The number of bacteria living in your intestines actually exceeds the number of cells in your body. So it’s important to keep them healthy.
That might give you the creepy crawlies, but I assure you — they serve a very important purpose. In fact, science has been showing just how much our guts control everything in our bodies. And these discoveries are surfacing at a pretty rapid pace.
In fact, Herbert Tilg, MD, a leading expert in gut health, presented a report suggesting that the microbial environment of the intestines — also known as the “microbiome” — can affect an individual’s risk of developing and surviving colorectal cancer.
(That’s a pretty big deal, especially considering medical experts once thought these little bugs to be entirely useless!)
More on that research in a moment, but first, a quick refresher on the benefits of a healthy microbiome.
There’s a party in your gut
In total, there are about 100 trillion bacteria that exist within a single person’s microbiome.
Within the intestine, over 500 species of bacteria are segregated and compartmentalized, with a relatively stable composition. That is, unless you muck it up by eating sugar, or taking antibiotics, steroids, birth control pills, or any other medication that harms this helpful bacteria.
To further their complexity, no two microbiomes are the same. You could say they’re like the fingerprint of the gut. However, the organization of our gut bacteria can tell us a lot about disease processes.
Mapping the gut
Dr. Tilg presented at the 2018 World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer, where he emphasized the link between certain kinds of diets, and how they affect the microbiome.
For example, he found a connection between a high consumption of animal fats, increased bile acids, and the progression of gut inflammation. This inflammation can essentially alter the composition of the microbiota, potentially causing inflammatory bowel disease, as well as gastrointestinal and colorectal cancers.
Dr. Tilg found that the development of these conditions happens because gut inflammation inhibits the protein lipocalin 2 — a protein that regulates iron in the gut which helps to prevent the growth of “bad” bacteria.
Animal studies have shown that mice with a normal amount of lipocalin 2 remained healthy, while mice lacking the protein developed colorectal tumors. The affected mice also had an altered microbial ecology in their intestines.
Further analysis also showed that the microbiota was organized differently between different types of colorectal cancer.
We’ve known this for ages, but conventional medical doctors are finally saying that our microbiomes play a role in the formation of cancers.
If you want to learn more about how the microbiome affects every aspect of your health, check out my book, Boost Your Health with Bacteria. And in the meantime, I always recommend keeping your gut in good working order with a good, quality probiotic formula that contains multiple strains. Dr. Ohirra’s is my personal favorite. Take 2 per day.
P.S. I’ve recently developed my Essential Protocol to a Cancer-Free Future. In it, I tell you about the simple, science-based strategies to fortify your cellular defenses, and stop cancer in its tracks. Click here to learn more, or sign up today.