The Marvellous Microbiome: SuperGut Summary

26 June 2024 
By: Katrina Armstrong

Your body is full of trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi. They are collectively known as the microbiome.

There are thousands of different types of bacteria in your intestines, most of which benefit your health. However, having too many unhealthy microbes and too few of the good ones can lead to disease.

An imbalance of healthy and unhealthy microbes is sometimes called gut dysbiosis, or in more problematic cases, SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth).


Do you have intolerance to beans or onions, experiencing gas or bloating after eating? Do you suffer with ongoing muscle aches and pains that stop you from engaging in simple daily activities? Or do you experience the frustration of bowel urgency? Then you could have SIBO.

Some of the symptoms of SIBO include:

  • Food Intolerances that result in excessive gas, bloating or diarrhoea
  • Food Intolerances that result in emotional changes such as anxiety, depression, negative thoughts and anger
  • Fat Malabsorption (fat droplets of oil in your stools)
  • Abdominal discomfort after eating protein
  • Persistent or recurring skin rashes
  • Persistent fatigue, pain and inflammation

“I am certain beyond any doubt that modern lifestyles have disrupted the composition of microbes in the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract… We need to rebuild the very microbial core of our health to achieve freedom from disease and to regain youthfulness and overall quality of life”
⁃ Dr William Davis, Super Gut

Mind Your Mucus - Protecting the Gut Barrier

Mucus is something you probably don’t think about until it proves a nuisance when you have a cough or a cold, but mucus plays a critical role in health.

Mucus is a coating that covers the intestinal cells, protecting them from contact with external and toxic substances. It prevents internal bacteria and fungi that are meant to stay within the GI tract from being absorbed into the intestinal lining.

When this protective mucosal barrier is compromised, microbes gain entry into the intestinal wall and then the bloodstream, resulting in wide spread inflammation and contributing to health conditions such as fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

A major problematic result of intestinal permeability is SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and SIFO (small intestinal fungal overgrowth).

So what causes SIBO?

The Bad Guys

There are many things that affect the integrity of the mucus lining and imbalance in the gut microbia, but here are a few of the top bad guys:

  1. Emulsifiers - the additives that help keep packaged foods shelf-stabile can erode the mucus barrier in your gut
  2. Artificial sweeteners - such as aspartame (sold as Equal and Nutrasweet) and sucralose (sold as Splenda) can lead to unhealthy gut microbes. This is also true for food additives such as carrageenan and propylene glycol.
  3. Antibiotics and over consumption of non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Neurofen)
  4. Simple sugars - found in most packaged and processed foods, decreases microbial diversity and leads to the depletion of short-chain fatty acids. Simple sugars also cause bacteria in the gut to quickly convert into gas which causes bloating and abdominal pain.
  5. Grains - consumption of cereal grains, most significantly wheat, can contribute to the manifestation of chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases by increasing intestinal permeability and initiating a pro-inflammatory immune response.

NB: Once you have a strong gut lining, whole grains can often be consumed without a problem as long as they are well prepared through soaking, sprouting or fermenting (eg. sourdough)

The Good Guys

Fortunately, there are many things we can do to reverse this and strengthen our gut lining:

  1. Fermented foods - fermented foods like homemade yogurt, kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut and kombucha can increase the diversity of bacteria in the gut.
  2. Prebiotic fibres - found in legumes, green bananas, garlic, onion, mushrooms, nuts and pectin from fresh or frozen berries. Other sources include inulin and acacia fibre. Prebiotics are the food for the good bacteria in your gut.
  3. Probiotics - these good guys seed your GI tract with healthy microbes, stimulate the production of intestinal mucus and inhibit the growth of pathogenic microbes. When we feed the bacteria with prebiotic foods, they then covert them into nutrients for our cells.

If you want to know more about how you can improve your gut health, I recommend reading the work of Dr William Davis.

You can find products to help you on your gut-healing journey in our gut-health range here.




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