Gut Microbiome and Probiotics: A Match Made in Heaven

A balanced gut microbiome is crucial for health. Besides helping you digest and process food, it can strengthen your immune system and prevent many problems like heart disease and diabetes.

However, your gut flora isn’t immune to dysbiosis, an imbalance of microbes in your gastrointestinal microbiome. Let’s see how they affect your health and what to do when the balance is off.

How does your gut microbiome affect your health?  

Your gut microbiome hosts 10–100 trillions of microbes, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and other microscopic organisms. It has nearly 40 trillion bacteria, roughly ten trillion more than all the cells in your body. Moreover, it has 300–500 bacterial species.

That may sound alarming, but bacteria and other microbes in your digestive tract are (typically) in symbiosis (a mutually beneficial relationship) with your body.

While your body feeds them with nutrients, they help it digest food, absorb nutritious substances, reduce inflammation, regulate the immune system, and get vitamins like B and K. They also hinder the unhealthy microbes in your body.

These microbial warriors can combat various diseases and conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Their promotion of HDL cholesterol makes them excellent for preventing heart disease, while their blood sugar control makes them valuable for reducing the risk of diabetes.

The gut microbiome may also affect brain function and behaviour, helping regulate mood, pain, cognitive abilities, anxiety, and depression.

The more diverse your gut microbiome is, the healthier you are. However, ensuring beneficial bacteria significantly outnumber their unhealthy counterparts is essential. That’s where a balanced diet with many probiotics comes into play.

How can probiotics improve your gut microbiome?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that can restore or improve your gut flora. They can fight unhealthy bacteria, thus restoring your body after dysbiosis or helping maintain symbiosis.

They can boost your immune system and improve intestinal flora, keeping various diseases at bay, including cardiovascular disease.

Eating healthy food and ensuring your diet includes many probiotics is the key to maintaining your gut microbiome balance and overall health.

The best probiotic foods to include in your diet are yoghurt, kombucha, kimchi, miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, and pickles. But this food-first approach, while proven, is less targeted than therapeutics.

Probiotic supplements of the future

The gut microbiome can vary from person to person. This is why probiotic supplements of the future might soon have personalised formulas – containing standalone species or the right combination of species that suits your microbiome, and your genes. This tailored approach could end up being a personally formulated probiotic in a capsule. Or it could be a prescription diet that nudges your gut microbiome in the right direction. 

Researchers are also uncovering new and exciting applications for probiotics, which can help fill nutrition gaps to improve not just gut health, but also overall wellness. The gut and the brain are connected through a complex network of nerves and hormones. The brain can influence what happens in your digestive tract, and the gut can influence your feelings and cognition. 

Because of this connection, probiotics are a burgeoning area of research in mental health too.

Personalised probiotic supplements might revolutionise treatments and diets. But, there’s a lot of work to be done before we get there.

Probiotic supplements now

That said, some well-researched, high-quality practitioner-only supplement brands offer a wide spectrum of probiotic solutions such as Metagenics and Designs for Health.

If you are interested in holistic solutions (including product recommendations) for your personal health concerns, our resident Naturopath, Rochelle, can assist you. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with Rochelle, you can conveniently book online. We’re here to support you on your wellness journey.


Opinions or facts expressed within the content have been sourced from various news sources. While every effort has been taken to source them accurately, the pharmacy, its owners, staff or other affiliates do not take any responsibility for errors in these sources. Patients should not rely on the facts or opinions in the content to manage their own health, and should seek the advice of an appropriate medical professional. Further, the opinions or facts in the content do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the pharmacy, its owners, staff or other affiliates. 

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *