The Key Drivers of Health & Disease
In the 21st century our environment exposes us to a number of challenges that provoke an emergency response from our complicated bodies. These response pathways results in:
- Oxidative stress (think, rusting from the inside out)
- Altered immune defence
These three reactions are the main drivers of the most prevalent diseases that occur in the developed world today.
The part of our body most vulnerable to these environmental insults is the gastro-intestinal tract, commonly known as the Gut. The lining of the gut is a thin single membrane that has to protect us from a huge load of environmental insults every time we eat.
The gut has to work out what is friend and what is dangerously trying to enter our bodies. Sometimes its ability to discern friend from foe leads to misunderstandings and an inflammatory reaction occurs against proteins in the gut that should be accepted as non-threatening or nutritious.
The result of this inflammation causes a domino effect of altered gut bacteria, affecting the structure & function of the gut membrane think Leaky Gut in naturopathic terms. This oxidative stress feeds further inappropriate inflammation, ultimately causes impaired immunity.
The number of bacteria in our gut (the "microbiome") is at least equal the number of cells in our body. The exact answer is unknown!
The unborn child is first colonised with these favourable bacteria (probiotics) in the womb.
The vaginal birth is the second contact with the maternal probiotics; breast feeding is a third huge contact with mum's microbiome. If this normal colonisation with mum's gut bacteria doesn't happen, the end result may be illness, caused by an alteration in immune health in the baby.
Balance in the probiotic population is essential for maintenance of health. Imbalance of the human gut microbiome (termed "dysbiosis") is associated with the majority of our present day diseases. Cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, cancer, chronic lung disease and diabetes, are the most important global health issues of the 21st century: diseases which may be entirely preventable.
As the Vaalia advertisement states, "healthy on the inside, healthy on the outside".
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