrons in your brain.
 
If yoga isn’t your thing, join a sports league. Do a cardio YouTube video. Go for a run outside. Just get up and be active more than you currently are. You’ll notice a massive improvement in your disposition!

 

Nature and Mental Health

 
Take walks in nature. We are so invested in our phones, jobs, social media, family, what to get at brunch…we sometimes just need to reset. A study compared people on a 90-minute walk in nature versus those in an urban setting. Results found that people who walked in nature had less internal rumination. In addition, their brain showed signs of neural activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex (sgPFC). This is an area of the brain with a deep-rooted relationship to depression [*].

 

Vitamin D and Mental Health

 
Plus, nature is where the sun is. Sun is our number one source of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that our body needs to act as a catalyst for many important mental functions. Studies have found that almost 50% of mental health cases are also deficient in Vitamin D [*].
 
Unfortunately, humans don’t produce enough Vitamin D on their own. Therefore, we must rely on the sun for 50% to 90% of our Vitamin D consumption. Being stuck inside all day at work, no wonder one billion suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency [*]!
 
Lastly, nature exposes us to bacteria that is outside of our bubble. Therefore, getting a little dirty will diversify our microbiome. This is ideal for boosting your immune system, losing weight, and altering your mindset.

 

Diversify the Microbiome

 
Studies indicate that children with autism are born with a lack of diversity in their microbiome [*]. While autism is one form of mental health disorder, this principle holds true across the board for these conditions.
 
The significant difference is which bacteria in your system is lacking and which is flourishing. For instance, the key to a better night’s rest may lie in higher levels of Verrucomicrobia and Lentisphaerae. Research indicates when these microbes are at increased levels, it will result in better sleep quality as well as improved cognitive flexibility [*].

 

Microbiome Testing for Mental Health

 
This is just one example. Not to mention, everyone’s microbiome is unique. Therefore, you should get your gut tested with a discreet at-home testing kit. Based on the lab results of your sample, we can formulate a personalized probiotic unique to your microbiome.
 
Seeing as the bacteria in your supplement is a living being, we will also help you find the right prebiotic-rich foods to implement into your diet. That way you have foods in your menu that are indigestible for our system, but beneficial for the health microbes in your gut.
 
Getting your gut tested to see which bacteria you are lacking, as well as which ones are reining supreme is a great way to get a hold on your mental health. From there, Thryve can formulate a personalized probiotic supplement that should help bring balance to your system….and give you peace of mind.  

 

Case Studies

I’ve been battling depression and insomnia for god knows how long. It’s taken a huge toll on my career and my relationships. I heard about how our gut is like our second brain and that by taking care of it, you’ll take care of your mind as well. I wanted to try something that was personalized for my needs so Thryve was my first choice after researching many other alternatives. Happy to say I feel much better. The first thing that made me notice a difference was the fact that I could watch a movie (for those wondering, the movie was “a beautiful mind”) and feel the emotions from sadness to joy, which was a first. I also have been able to fall asleep much quicker and wake up only once during the night vs. 4-5 times. I wake up feeling much more refreshed and have this sense of “I’m ready to tackle my day”. I love the fact that how I feel correlates to how my microbiome has been shifting. Originally, my Bifidobacterium was extremely low compared to the healthy population (which science has shown to be helpful in making us happy). But after going into the program and following the recommendations I was able to increase it! Love the positive reinforcement.

 

– Amanda S.
 

What’s Thryve Gut Health?

 
 

Probiotic Comparison

 

 

Microbiome Testing Companies Comparison

 
 
• Gut Microbiome Test Kit done at home
• Personalized dietary recommendations for foods to enjoy
• Customized probiotic supplements to replenish good bacteria
• Two week turnaround, shipped directly to your door

Read More
Young woman at home

The Ultimate Guide to the Gut-Skin Axis

Beauty is skin deep. This is an old saying that holds more merit than we’ve ever realized. Sure, the annotation is a powerful commentary on being a good person. However, this adage is also quite literal. What we project on the outside represents what’s going on inside. That’s why those with skin conditions tend to also suffer from gastrointestinal distress and stomach problems. If you are experiencing issues with your hair, skin, and nails, then your gut health might be to blame.

 

Inflammation and Skin Care

 
Whether you’re diagnosed with a skin condition, are having an immune response, or are battling bouts of anxiety, there’s always one common culprit causing such adversity. These great antagonists are inflammations.
 
Our body goes above and beyond to alert us that inflammation is onboard. After the brain realizes there is an intruder, symptoms can persist such as:
 
• Runny Nose
• Skin Rash
• Insomnia
• Diarrhea
• Blotchy Complexion
• Anxious Thoughts
• Itchiness
• Stress
• Flaky Skin
 
These reactions all depend on the location of the inflammation and how long it’s been festering. For many with skin conditions, inflammation is not too far from the area showing symptoms.

 

The Skin Microbiota

 
On the other side of our skin is an intricate ecosystem of microbes known as the microbiome. The microbiome relies on our skin to act as a barricade. Skin is the first line of defense for the gut biome against the germs in our everyday life. This important function is why the skin is considered our largest organ.
 
Within our microbiome are trillions of microscopic bacteria, fungi, viruses, archaea, and other microbes. These microbes are the last line of defense for our intestinal flora.
 
Foreign bacteria can enter our system through many means including:
 
• Digestion of Food
• Inhaling Toxins in the Atmosphere
• Antibiotics Wiping Out Beneficial Bacteria
• Via An Open Wound
• A Mucous Membrane (Eye, Nose, Etc.)
Entering Through Your Porous Skin
 
Upon intrusion, your microbes will go into defense mode to eliminate these intruders. However, many factors can start to balance the power onto the side of the harmful bacteria. This may be in thanks to aging, poor dietary choices, a round of antibiotics, or a litany of other life’s decisions or obstacles.

 

Stomach Bacteria and Skin Health

 
If harmful bacteria thrive in the nook it carved out in your gut biome; they will begin to oxidize. Their volatile aromatic molecules are too abrasive for our gut health to flourish. The scent of these bacteria will trigger neural tissues on receptors throughout the body. Based on the vicinity of the inflammation, a symptom will persist.
 
When you are battling skin conditions, there tends to be an inflammation right under the epidermis. You can pinpoint where the inflammation is quite easily because your symptom will spring up in the exact area. This will start as sensitivity in the area, a rash, or itchy skin.
 
Our immune system sparks acute inflammation as a means to fight off an intruder in the gut biome. If the swelling can’t defeat the pathogen, bacteria, fungi, or virus that has entered the system, the immune system lets the inflammation linger. This turn of events may lead to chronic inflammation, which can cause long-term skin problems.

 

The Gut Brain Connection and Gut-Skin Axis

 
The body relies on governing parts to remain in contact with one another. Our brain is sort of at the top of the spectrum, keeping a lookout like a lighthouse. Meanwhile, the gut sort of acts like the control center. This strong bond is known as the gut brain connection.
 
The main soldier on the ground for the gut brain connection would be the skin. Skin is the first contact with outside chemicals and acts as a filter for the whole body. In fact, this complex ecosystem has its own microbiome [*]. Here is just how intricate the gut-skin axis can be.

