Whether it's healthy weight, healthy brain, healthy heart, or healthy everything, the secret to a healthier life has been inside you all along, in your gut.
Seriously, if a healthier 2023 is on your resolution list but you aren't focusing on your gut health, you're missing out on a big piece of the puzzle.
Your Gut and Your Overall Health
If you take away nothing else today, remember this: your gut is massively important to your overall health and wellbeing. And not just because of its important job in digesting food. No no, your gut is so much more.
Your gut is the bouncer for the rest of your body, the bustling place where your microbiome lives and where over 70% of your immune system resides, not to mention the factory crucial neurotransmitters (like serotonin!) are made. A healthy gut also fosters such a critical connection between the gut and the brain that some have started colloquially calling the gut "the second brain".
Pretty much, your gut is the absolute center of your health universe.
So, if you're ready for your healthiest new year yet, filled with a happy tummy, a thriving immune system, mental clarity, and a better mood to boot, read on.
How Far Does Gut Health Go?
Why is the gut so important, anyway? To answer that question, we'll have to think small. Very small. To the billions of microscopic bacteria, fungi, and viruses living in our microbiome. These organisms and microbes play an important role in absorption of key nutrients and minerals, immune function, brain health, and even the prevention of or progression of disease.
Most of these organisms living in your gut are "good". That is, they're in a symbiotic, mutually beneficial relationship with your body. Everyone's happy. However, there are some "bad" microbes, too, which are pathogenic (they promote disease).
If your microbiome is healthy, you're already way ahead on getting up on your overall health. When the good bacteria are balancing out the bad, the gut is humming along as intended and the rest of the body benefits. For example, healthy microbiomes have been shown to prevent allergies by teaching the immune system how to differentiate and correctly respond to pathogens versus non-harmful antigens.
More Detail on What Your Gut Health Can Impact
But when the bad bacteria are overcrowding the microbiome, there can be far-reaching negative effects including stomach issues like IBS, immune disorders, obesity, diabetes, and disease.
Remember the "second brain"? Stomach issues like IBS are where the connection between the gut and the brain become quite interesting. For a long time, it was believed that anxiety and depression contributed to IBS and other bowel problems. But now, studies show that it may be the other way around, with your gut health contributing to your mental health and mood.
Beyond mental health concerns, an unhealthy balance of gut bacteria can still be a problem on its own. IBS symptoms like bloating, cramps, and abdominal pain may be due to a gut microbiome that's out of whack. Basically, the "bad" microbes that are overrunning your gut produce a lot of gas and other chemicals, contributing to discomfort.
But the link between your gut health and overall health doesn't end at the stomach or even the brain. Studies have shown a link between heart health and gut health, too. For example, some gut microbiomes produce trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), a chemical that blocks arteries. High levels of TMAO can mean a higher risk of heart disease and early death.
There is a good flip side to this, however. Another recent study showed that the gut microbiome also plays an important role in promoting "good" HDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the gut microbiome is also showing promise in helping control blood sugar, as the microbiome could affect the risk of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In a study of infants with a genetically high risk of developing type 1, research found that the diversity of their microbiome dropped suddenly and levels of certain unhealthy bacterial species increased right before the onset of type 1 diabetes. This possible correlation between the gut and blood sugar may prove to be wildly helpful as we continue the research into helping fight diabetes.
The World of Difference Your Microbiome Make-Up Makes
Each person's microbiome is unique, like a fingerprint, made up of countless different living organisms that are affected by your environment, diet, age and tons of other factors. And you've spent your whole life together – your microbiome actually begins to affect your health the moment you're born and continues to be affected by everything around you, from breastmilk to dirt to the foods you eat to where you live, and so on.
These differences in our microbiome can make a world of difference in our everyday lives and our long-term health. And the impact of those differences can be quite pronounced. For example, a famous study on two identical twins–one obese, one a healthy weight–showed that their gut bacteria was vastly different, meaning that while the microbiome does begin at birth, its make-up is not genetic.
Perhaps even more interestingly, when the microbiome from the obese twin was transferred to mice, they gained more weight than those that had received the microbiome of the lean twin, despite both groups eating the same diet.
In another study on blood sugar, research found that even when people ate the exact same foods, their blood sugar could vary greatly–the hypothesis being that this could be explained by the different make-up of their microbiome.
In short, the organisms in our microbiome are infinitesimal but their impact on our lifelong health is anything but.
A Microbiome in Balance
While all microbiomes are different in makeup, they are similar in that you can envision them all acting almost like tiny rainforests, where a thriving ecosystem flourishes thanks to a dynamic group of living beings working in harmony. In the same vein, when your microbiome is in balance, all the things your gut is responsible for can function like Mother Nature intended.
Like discussed, when your microbiome is out of balance, that's when you run into problems. And in addition to microbes causing intestinal discomfort, possibly affecting weight gain, blood sugar regulation, and brain health, an unhealthy gut can mean problems due to a breakdown of your gut's ability to even do its main job: protect you.
Because beyond "bad" bacteria overrunning your microbiome, when the gut is unhealthy, your intestinal walls actually can become more porous, allowing toxins and other unfriendly baddies to get into your bloodstream and out to the rest of your body, causing a whole host of issues.
This is sometimes called "leaky gut" where, specifically, these porous gut walls allow unwanted microbes to roam free that cause chronic inflammation throughout the body, keeping the immune system on sustained high alert, both tiring out and altering your immune function overall.
Like a set of dominoes, once your gut is thrown out of whack, everything it is connected to can be similarly impacted.
Supporting Your Body's Microbiome
By this point, you're probably thinking, "Okay, I believe you about my gut health and its importance. This is where you tell me to take a bunch of probiotics and eat a lot of kimchi, right?"
While we love anything that helps gut health, finding ways to support your gut without adding new and foreign things into your system (like billions of bacteria in a bottle) is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
That's where ION* Gut Support can make all the difference.
Since your microbiome is unique to you and you alone, ION* Gut Support was created to work with your unique body, so that your microbiome is never disrupted, only supported. It helps your body function the way Mother Nature intended, instead of narrowly focusing in on one symptom or issue.
ION* Gut Support is an all natural and scientifically proven wellness solution that works on your body's cellular level to tighten the junctions in your intestinal walls. These tightened junctions mean your gut can function its best and at its healthiest.
It sounds simple because it is. But that doesn't mean the effect of a healthier gut is any less profound.
By making ION* part of your daily wellness routine, you're supporting your gut's ability to protect, defend, and restore itself, and by extension, supporting all the other parts of your health it is connected to. With ION*, you're helping boost your immune function, brain health, mental clarity, mood, and also relieving digestion issues like bloating and gas. Not to mention, emerging research suggests you could be helping your body's blood sugar response and contributing to a healthier heart, too.
Still interested in focusing on your health this year?
Try ION* today and see the difference it can make for yourself.