Gut Science

Gut Bacteria

Your gut keeps your whole body running smoothly. It’s easy to take it for granted, but it’s actually the part of your body that engages most with the outside world! It’s home to the largest part of your immune system. Put simply, your gut is a pretty big deal. Science tells us that gut bacteria do all sorts to help promote health, including being a friend to our immune system and even having an influence on gut-brain communications.

Our gut microbiota inhabits a unique community of over 100 trillion bacteria – and these guys are vital for our health.

5 Things the Gut Does For Us!

The small intestine

1. Maintenance of Immune System

Your gut health and your immune system are closely linked, and changes to one can affect the other. Did you know over 70% of your immune system is located in the gut? Our gut microbiota play an important role in regulating our immune system; and having a diverse microbiota and supporting them is key!




2. Fermentation of Fibres

Gut bacteria break down plant fibres from foods like fruits and veggies. This process creates energy-boosting short-chain fatty acids, enhances nutrient absorption, and supports a healthy gut and immune system. It’s a cornerstone of the digestive process.

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3. Synthesis of Key Nutrients

The gut is like your body’s nutrient factory. The gut microbiota (the trillions of microbes living in the gut) helps the body breakdown and use key nutrients and vitamins. This amazing process takes place for your body to create essential nutrients such as short chain fatty acids or amino acids required for various functions.

4. Nutrient Absorption

Nutrient absorption is how your body takes in essential nutrients from food, making them available for your cells to use. Your gut microbes help regulate this process. It’s like a well-organised system that ensures your body gets what it needs to function properly.

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5. Control of Undesirable Bacteria

The friendly bacteria in your gut microbiome do more than support digestion; they contribute to maintaining the balance of your gut microbiota. They regulate harmful bacteria by outgrowing them, (such as toxins and carcinogens), and discourage ‘bad’ bacteria and yeasts; thus supporting a balanced ecosystem within your gut. Just as weeds compete for space and nutrients in a garden, depriving healthy plants from flourishing, ‘bad’ bacteria can behave in the same way in the intestines. In a healthy gut microbiota, the good bacteria are more active than those considered harmful. Thanks gut microbiota!

Keeping Balance

All sorts of health and lifestyle factors can negatively impact your gut microbiota. An unhealthy diet, stress, illness, travel – and even just getting older.

Check out our Gut Health top tips