 

Nutrient Absorption

 
There is more to our skin than just feeling good. We rely on our skin for nutrient and supplement absorption. For one, our pores soak up the sun. This is essential for our Vitamin D absorption. Our body can’t make this essential vitamin. Therefore, we need to get outdoors and absorb this crucial catalyst from the sky above.
 
Sadly, over one billion people suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency [*]. Vitamin D deficiency can throw off the system because it plays a crucial role in the creation of neurotransmitters including serotonin [*]. This fact shows that our skin plays an integral role in the gut brain connection.
 
Intestinal flora also has a profound impact on the skin. You can gauge your nutrient intake and the state of your gut health by looking at your skin. For instance, those who consume too much beta-carotene or Vitamin A may have an orange tinge in their outer glow.
 
In the same respect, anyone who fills up on empty calories and artificial sweeteners may develop a dull complexion. That is because they lack the essential micronutrients to maintain the elasticity and vibrancy of their skin microbiome.

 

Hormones and Skin Care

 
While turning a tad bit orange can be manageable, other foods may have more harmful effects. One way or another, everything we consume has an impact on the system. Some of these effects may be a shift in our hormone production.
 
For example, whey protein and carbs have exhibited the ability to increase levels of Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). When IGF-1 gets stimulated, it will activate our sebaceous glands. Your body goes into defense mode and actually churns out extra inflammatory mediators. As a result, studies find that this sort of activity increases the extremity of an acne flare-up [*].
 
The best way to keep your hormones in check is to adopt a low-glycemic diet. It will lower the need for inflammatory modulators. Consequently, the onslaught of acne outbreaks should cease.

 

How Gut Health Affects Skin Health

 
Our insides are sort of set up like our outsides. Think of your skin. It’s a porous surface. Water and nutrients can seep in. Blood, toxins, and mucus may all excrete out. Your gastrointestinal tract is set up much the same.
 
During the digestion food, particles enter the small intestines. To break down the solid material, your body ferments it within your stomach acid. However, if there isn’t ventilation (much like our pores), then our stomach would turn into a science experiment gone awry. That is why our digestive system is designed with tiny holes known as tight junctions.

 

Leaky Gut Syndrome and Skin Health

 
Tight junctions allow for the odorous vapors to escape your GI tract. Otherwise…boom goes the belly!
 
Besides ensuring our gut doesn’t turn into a CGI movie explosion, the tight junctions also allow nutrients from the digestion of food to enter the bloodstream.
 
Unfortunately, some of our dietary decisions are causing a problem for this autonomous process. As we consume more refined sugars, artificial ingredients, and processed foods, it slows our system down. Excess solid food matter finds itself sticking around in the GI tract. Over time, these substances will build up causing a number of gastrointestinal disorders and various skin conditions.
 
When you add more food into the GI tract, it becomes the episode of I Love Lucy where Lucy and Ethel work at the chocolate factory. The conveyor belt gets full, and the supplies must spill out somewhere.
 
Inside of our intestines, the toxins spill out through the tight junctions. This unfortunate side effect of the digestion process is known as dysbiosis. When dysbiosis happens, it may lead to Leaky Gut Syndrome.
 
Whether you have Leaky Gut Syndrome or any other gastrointestinal disorders, a common side effect is skin issues. Many GI issues coincide with skin flare-ups. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the connection.

 

Skin Conditions Associated with Poor Gut Health

 
When you are experiencing GI problems or a skin condition, there may be another gastrointestinal illness or skin condition going on. Typically, the problem started internally and has manifested into the skin condition you see on the exterior. Luckily, science has made it easier to determine which gut health condition is causing our skin to react the way it does.

 

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth and Rosacea

 
SIBO is a common gut health condition where bacteria that typically reside in other areas of the gut sets up shop in the small intestines. While most of the body enjoys biodiversity, the small intestines is a “members-only” club.
 
The small intestines want beneficial bacteria that will work toward getting the most nutrition and energy out of your food. When they get upset by intrusive bacteria, you feel it. Therefore, SIBO can cause a lot of discomfort for those who have invaders in the VIP section.
 
Some of the first symptoms of SIBO may actually show up on your skin. They may result in:
 
• Pustules (Pus-Filled Blisters/Pimples)
• Papules (Non-Pus-Filled Blister/Pimples)
• Erythema (Redness/Blotchiness)
 
These three symptoms are all classified as rosacea. Typically, they are caused by dysbiosis of the skin microbiome. However, if an infection caused by SIBO is happening inside, the same inflammation will form under the skin.
 
Remember, your skin is the way out. So, when gravity takes hold, these inflammations will find a nice nook to hang out inside. That will result in skin conditions [*].

 

Leaky Gut Syndrome and Psoriasis

 
When we suffer from extreme cases of dysbiosis, our probiotic to harmful bacteria ratio might flip-flop. This swap may cause skin conditions such as psoriasis.
 
One study found that those with psoriasis have increased levels of Faecalibacterium. Meanwhile, they also tested low for levels of the probiotic strain, Bacteroides, within the GI tract [*].
 
Consequently, the skin microbiome also experienced dysbiosis. However, the bacteria affected were different. The same study saw that the skin microbiome of psoriasis patients saw a decrease of Propionibacterium and Actinobacteria. Meanwhile, levels of Streptococcus, the culprit of Staph infection, were elevated.

 

Insulin and Acne

 
You are what you eat. Therefore, if you consume garbage, you may look the part. The typical Standard American Diet (SAD) has found many with elevated insulin levels. Further studies confirm that these dietary choices set off a litany of pro-inflammatory biomarkers [*].
 
Staples in the SAD include red meat and other animal proteins. These are rich in omega-6 fatty acids such as leucine. Leucine is an amino acid known to stimulate mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) [*]. This area of the body controls protein synthesis and energy consumption. It also activates our body’s SREBP,33.
 
When SREBP,33 enters the gut biome, it feasts on the leucine consumed in the SAD [*]. As a result, sebaceous lipids get synthesized. These are the glands responsible for producing oily skin associated with acne. That is why studies suggest the overstimulation of the mTORC1 causes acne vulgaris. This condition is further exasperated by those who consume a high-glycemic diet as outlined by SAD.

 

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Skin Lesions

 
Irritable bowel disease (IBD) can affect up to 60 million people each year. Typically, IBD springs up in two forms:
 
• Crohn’s Disease
• Ulcerative Colitis
 
While IBD starts internally, it also manifests on the skin microbiome. In fact, 6% to 47% of IBD patients will have visible sores [*]. These lesions can be anywhere from on the skin to the inside of the mouth.
 
Studies find that those with these two types of conditions have one significant similarity. They both exhibit elevated levels of Tumor necrosis factor (TNF). A group of these proteins is known as a “superfamily.” Together, they team up to spread IBD, resulting in excess skin lesions throughout the body.

 

Bacteria Associated with Skin Conditions

 
Our skin has its own microbiome. These little critters affect everything from the appearance of our skin to the grayness of our hair follicles, to the strength of our cuticles. We just need to make sure that there’s balance going on in the inside. Otherwise, harmful bacteria will win on the outside as well.
 
For instance, 25% of healthy people have the bacteria strain, Staphylococcus on their body [*]. Untriggered, Staphylococcus can be quite harmless. However, when this pathogenic bacteria causes an infection, it can be dangerous…and in some cases, deadly.
 
