A well-functioning gut with healthy gut flora holds the roots of our health. And, like a tree with sick roots is not going to thrive, the rest of the body cannot thrive without a well functioning digestion system. The bacterial population of the gut – the gut flora – is the soil around these roots, giving them their habitat, protection, support and nourishment.
Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride
The are 400-500 different microbes in the human gut. There is a great deal of difference between the types of strains within the gut of individuals. Drug treatment, poor dietary choices, stress and disease can disturb the natural balance within the gut. The biggest factor that we control on a daily basis is the type of foods we eat. Food will change the environment of the digestive system for better or worse.
Inside and outside our body is a microscopic ecosystem. As with all ecosystems this microbial world is highly organized. Any area open to the environment, such as integumentary, digestive, respiratory and excretory systems, is inhabited by a huge number of microbes living in mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship with their host.
The largest number of microbes live in our digestive system. Most of these microbes help us digest our food and also produce vitamins for our use. In fact, we cannot live without them. Like plants protect the soil from erosion, our microbes protect the walls of the gut from outside forces. Our microbes are our first line of defense from outside infectious or poisonous agents.