Gut Science

Gut Bacteria

Love your gut – it’s key to your overall health and wellbeing. Its role extends way beyond digestion. The health of our gut may impact our immune function, mood and mental wellbeing. It’s also home to our gut microbiota – a unique community of over 100 trillion bacteria. These guys are vital for our health. 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.

Keeping your immune in tune

Did you know that the majority of the body's immune system is located within the gut?

The gut microbiota is super important in training the immune system to recognise and fight off harmful bacteria. This helps protect your body from disease. Thanks microbiota!

Gut flora = gut microbiota

Some people use the word ‘flora’ to describe gut bacteria. 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.

What does your gut microbiota do?

The gut microbiota helps neutralise some of the toxic by-products of digestion, reduce harmful substances (such as toxins and carcinogens), and discourage ‘bad’ bacteria and yeasts. It also helps get the digestive process going – aiding the absorption of nutrients and producing vitamins like B and K. Plus, the by-products of growing beneficial gut bacteria help regulate the growth of the gut cells – keeping them healthy.

Good and bad bacteria

Guess what? Over 100 trillion bacteria live in and on your body. Some hang out on your skin, others inside your mouth and nose – but most live in your gut. The gut can contain up to 1,000 different species of microbes. The good bacteria in there can neutralise toxins, inhibit yeast and bad bacteria and help keep the gut healthy.

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. To keep a healthy balance, aim to eat well, keep stress levels low and keep on top of food hygiene. You could also try incorporating prebiotic foods into your diet – these can encourage your own beneficial gut bacteria to multiply.