In even more severe cases, bacteria such as Mycobacterium lepraemurium is the known pathogen behind the flesh-eating disease, leprosy [*]. In less extreme situations, the bacteria known as Acinetobacter lwoffii is an opportunistic bacteria that infect wounds, exasperating the symptoms and prolonging the healing process. While these are extreme ends of the spectrum, this just shows how crucial of a role gut bacteria play in the vitality of our skin.
 
Unless bacteria is opportunistic, there aren’t many strains that facilitate the outbreak of typical skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Regular skin conditions that hinder the everyday lives of most people are a cause of bacteria your system may be lacking on the inside. This is why it’s so important to get a personalized probiotic supplement. Let’s take a deeper look at how you can improve your skin conditions naturally.

 

Ways to Improve Skin Conditions

 
While the key to improving the outside is to get the inside up to speed, there are other things you can do to help improve the health of your skin microbiome. After all, strengthening your gut biome may take a bit of time. Therefore, you might need some superficial relief until the internal problems are addressed accordingly.

 

Change Up Your Skin Routine

 
To combat skin conditions, start with treating your skin. A lot of times, these issues may be the cause of some habits you’ve grown accustomed to. Here are some quick ways to change up your skin routine while your gut biome gets up to speed.

 

Shorter Showers

 
For starters, cut down on the hot showers. Sure, your shower voice can land you a record contract any day of the week. However, try to get that audition over within five minutes. Otherwise, you end up scorching and drying out your skin.

 

Moisturize After a Shower

 
Once you get out of the shower, this is the ideal time to apply moisturizer. Since the steam from your shower opened your pores up, they are susceptible to the benefits of lotions.
 
In fact, any time you notice you are dry, lotion up! Letting your skin dry out causes itchiness. Itchiness leads to scratching. Scratching results in open wounds. From there, opportunistic bacteria can come in and disrupt your gut biome.

 

Only Organic Products on Skin Microbiome

 
Be aware of what types of lotions you are using. Be sure to stick with organic products where the active ingredients are words you can pronounce. Otherwise, you run the risk of clogging up your pores.
 
Not to mention, these hard-to-name ingredients are a lot like the synthetic food items backing up your gut biome. Your skin is like a sponge. Anytime you add a moisturizer to your skin, the pores soak up the formula. This gives the active ingredients in the product direct access to your bloodstream.
 
When synthetic molecules come into contact with your cells, they have unnatural chemical reactions. This can actually cause some electrons to get over-excited and spawn off to become free radicals [*].

 

Free Radicals and Antioxidants

 
Free radicals are precursors to inflammations that cause the unsightly skin conditions you are trying to prevent. They are the culprits behind saggy skin, circles under the eyes, and Varicose Veins. To overthrow free radicals, you need antioxidants.
 
Antioxidants have exhibited the ability to inhibit the growth of free radicals that cause the decay of tissues and cells [*]. As a result, damaged cells become rejuvenated, giving your outward appearance a fresh coat of paint and a new take on life.
 
An ideal way to get rid of free radicals is to consume foods rich in antioxidants. Some great options include:
 
• Berries
• Dark Chocolate
• Red Wine
• Nuts
• Avocados
• Dark Greens
 
What’s ideal about these foods is they serve duel purposes. This list of foods doubles as food sources for another antioxidant-rich supplement…probiotics. Let’s take a moment to learn how probiotics can help with your skin care issues.

 

Probiotics, Microbiome Testing, and Skin Care

 
Research shows probiotic species Bacillus coagulans reduces oxidative stress in the gastrointestinal tract [*]. Therefore, this bacterium alleviates inflammatory responses inside the microbiome that attracts opportunistic pathogens on your skin microbiota. To keep beneficial bacteria like Bacillus coagulans strong, it’s best to consume prebiotic-rich foods like those listed in the antioxidant-rich sources above.
 
While you are considering supplementing with probiotics, it’s best to get a clear idea of what your body is lacking. After all, most skin conditions are a result of low diversity residing inside your gut. Studies show that a lack of diversity in the microbiome of children leads to autoimmune diseases such as autism [*]. Skin autoimmune diseases are no exception.
 
In particular, low levels of Lactobacillus paracasei strains of probiotic bacteria have shown to exacerbate the symptoms of asthma, allergic rhinitis, and eczema.
 
On top of supplementing with strains of Lactobacillus paracsei Th1 and Th2, you can further improve skin conditions by fortifying your supplement with Lactobacillus fermentum. Together, the strains have a bit of an entourage effect on the other, improving the onset of atopic dermatitis [*].   
 
For those who want to relive their youthful glow, it’s possible with proper probiotic supplementation. The fountain of youth lives inside of you. You just need to nourish it with Lactobacillus plantarum.
 
Studies have found that this bacteria can help repair a damaged skin barrier. This is crucial in keeping opportunistic pathogens on your exterior from getting in. Research reveals that the presence of Lactobacillus plantarum in the microbiome has reduced the size of acne lesions and exhibited anti-aging effects [*].
 
Lastly, to keep your dry skin in check, there’s a probiotic strain scientifically proven to help ease these symptoms. Bifidobacterium breve helps improve the skin’s elasticity while simultaneously hydrating the skin [*].
 
Want to look beautiful on the inside? You’ve got to start with the inside. The best way to combat skin conditions is to see which bacteria your microbiome may be lacking. Invest in a microbiome test kit. With these results, Thryve Probiotics can formulate a supplement that will meet the personal needs of your body…and skin.

 

Case Studies

 

I had Eczema growing up and it started to get more and more drastic as I got older. I noticed a lot of different foods would trigger my Eczema and cause it to flare up for days at a time. During my flare-ups, I realized my digestion was usually always shot as well with diarrhea and bloating. When I started researching about gut health it started to make more sense, that our bacteria which helps train and regulate our immune system could be the solution to my problem. I was able to track using Thryve’s Gut Health program that I was low in diversity, Bifidobacteria (good probiotics), and increased levels of Staphylococcus aureus on my skin. I’m thankful to say that while on the program I was able to test myself every month to see how my microbiome was shifting into a better state. I was able to increase diversity, lower Staphylococcus aureus, and increase Bifidobacteria. By applying their personalized diet recommendations and their immune supporting probiotics my Eczema hasn’t shown up in months!

MICHELLE Z

 

What’s Thryve Gut Health?

 

 

 

Probiotic Comparison

 
 

Microbiome Testing Companies Comparison

 
 
• Gut Microbiome Test Kit done at home
• Personalized dietary recommendations for foods to enjoy
• Customized probiotic supplements to replenish good bacteria
• Two week turnaround, shipped directly to your door

Read More
mother and daughter making a salad

The Ultimate Guide to the Gut-Weight Axis

It should be no secret that there is a strong correlation between the gut and your weight. After all, the pounds probably started packing on right around that area! High caloric intake and lack of physical activity are primary culprits in weight gain. However, excess weight gain over a prolonged period can mean there’s more than just your physical appearance at stake. Let’s examine the gut-weight axis.

 

What Does Gut Health Have to Do with Weight?

