Our intestine is the most densely populated place in the world
Trillions of tiny organisms that produce hormones and messenger substances live in this seven-meter-long marvel. These have an effect on the brain and serve as its most important advisor. What can you learn from this and how can we help the intestine to stay healthy? Here are a few interesting facts for you!
The power of the intestinal barrier should not be underestimated
At 200m², the surface area of the small intestine is 100 times larger than the entire surface area of our skin. The body can absorb nutrients and fluids through this huge area. However, the many folds and protrusions of the intestine also allow harmful microorganisms and germs to penetrate. To prevent this from happening, the intestine has various helpers that assist it in defending itself:
- the microbiome ("intestinal flora")
- the intestinal mucosa
- the intestine-associated immune system (also GALT from gut-associated lymphoid tissue)
Together they form the so-called intestinal barrier, which fends off or successfully combats most attacks from germs at an early stage. The many pathogens such as viruses, bacteria or fungi are in most cases fought directly by the stomach acid. If they do penetrate this barrier, the immune cells of the intestinal wall come into play.
The GALT, the largest accumulation of important defense cells
It is hard to believe, but the GALT is located in the intestinal mucosa and is the largest collection of important defense cells in our body. This is where about 70% of immune cells live, stimulating the production of a wide variety of defense cells while managing to decide between "good" and "bad" substances and allowing important nutrients to pass through. The intestine is much more than our daily helper in digesting the food we eat. It helps the brain with immune defense and nourishes the brain with a lot of important information. Neuroscientists now speak of the gut-brain axis. This is said to have a significant influence on the development of the brain. Exactly for this reason we should not make it additionally difficult for our intestine with unhealthy nutrition.
Prebiotics and probiotics - How to help your intestines
are food components that are difficult for the intestines to digest. Most of you will know these ingredients by the name fiber. They are super important for the healthy development of benign gut bacteria. They can't be completely broken down by digestive enzymes and serve as food for the good bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics include grains, asparagus, chicory, onions, garlic, and bananas, for example.
are living microorganisms that enter the intestines and can have a positive effect on intestinal health. Probiotic sprouts can be found in fermented beverages, such as our kombucha and kimchi , in addition to yogurt and kefir . Acidic pickled or fermented vegetables can also contain plenty of probiotics and support your gut flora.
Various studies have shown circumstantial evidence that diseases such as.
- Multiple sclerosis
can be promoted by a disturbed intestinal system. Take your gut seriously and don't take abdominal pain and a weak immune system for granted. After antibiotic treatment, for example, it is essential to rebuild the protective intestinal bacteria.
Even your mood can be affected by your gut!
Researchers at a university in Ireland have made the exciting observation that the microbes of the gut flora can influence the brain and your mood through various mechanisms. For example, our gut bacteria are essential building blocks for the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. It may be that a disturbed gut flora helps to prevent the conversion of these important neurotransmitters. Our gut is also instrumental in the formation of melatonin, which is needed for sleep.
Thanks for reading!