While food is an obvious one, there are a myriad of factors that all have the potential to affect gut health.
The gut is a delicate ecosystem that requires the right balance of food, love and rest. This article features just some of the factors affecting gut health.
How’s your gut health going? Anything you need to change?
Either known, or unknown food allergies or food sensitivities can impact the overall health of the gut.
If you have a specific food allergy, this is usually obvious. A food allergy triggers an Ig-E mediated immune response which usually occurs within minutes of consuming or being near the food.
However, food sensitivities or food intolerances are less obvious and can produce a whole range of digestive complaints such as gas and bloating, through to non-digestive symptoms such as brain fog, fatigue, headaches, or skin irritation just to name a few. A food intolerance triggers and Ig-G mediated immune response and can take as long as 3 days to appear, which is why identifying food intolerances can be so difficult.
Food intolerance testing or elimination diets can be helpful in this regard.
When the body is under stress, whether that be short-term or ongoing stress, the body tries to support that by releasing stress hormones. These hormones tell the body the most important thing it needs to deal with in that moment is the stress.
Consequently, the brain sends a message to slow digestion, causing a range of issues with gut health that can includes things like reflux and constipation. The gut microbiome is inhabited by millions of bacteria that can be adversely affected by stress. The microbiome plays an important role in healthy digestion and immune health, another important consideration as more than 70-80% of our immune system resides in our gut.
Sleep and the gut are closely intertwined. Good sleep contributes to good gut health where inversely, poor sleep can lead to poor gut health. To support this, it has been demonstrated that a healthy gut microbiome goes a long way to supporting good sleep. One such study concluded good gut health equated to increased sleep efficiency and total sleep time, while poor gut health was associated with waking after sleep onset.
While you might believe a genetic disposition may be partly to blame for your poor gut health (i.e. a lot of the family suffer therefore you’re just “doomed” to a poor gut), did you know addressing just some of these factors such as food, stress, sleep and gut flora can go a long way to overriding genetics?
Unfortunately, some medications can play havoc with the gut. In particular, antibiotics can cause unpleasant side-effects like antibiotic-associated diarrhoea.
Probiotic yeasts, such as saccharomyces boulardii (SB) can be helpful in managing diarrhoea associated with antibiotic use. Herbs of Gold Probiotic + SB contains a combination of probiotic bacteria in conjunction with
6 billion colony-forming units (CFU) of SB to help maintain healthy intestinal flora and help relieve diarrhoea associated with antibiotic use.
Our gut microbiome balances both the good and bad bacteria that reside in our gut.
There are several ways to support healthy gut flora including making sure your diet features a good amount of both prebiotic and probiotic foods like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh and miso as well as by considering using a probiotic supplement.
Herbs of Gold 60 Billion provides a high-strength, broad spectrum combination of 12 different probiotic strains to help restore beneficial intestinal flora while also supporting digestive system health and healthy digestive system function.
Supporting gut health
The overall health and function of the gastrointestinal system can be supported by modifying the individual factors affecting your own gut health, and where appropriate, using ingredients shown to supporting overall gastrointestinal and digestive system health.
Some of those ingredients can include Slippery elm, glutamine, Aloe Vera, Licorice, Calendula and zinc.
Herbs of Gold Gut Care is a comprehensive herbal and nutritional formula containing each of these ingredients to support digestive health.
Aloe vera and Licorice support the healthy mucous linings of the digestive system while also soothing irritated tissues if needed. Calendula and L-Glutamine support gastrointestinal system health and function, where zinc is helpful in supporting healthy digestion.
 Yu, W., Freeland, D. M. H., & Nadeau, K. C. (2016). Food allergy: immune mechanisms, diagnosis and immunotherapy. Nature Reviews Immunology, 16(12), 751-765.
 Gocki, J., & Bartuzi, Z. (2016). Role of immunoglobulin G antibodies in diagnosis of food allergy. Postepy Dermatologii i Alergologii, 33(4), 253–256.
 Wiertsema, S. P., van Bergenhenegouwen, J., Garssen, J., & Knippels, L. (2021). The interplay between the gut microbiome and the immune system in the context of infectious diseases throughout life and the role of nutrition in optimising treatment strategies. Nutrients, 13(3), 886.
 Smith, R. P., Easson, C., Lyle, S. M., Kapoor, R., Donnelly, C. P., Davidson, E. J., ... & Tartar, J. L. (2019). Gut microbiome diversity is associated with sleep physiology in humans. PLoS One, 14(10), e0222394.