 
There’s nothing more frustrating than watching weight loss companies encouraging people to watch their calories. It’s not the calories that’s the problem. One-third of the population is considered overweight because of the source of our calories [*].
 
Think of the most populous areas in your hometown. There is a litany of coffee shops using artificial sweeteners, fast food restaurants deep frying foods, and “health food” stores carrying products full of with synthetic dyes and additives.
 
Food allergies are up 500% since 1990 [*]. Let that sink in. We scoff at the rise of gluten-free and vegan products. However, wheat and dairy are the top two allergens in the world. Maybe there’s something to be said about going back to basics.

 

Wheat and Gut Health

 
For one, mass-produced wheat is not the same whole grains upon which our great grandparents feasted. The dark side of wheat is that these highly-refined sandwich holders are stripped of their nutritional value. Instead, they’re manufactured in bulk, baked with additives our body can’t break down.
 
What’s left after we digest mass-produced grains are empty carbs not conducive to creating energy. Leftover gluten causes a nice fort for inflammation to burrow.
 
Inflammation is shielded by the undigested fibers. Being under Cognito allows inflammation to alter the pH level within its vicinity. That is why many who have a food sensitivity to gluten experience sharp pains in their belly. These unpleasurable effects are an inflammation settling into its digs.

 

Dairy and Gut Health

 
There is no denying the health benefits of milk. This popular beverage is rich in nutrients such as calcium. As the Got Milk? campaign taught us, milk helps strengthen our bones. While we’ve been educated on the benefits of dairy, the adage of “having too much of a good thing” is often neglected.

 

The Difference Between Cow Milk and Breast Milk

 
When we are born, mothers may provide us nutrients through breast milk. Breastfeeding is a great way to acclimate your little one a whole new world. This practice is beneficial because you are nourishing them with the same nutrients they received while they were in your womb.
 
Our body plays host to trillions of microscopic cells [*]. These microbes continued to chemically react, feed on cells, and grow for nine months. During this time they formed our immune system, organs, and mind. Microbes get trapped within our skin and remain with us as we enter the world. They are now the governors of our microbiome.
 
Feasting on a mother’s milk is a great way to kick start the beginning of a human’s life. Much like cows, we rely on our mother for milk until we are able to fend for ourselves. All other animals in nature stop drinking milk once they reach maturity. Humans are the only mammals that do not. In fact, we’re also the only mammals to drink another mammal’s milk. [*]
 
Dairy is not very conducive to a healthy gut diet plan. Our body is not equipped to break down excess lactose. Yet, it’s in everything from potato chips to chocolate to cheese to lattes. You name it, and lactose has probably graced it.
 
Seeing as our body has trouble breaking down dairy, it sort of hangs out in our gut. Now we’re in the same situation as gluten. You now have a food source high in LDL cholesterol lingering in your microbiome. Too much LDL cholesterol will undoubtedly lead to weight gain and inevitably, obesity, and/or Type 2 diabetes [*].

 

What is the Gut-Weight Axis?

 
We mentioned earlier that our microbiome is taking care of matters going on trapped inside of our skin. The microbiome is such a complex pathway of neurons, microbes, neurotransmitters, organs, and cells. They all work together to help fight off inflammation, free radicals, and harmful bacteria.
 
There are two captains of the ship. They are the gut and the brain. Our gut-brain axis has a clear indicator of everything going on within the system. This flawless operation is much in thanks to the vagus nerve.
 
Attached to the end of our brainstem, the vagus nerve sits right above our gut. There are numerous axons connected to this nerve. The nerve is constantly interpreting impulses sent by neurons from various areas of the body. Our vagus nerve acts as a toll booth, playing messenger to everywhere from our skin to our brain to our immune system to digestive tract.
 
That’s a lot of ground to cover. However, the vagus nerve is equipped to handle the job. This crucial instrument has a hoard of neural tissues. These tissues are extremely sensitive and pick up the scents of local organisms.
 
When inflammations create an overly acidic environment in the gut, it triggers the tissues on the end of the vagus nerve. This reaction causes the nerve to trigger our brain. In turn, we feel uncomfortable symptoms such as gas, constipation, or diarrhea.

 

Gut Health and Hunger

 
Living in our microbiome, microbes are constantly having chemical reactions. That means our microbiome is ever-evolving. Part of its self-sufficiency relies on the creation of hormones and neurotransmitters. The gut needs to communicate with the rest of the system to have its demands met. This need is why you may feel anxious or hangry when your stomach starts to growl.
 
Your gut makes these decision based on who is ruling the ruse in the microbiome. In a healthy system, you will receive pings of hunger at adequate feeding intervals. To relay this message, your gut will secrete orexigenic hormones, such as ghrelin, into the system.
 
When your system is getting full, it will release anorectic hormones such as peptide YY and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1) into the bloodstream [*]. This action signals to the hypothalamus that you’re satiated.
 
In turn, the hypothalamus sends neurotransmitters to other areas of the body that include:
 
• Amygdala
• Brainstem
• Nucleus Accumbens
• Prefrontal Cortex
 
With everyone on the same page, your body goes into breaking down your food and distributing the nutrients. You will feel energized enough to get to the next meal, and the whole process will start over again. That is, if you have healthy bacteria in your microbiome.

 

Poor Gut Health and Weight Gain

 
We’ve reached the point where the source of your calories matters far more than your number of calories. When you host predominantly harmful bacteria in the microbiome, the creation of anorectic hormones takes a backseat.
 
Instead, your gut becomes insatiable, secreting excess ghrelin into the blood. When this happens, you are tricked into thinking you are hungry. As a result, you eat more food than necessary.

 

Adipose Tissue and Weight Gain

 
When we eat, the solid material enters our stomach acids. Here, the food particles are broken into manageable pieces. They enter the small intestines where the valuable nutrients are fermented for last minute sustenance. The leftover toxins are then flushed through the large intestine and out the other end.
 
Right above the small intestine lies our gut lining. When we overindulge, food chills there. It’s like LA traffic during rush-hour. Everyone waits impatiently for their turn to move an inch.
 
Adipose tissue acts as Velcro around our gut lining. It attaches itself to calories. That way our body can draw on the energy in time of need. This easy access is especially handy for those who need a burst during a workout.
 
The texture of the tissue is sticky. Therefore, it likes to soak up other sticky substances like refined sugars and artificial sweeteners. This relationship with sweets leaves little room for beneficial nutrients that should be stored in your fat such as amino acids.
 
When we are consuming nutrient-dense foods, the tissue is more of a beige hue. That means there are energy-boosting nutrients readily available. However, the longer adipose tissue sits there; it begins to lose its color. Once white, it’s harder for your body to draw energy. Plus, the texture becomes stickier. This change in appearance lends itself to a snowball effect where excess weight can start to accumulate.

 

How to Improve Gut Health and Weight

 
The first step to fighting off these build-ups is to break them down. Healthy bacteria don’t know how to feast on these fake foods. Harmful bacteria do. Therefore, your junk food is actually determinantal bacteria’s Thanksgiving feast [*].  

 

Revamp Your Diet

 
You need to one, cut back on the bad foods and implement healthier foods. Whole foods that come from the earth contain chemical compounds that compute with the bacteria we entered this world with. These foods are known as prebiotics.
 
