How Your Gut Heals Inflammation - Day 16

How Your Gut Heals Inflammation - Day 16

How Your Gut Heals Inflammation

Could gut health be the solution to internal inflammation?

Gut health leads to numerous health benefits. It can prevent or slow the development of serious diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer's.

Could a healthy gut also help you lower internal inflammation?

The effects of gut health might sound mysterious and complicated.

Don’t worry. We’re going to break it down into a few simple facts to remember.

These facts will not only make you sound smart at parties but will provide you with some important tips to support weight loss as well!

Studies show that healthy gut bacteria release important substances called “metabolites.”

The metabolites of beneficial bacteria are like premium gasoline for your car.

They keep all the parts of your body functioning cleanly and efficiently and avoid the buildup of harmful “gunk” in your digestive engine.

These metabolites have positive effects that support your overall health in several ways:

  1. They increase our cell's ability to break down sugars, preventing excess blood sugar from being converted to fat.
  2. They decrease inflammation, which leads to lower stress on the cells responsible for processing blood sugar. This anti-inflammatory response also reduces the release of the stress hormone cortisol. While necessary to our survival, cortisol can contribute to higher levels of blood sugar and increased fat storage.
  3. They increase our brain’s response to hormones that help us feel “full” after eating.



Ghrelin And The Gut-Brain Axis

The idea of the Gut-Brain Axis is that metabolites from our digestive system directly interact with our brains and can impact our mental health, nervous system, and overall brain functioning.

The Gut-Brain Axis also contributes to our perception of hunger and fullness through the hormone ghrelin.

Ghrelin is a hormone that works in your central nervous system (your brain) and regulates feelings of hunger.

Studies have shown that short-chain fatty acids produced by beneficial gut bacteria can increase the amount of ghrelin and improve our bodies' response to the hormone.

A better ghrelin response means you will feel full sooner, which means you will eat less, contributing to weight loss.

Inflammation And Weight Gain

Inflammation is an essential mechanism by which our body repairs itself. When there’s too much inflammation, it can do damage to healthy cells.

This damage leads to disease, impaired function, and stress. Inflammatory stress causes the release of cortisol, our primary stress hormone.

When we are under threat, we need energy. Cortisol supplies this energy by increasing our blood sugar levels and decreasing the ability of cells (other than those responding to the threat) to use this blood sugar.

In this case, cortisol causes insulin resistance. When we're facing an immediate threat, this is a good thing.

We don't need to store energy. We need to use it!

But, when we experience long-term stress from low-level inflammation, this can increase blood sugar levels, insulin resistance, and fat storage caused by cortisol.

Cortisol does more harm than good by increasing insulin resistance and increasing weight gain when you are under long periods of stress.

The short-chain fatty acids released by our gut bacteria are anti-inflammatory.

They reduce low-level inflammation throughout our bodies—this reduction in inflammation results in lower cortisol levels, which reduces the weight-gain effects of cortisol.

The SCFA’s tell our cortisol to “calm down.”


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