To help alter the environment of your microbiome, try eating food rich in probiotics. When foods ferment in a brine, living cultures will feast on their sugars. In turn, it creates for gut healthy foods.
 
By switching up your diet to incorporate more fermented foods, you will notice a change in your gut. You should feel less bloated and go to the bathroom on a more regular schedule.

 

Probiotic Supplements and Energy Storage

 
Sure, we love a good kombucha, but probiotic-rich foods can be a bit much for some. Whether you have successfully implemented more fermented foods into your diet or not, using probiotic supplements can also help burrow more healthy microbes into your system.
 
These probiotics feast on prebiotic-rich foods you consume. In turn, probiotic bacteria grow stronger, changing the acidic levels of your microbiome and altering your gut health. As a result, your gut motility will improve [*]. Regulated gut motility will help create the bile necessary to excrete out the excess toxins causing your weight issues.
 
On top of that, beneficial bacteria has been scientifically proven to “increase levels of the protein ANGPTL4 [*].” This is a lipid that regulates how triglycerides are stored in adipose tissues. ANGPTL4 stores energy sources more efficiently so that they are burned at a faster, more natural rate. Otherwise, the fat is free to store itself anywhere in the gut, making these energy sources less readily available…and harder to burn.

 

Probiotics and Thermogenesis

 
Speaking of burning, gut bacteria also help burn your fat tissue more efficiently. Probiotic bacterias facilitate a process known as thermogenesis [*].
 
Thermogenesis is when your body draws on adipose tissues and converts the nutrients stored within their sticky fibers into energy. When adipose tissue is with other white tissue, it tends to stick together, making it harder to excrete energy from the source. Harmful bacteria help keep that adipose tissue right along the gut lining. We interpret this bloat as excess weight.
 
Studies have shown that probiotics excite electrons around the gut lining. This causes the white tissue to have a chemical reaction which turns it into a brown hue. Affectionately known as fat-browning, when white tissues turn beige, it sheds more weight. That’s because this dormant tissue is now being used as a more efficient source of energy [*].

 

Metabolism and Weight Gain

 
Part of the issue with weight gain is the metabolism isn’t working like the well-oiled machine it used to be. To give the metabolism a bit of a hand, probiotics help facilitate the creation of the GLP-1 we spoke about earlier.
 
This hormone suppresses feelings of hunger, so we don’t feel the need to eat unnecessarily. In a two-for-one deal, the GLP-1 has also exhibited an ability to improve glucose intolerance [*]. That makes this hormone crucial for those suffering from diabetes or are at risk of the condition.

 

Weight Gain and Cardiovascular Disease

 
On top of superficial consequences, there are also health risks associated with weight gain. For instance, too much weight can lead to the onset of diabetes. Cases of obesity are typically caused by the overconsumption of refined sugars. Refined sugars are known to spike your blood glucose levels. When these practices become habitual, it may lead to cases of Type 2 Diabetes or bouts of diabetic shock.
 
Furthermore, these artificial sugars stay in your system for the long haul. With time, they start to harden and create sticky plaques that disrupt the complex highways that are your arteries. As a result, blood can’t get to sections of the body including the brain, genitals, and heart. When oxygenated blood cells can’t reach these areas, it leaves the body open to a plethora of conditions such as mental health disorders, reproductive abnormalities, and cardiovascular disease.

 

Stomach Bacteria Associated with Weight Conditions

 
As we keep saying, it’s bacteria that you got into this mess. It will also be bacteria that will help you get out of it.
 
When it comes to excess weight, there aren’t a lot of bacteria that is necessarily causing the issue. Instead, you have a lack of biodiversity going on within the system. Unless there is an underlying issue, such as an overabundance of Helicobacter pylori [*]. In these cases, you may experience painful symptoms such as bloating and abdominal pain.
 
Due to these effects, you may not feel the desire to be as active. Fear of triggering more pain may cause you to gain weight as an organic side effect. In other cases, these bacteria overloads may cause a breeding ground for inflammation. As inflammatory tissues pile up, this can lead to a bulge in your gut area.
 
Speaking of inflammations, bacterial strains such as Coprococcus comes can cause autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s and Irritable Bowel Syndrome [*]. As toxins leak into your system from these conditions, they set off receptors attached to the bottom of the vagus nerve.
 
When opportunists such as Coprococcus come to take up too much residence, your body goes into panic mode. This alerts the adrenal glands. Autonomously, these glands start pumping out the hormone, cortisol [*].

 

Cortisol and Weight Gain

 
Cortisol is our stress hormone. When our body is in a constant state of peril, it creates a constant state of stress. As cortisol infiltrates the system, it will throw the rest of your hormones off balance. This includes testosterone and estrogen. Depending on how your body reacts to the cortisol production, it may end up pumping out too of the latter hormone.
 
When excess estrogen enters the microbiome, it alters the way we store fat [*]. Estrogen triggers the maternal instinct of our system. All of our fat and blood cells rush to the belly in the presence of excess estrogen because it’s anticipating the arrival of a fetus. When the fetus doesn’t come to fruition, you may be left with the excess tissue buildup. On the outside, this will come across as weight gain.

 

Ways To Improve Weight Concerns

 
Excess weight can sneak up on you. Once caught off-guard, you might have a bigger hill to climb than you realized. Feeling a bit overwhelmed? You might not know where to begin on your weight loss journey. Let us help you figure out some ways to improve your weight.

 

Exercise

 
Exercise is essential for losing weight. You need to burn off the food you consumed. Otherwise, the particles will clog your gut lining. When this happens, it not only opens the door for weight loss, but for other life-threatening conditions.

 

Exercise and Probiotic Growth

 
Not only will exercise help you burn off that extra slice of cake, but it helps improve your microbiome. By exercising, you are mixing up sedimentary microbes. When you move about, it forces chemical reactions between microbes that weren’t hanging out with one another [*].
 
Exercising works two-fold in probiotic growth. For one, your probiotic bacteria are mingling with one another. These reactions will alter the chemical makeup of other microbes. In turn, you naturally diversify your bacteria.
 
Secondly, this causes probiotic bacteria to get mixed up with inflammation. It’s like the police on a manhunt. Probiotics are free to swish around areas they couldn’t access when you were sitting at a desk. When probiotics find inflammations, they can enlist red blood cells, T-cells, and other members of our immune system to clean up the muck.
 
The biggest no-brainer in addressing weight concerns is diet and exercise. You need to cut out the fried foods, poor protein choices, and artificial ingredients. While they may taste good, these foods don’t feel good. 

 

Get Your Macronutrients

 
We’ve touched on it before, and we’re going to harp on it again. Dietary choices are the leading cause of weight gain. Therefore, making informed decisions will be the most beneficial in getting you out of this situation.
 
For adequate nutrition, be sure to eat foods that range the rainbow of colors. Each hue represents unique chemical compounds that other foods are lacking. Therefore, you are getting a balanced diet of micronutrients each time you opt to consume a food with a different colored exterior.
 
Micronutrients are essential for weight loss because they act as catalysts for many vital functions. Most importantly, micronutrients contain the enzymes we need to facilitate the digestion process [*]. They also contain the energy we need to push through workouts.

 

Supplementing with Probiotics

 
Lastly, the key to getting your weight under control is to create an environment conducive to that goal. The best way to do this is to supplement with the correct beneficial bacteria. Studies have shown that some of the biggest reasons we gain weight are due to the lack of beneficial bacteria in our body.
 
For instance, refined sugar cravings that happen more than three times a week can be attributed to a low level of Bifidobacterium lactis in the gut. This strain of bacteria helps reduce the levels of lipids in our system that brings on the sugary cravings we long for. Instead, Bifidobacterium lactis creates an environment where sugar cravings are satiated by the glucose and fructose provided by prebiotic-rich foods such as fruits and resistant starches [*].
 
Other studies have confirmed that a small amount of Methanobrevibacter smithii in the microbiome may lead to weight gain. This probiotic strain flourishes while feasting on hydrogen in the gut.
 
Hydrogen is a byproduct of waste created by other microorganisms inside your system. When hydrogen levels are high, it makes it harder for your gut to ferment the bacteria in your stomach acid. It’s like closing a mason jar lid with a strong current pushing it up. When Methanobrevibacter smithii consumes hydrogen, it speeds up the metabolic process. As a result, you absorb more nutrients, rather than storing them as fat cells [*].

 

Diabetes and Probiotics

 
Many who suffer from weight issues are at an increased risk for diabetes [*]. Cases of diabetes tend to have decreased levels of Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus reuteri Tr1 (ADR1) in the gut. Research shows Lactobacillus rhamnosus enhances gluten sensitivity. As a result, this strain may be helpful in controlling peaked blood sugar levels.
 
Furthermore, the same study concluded that Lactobacillus reuteri Tr1 (ADR1) does the same for women who have gestational diabetes during pregnancy. However, this strain also helps lower inflammations that may also add to unwanted weight gain.

 

Cholesterol and Probiotics

 
Unwanted weight gain is also triggered by high levels of LDL cholesterol. This is the fatty lipids found in animal fats, dairy, and sweets. When levels of LDL cholesterol are high, it blocks off paths for red oxygenated blood cells to get through. Therefore, these cells can’t help oxidize adipose tissue and turn it into energy. Studies with Lactobacillus reuteri confirm that this probiotic strain can lower LDL cholesterol levels while simultaneously reducing the risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease [*].
 
Seeing as diversity is the key to getting your microbes in check, you should figure out which ones are currently lacking in your system. The best way to do this is to get your microbiome tested. In doing so, you can pinpoint just what your body needs. With these results, Thryve Probiotics can formulate a personalized supplement guaranteed to help you blast that excess weight to smithereens.

 

Weight Loss Case Study

 
Pamela came in with the goal to lose 15 lbs off her midsection. Outside of belly fat, Pamela presented no other health issues and was a healthy 35 year old.
 

We tested her gut bacteria and noticed she was lacking several good probiotic bacteria known for weight loss. Specifically, she had low counts of Bifidobacterium probiotics in her gut and reduced microbial diversity.

Pamela started on a personalized diet plan and customized probiotic blend and was able to reduce her weight by almost 11 lbs (8.5%) in 3 months without any changes to her activity level.
 
 

What’s Thryve Gut Health?

 
 

Probiotic Comparison

 
 

Microbiome Testing Companies Comparison

 
 
• Gut Microbiome Test Kit done at home
• Personalized dietary recommendations for foods to enjoy
• Customized probiotic supplements to replenish good bacteria
• Two week turnaround, shipped directly to your door

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The Ultimate Guide to Healing a Leaky Gut

Perhaps no condition is more common than Leaky Gut Syndrome. After all, Harvard says that all have “some degree of it. [*]” Leaky Gut Syndrome is a vague term used to describe increased intestinal permeability. That’s when undigested food particles and toxins leave the intestines and enter the gut biome.
 
Left unchecked, leaky gut can cause other GI conditions, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Leaky Gut Syndrome also compromises the immune system, opening the door for bacterial infections and autoimmune disease. Chronic inflammation is the primary cause of Leaky Gut Syndrome, so the only effective leaky gut treatment is to make the inflammation stop.  

 

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

 
Leaky Gut Syndrome is not a technical medical diagnosis. However, more gastrointestinal specialists are beginning to recognize it’s influence on the gut microbiome. The medical community use the term “Leaky Gut Syndrome” to describe a patient whose exhibiting intestinal hyperpermeability. 

intestinal permeability leaky gut syndrome
It’s like the gut is an unemployed person who decided to charge a bunch of new gadgets on their credit card. When you have Leaky Gut, your gut gives no effs…and then you pay the consequences in the long run.
 
When you suffer from Leaky Gut Syndrome, it means toxic substances are transferring from the digestive tract back into your bloodstream. In small doses, our body can handle these antagonists. It causes a quick immune response, our immune system cells handle the situation, our job is done here. 
 
As Leaky Gut Syndrome persists, the consequences may become direr. Intestinal hyperpermeability can lead to an array of nutritional deficiencies, chronic diseases, and hormonal imbalances, to name a few. To understand the levity, let’s dive into the anatomy of the digestive tract.

 

GI Tract Anatomy and Leaky Gut Syndrome

 
Our entire system is created by cells. Every follicle, tissue, and organ. This rings true of the intestines. The primary cells that comprise our intestinal barrier are epithelial cells.
 
Epithelial cells have adapted over time to create the perfect molecular mechanism conducive to breaking down solid matter. They created a lining of your gut that separates beneficial bacteria and digestive enzymes from solid food particles, large molecules, and toxins brewing within the intestines.
 
When we consume food, the intestines are our endgame. The solid matter travels down the esophagus and into the stomach acids. After cannbonballing down, the food then enters the small intestines.
 
intestines leaky gut
The small intestines consist of three main parts:
 
• Duodenum
• Ileum
• Jejunum
 
Food particles get broken down in the duodenum of the small intestine. From there, they move to the jejunum where the nutrients are absorbed.
 
What’s left after that shipment is bile, which the ileum uses for various functions. The ileum is also vital in Vitamin B12 absorption.
 
The remaining food particles are shipped to the large intestine, where our body extracts water from the waste. From there, the waste is well…waste.

 

Why Gastrointestinal Disorders Lead to Leaky Gut Syndrome

 
Seeing as we eat a lot (we all know we do), the digestive process takes some time. Therefore, some toxins will remain in the intestines until you are ready to eliminate them. As anyone who has cooked at high volumes knows, you need ventilation. Otherwise, it’s kaboom!
 
Intestinal lining has little holes in the barrier that work two-fold:
 
• They Allow Ventilation
• They Release Nutrients from Intestines to Bloodstream
 
These little breaks in the cell pattern are known as tight junctions. In a healthy body, the tight junctions are like a tightly-woven basket. However, poor gut health causes larger cracks within the lining of the gut to develop. This widening of the gap significantly increases your chances of developing leaky gut symptoms.

 

What are the Symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome?

 
What makes Leaky Gut Syndrome so hard to diagnose is that this condition’s symptoms mirrors many of the gastrointestinal symptoms associated with those who have a poor diet.
 
Symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome include:
 
• Anxious Tendencies
Bloating
• Cramping
• Diarrhea or Constipation
• Food Sensitivity
• Gas
• Headaches/Migraines
• Insomnia
• Joint Pain
• Skin Rashes/Redness/Blotchiness
 
If you have any of the above symptoms, or a number of them, consult medical practitioners about Leaky Gut Syndrome.

 

What Causes Leaky Gut Syndrome?

 
Some people are born with a genetic predisposition for a weaker gut barrier. Others might have an underlying medical condition, such as HIV, that’s triggering a chronic immune response.
 
However, for the most part, Leaky Gut Syndrome is a gradual process. There are a number of reasons why we may develop Leaky Gut Syndrome. Let’s take a look at the most common.

 

Poor Diet

 
The most prevalent cause of Leaky Gut Syndrome is eating a bunch of foods that are not conducive to good gut health. One-third of the population is considered overweight [*]. This alarming statistic was made possible by the practices used by the Standard American Diet (SAD). 
 
The correlations don’t end there. You also need to take into account that gastrointestinal bacterial infections for C. difficile are up 200% over the last 10 years [*]. That’s right. Cases of Leaky Gut Syndrome are just starting to rise.
 
So, which inflammatory foods are causing Leaky Gut Syndrome? Everyone’s different. So, some might have food sensitivities to foods that others don’t. Here are some of the usual suspects.

 

Saturated Fats

 

Our body needs fat. Fat is essential for nutrient absorption and amino acids. Not to mention, it tastes delicious! However, the fat you consume matters.
 
We eat far too many saturated fats. These are foods that are high in LDL cholesterol and omega-6 fatty acids. While beneficial, too many saturated fats become overwhelming for our systems to break down.
 
Too many saturated fats can cause our system to go on a backlog. In these moments, chronic inflammation ensues. Harmful bacteria take advantage and seek shelter around these fats.

 

Artificial Sweeteners/Refined Sugar

 
Speaking of products that are wreaking havoc on your system, our body is not equipped to break down synthetic ingredients. Artificial sweeteners, refined sugars, and food dyes may change the taste and appearance of food, but they also alter your gut microbiota.
 
Healthy bacteria are unable to consume these sugars. While our digestive system tries to figure out how to process them, harmful bacteria feast on these sweets. Consider Halloween their Thanksgiving.
 
In addition, these sweets are sticky. If they remain undigested, they will only harden with time. So, these sugars will attract more sugars, fat cells, and dead tissue. Once these sugars harden, it will be even harder to repair your Leaky Gut. Just ask your dentist when they’re cleaning the candy plaque from in between your teeth!

 

Food Allergies

 
The number one culprit tearing our tight junctions are allergens. There are so many additives in our foods. We take for granted that our body has the tolerance to digest all of them. However, our body can’t break some of the fibers in our food down.
 
Part of this issue is because our body has an allergic reaction when they come into contact with these food byproducts. We’re talking about two types of sugars.

 

Gluten
 
Mass-produced wheat is not the same whole grains our great grandparents foraged. The dark side of wheat is these highly-refined loaves are stripped of their nutritional value. That’s why we’re seeing a gradual rise in Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity. That’s why gluten and leaky gut are so tied together.
 
Today, whole grains are  manufactured in bulk, baked with additives our body can’t break down. What’s left after we digest mass-produced grains are empty carbs not conducive to creating energy.
 
gluten leaky gut diet
We just have the sugars from the grains. You know them as gluten. Leftover gluten is an irritant to the body. Two-fold, it also serves as a nice fort for inflammation to burrow.
 
Also, gluten causes our liver to release a digestive enzyme known as zonulin. Scientific evidence shows that zonulin can regulate our tight junctions. Tight junctions help modulate intestinal permeability. So, excessive zonulin can open up the flood gates to causing a litany of health conditions.
 
Many of us unaware of how much gluten is in our daily lives. So, we need to figure out which items in our daily routines are causing inflammatory responses. If you suspect you have a gluten sensitivity, try adopting a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free foods are becoming increasingly common in grocery stores and restaurants!

 

Lactose
 
Think of how many bread products you eat almost every day. If your gut is having a continuous allergic reaction, this is the perfect storm to cause inflammation. Daily inflammation means that your gut lining is being chipped away at, piece by piece.
 
Got Milk? Maybe you shouldn’t have as much. When we are born, milk is pretty much essential. It has essential nutrition and it’s easy for young ones to swallow.
 
breast milk immune cells
Mothers provide us nutrients through breast milk. Breastfeeding is a great way to acclimate your new addition to the world because you’re nourishing them with the exact nutrients they had in womb. It’s like keeping the goldfish in the bag when acclimating it with a new tank.
 
Feasting on a mother’s milk is a great way to kick start the beginning of a human’s life. Much like cows, we rely on our mother for milk until we are able to fend for ourselves. All other animals in nature stop drinking milk once they reach maturity. Humans are the only mammals that do not. In fact, we’re also the only mammals to drink another mammal’s milk. [*]
 
Our body is not equipped to break down excess lactose. Yet, it’s in everything from potato chips to chocolate to cheese to lattes. You name it, and lactose has probably graced it.
 
As you read with gluten, letting these irritants fester is a recipe for disaster when it comes to gut health. Inflammations relish when someone with a lactose allergy consumes daily frequently. These conditions will undoubtedly make it easier for Leaky Gut Syndrome to persist.

 

Pesticides

 
It’s not just the food that we’re eating that’s causing harm. The way our food is farmed is also doing a number. Pesticides are toxins to living organisms that may consume our food. So, why is it acceptable for us to eat these harmful substances?
 
Pesticides are found in 85% of fresh produce [*]. So, even when you think you’re being healthy, a hit has been put on your gut. We are consuming toxins, the exact things we’re trying to stop from entering our system by repairing our Leaky Gut Syndrome.
 
Opt for organic whenever you can. Try gardening on your own. That way, you can control what kind of chemicals are used to cultivate your crops.

 

Long-Term Use of NSAIDs

 
Many of us turn to medications as a crutch to get through our daily life. These medications are excellent for quick fixes. However, they’re not meant to be the long-term solution. You need to face your chronic inflammation head-on and not mask it with pain killers.
 
Scientific evidence exhbited in a meta-analaysis of the long-term use of NSAIDs stated,
 
“Try coming up with new ways to handle your pain. Drink more water to ensure you’re not causing dehydration. Try doing yoga to work out the lower back pain from sitting all day. Cut out foods that cause allergic reactions. All of these can go a long way in slowing down an immune response. In turn, you are less likely to use NSAIDs.”

 

Chronic Stress

 
Stress makes us sick to our stomach, literally. When we endure stress it creates an immune response. Therefore, our innate immune system starts inflammation in hopes to remedy the issue. Unfortunately, stress is usually mental. So, the immune system is doing more harm than good.
 
Furthermore, stress creates a hormonal imbalance. When our stress hormones take over, it leaves less room for our sleep hormone, melatonin or our reproductive hormones. Hormonal imbalances can throw off everything from how we absorb nutrients to our energy production to how our tight junctions perform.

 

How Long Does it Take to Heal Leaky Gut?

 
How long it takes to heal a leaky gut depends on how bad your intestinal permeability has gotten. It also depends on if you’ve developed another condition or succumbed to Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). 
 
The key to healing a leaky gut fast is to act fast. You need to make lifestyle changes to expedite the process. Each day you wait to make these changes is another day the lining of your intestines lets more toxins in. You never know when the one who will completely wipe your commensal bacteria out will enter. So, it’s best to act now.

 

What is a Leaky Gut Treatment?

 
Here is the million dollar question. How do you repair Leaky Gut Syndrome? After all, Harvard pretty much called the condition inevitable. Well, there are a few things you can do to help out the cause. Let’s take a look at where to start.

 

Leaky Gut Diet

 
You need to adopt a leaky gut diet to give your body a break from immune responses. The lining of the intestines is taking a beating all day long. It keeps dealing with foods that cause inflammation. Instead, it deserves foods that promote healing. Here are some of the best leaky gut diet foods.

 

Collagen

Thryve Inside Bone Broth recipe
Bone broth is an excellent source of collagen

 
You probably first heard of collagen in health and beauty realms. Collagen is used for leaky gut to improve elasticity. However, it also helps in the rejuvenation of cells. This is a pretty essential skill seeing as cells are responsible for keeping our tight junctions tight in the first place!
 
Collagen also has two important amino acids. They are proline and glycine. Together, these building blocks of life repair the intestinal wall.
 
What gives collagen such strong revitalizing capabilities lies within its root. Here is where you can find gelatin.

 

Gelatin

 
Gelatin is the compound responsible for giving bones, tendons, cell membranes, and cartilage their structure.
 
The best way to use collagen to get to gelatin is by making a bone broth. As you heat up the collagen bone, it will start to secrete compounds from its core. Of those essential minerals is the gut-healthy gelatin.
 
In addition to giving structure to the intestinal wall, gelatin also helps create gastric juices. This makes guiding toxins out of the system a more efficient process. Therefore, you will experience less backup and in turn feel pain relief.

 

Fermented Foods

 
Those who follow the SAD and experience Leaky Gut Syndrome will also suffer from an overly acidic environment. Our gut thrives when it hovers around a pH balance of 7. However, the foods in a SAD don’t lend itself such a neutral number. As a result, harmful bacteria prop themselves up in your microbiome.
 
probiotics for leaky gut syndrome
To give your body a fighting chance in repairing Leaky Gut Syndrome, you need to shift the balance of power back to the probiotic side. Your stomach needs beneficial bacteria. Therefore, you’re going to need to transplant those bad boys in.
 
A great way to do achieve a neutral pH balance is by consuming fermented foods. These are fruits and vegetables that are preserved in a brine of distilled water and vinegar. As they sit in the brine, yeast from the food will start to feast on the sugars it sweats out. A byproduct of this process is known as probiotics.

 

Digestive Enzymes

 
When you said the word “enzyme,” it’s code-word for “get ish done.” Enzymes are catalysts for biological functions. Digesting food will fall into that category.
 
Part of the reason why we suffer from food sensitivities and allergies is because our body doesn’t create enough enzymes that interact with specific sugars and fibers. You can get individual enzymes or supplements with specific formulas.
 
Read the label and keep an eye out for products containing the following enzymes to help digest the following foods:
 
• Amylase – Starches
• Lactase – Dairy
• Lipase – Fats
• Protease – Proteins such as Gluten
 
By giving your body this extra backup, it has a better chance of withstanding digestive issues common from allergens.
 

Fiber

 
Part of the repairing Leaky Gut Syndrome process is flushing the toxins out. While our body does this naturally, it can always use a helping hand. The best natural source for this sort of help would be fiber.

 

Soluble Fiber
 
If you are having issues of constipation associated with your Leaky Gut Syndrome, opt for soluble fiber. Soluble fiber allows for more water retention in your stool, making it easier for you to pass the toxins.
 
Foods rich in soluble fiber include:
avocado rejuvenate your skin
• Avocados
• Black Beans
• Brussels Sprouts
• Broccoli
• Apples
• Figs
• Lima Beans
• Apricots
 
If your Leaky Gut Syndrome symptoms include diarrhea, you want to opt for insoluble fiber.

 

Insoluble Fiber
 
Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool. The extra mass will make the bathroom trips seem less urgent and frequent.
 
Foods rich in insoluble fiber include:
 
• Fruit Peels
• Brown Rice
• Whole Grains
• Seeds

 

Fiber is great because it fills us up. Therefore, we are less likely to overindulge. However, it’s also a tasty treat for probiotics.
 
Beneficial bacteria like to feast on fiber. Fiber is their source of energy and helps the colony grow more prominent in your microbiome. When we can’t digest fibers that probiotics do, those foods are called prebiotics. Prebiotics are essential for maintaining optimal gut health.

 

Leaky Gut Supplements

 
There are many supplements for Leaky Gut Syndrome. Much like all supplements in the wellness market, each vitamin has a different purpose. Depending on your symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome, some supplements may work better for your lifestyle than others.
 
Here are some of the most common supplements for Leaky Gut Syndrome.
 
• Aloe Vera – Repairs Gut Lining [*]
• Caprylic Acid – Amino Acid Destroys Opportunistic Yeast [*]
• L-Glutamine – Amino Acid Repairs Intestinal Damage [*]
• Licorice Root – Fights Adrenal Fatigue [*]
• Marshmallow Root – Coats Stomach Lining [*]
• Quercetin – Crystalline Pigment that Boosts Immunity, Anti-Inflammatory [*]
• Turmeric – Primary Compound, Curcumin, Relaxes Muscles in Intestines [*](For Higher Bioavailability, Take with Black Pepper)
• Slippery Elm – Antioxidant with Mucilage that Coats Intestines, Serves as Prebiotics for Probiotics

As you can tell, there are plenty options to choose. Be sure to go with one that covers your symptoms. However, consult a physician before making any changes to your wellness routine.

 

Microbiome Testing

intestinal permeability score leaky gut
Get an intestinal permeability scorewith the Thryve Premium Gut Health Program!

 
The most effective way to repair Leaky Gut Syndrome is to alter your microbiome. Never enter the journey blindly. Test your microbiome and find out which bacteria is causing the problems.
 
From there, you will also figure out which beneficial bacteria you’re missing.Join the Thryve Gut Health Program. We ship you a discreet at-home microbiome kit. With one of the sterile swabs we ship you, collect a sample from your toilet paper. Place the sample in the tube provided and put in the mailer we included. Mail back to us with the self-addressed envelope we provide.

 

Probiotics for Leaky Gut

 
After receiving your gut test, we will formulate a probiotic supplement unique to your microbiome. Each month, the probiotics will be delivered to your door. That means fresh live cultures ready for your microbiome every thirty days!
 
Seeing as your probiotic supplements are live cultures, they’re going to need food too. With the Thryve Gut Health Program, we help you concoct a diet plan to meet your wellness goals. Since we know which bacteria you are supplementing with, we also know which prebiotics this live culture enjoys. We help you repair your Leaky Gut every step of the way!

 

Is There a Leaky Gut Test?

 
Currently, there is no leaky gut test kit. You can check out our leaky gut checklist to see if you have many of the symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome. From there, you should opt to get a gut test.
 
Getting a gut test will give you actionable plans for combating inflammatory responses that cause Leaky Gut Syndrome. Probiotics that are custom fit to your gut microbiome are essential for any leaky gut treatment.

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