Health, Healing & Longevity
Healthstyle & Lifestylediet Counseling

Gut Bacteria & Immune Systems

70% of your entire immune system is located within your gut!

The more plants you eat, and the less processed and refined foods and animal products you consume, the happier your gut will be. Plant foods are anti-inflammatory and contain fiber which is essential for feeding the good bacteria in your gut. Plant foods are also nutrient-dense, providing your body with the building blocks it needs to function optimally.

During my Health & Healing Counseling sessions, I often try to explain the benefits of living a Plant Based Lifestyle and how it improves health, wellness and longevity.  The gut, or that long tube that goes from your mouth to your end or the gastro intestinal tract (GI), is inhabited by trillions of bacteria, along with archaea, fungi, viruses, and eukaryotes that have co-evolved with humans over thousands of years and is a gigantic biological processing engine, or microbiome, that digests the food you eat into substances that your body/bloodstream can accept, distribute and utilize. Another of its key benefits are on the Natural Immune system and how it boosts it to aid in fighting new disease and correcting existing ailments.

“Given the highly personalized composition of each individuals’ microbiome, our research suggests that we may be able to modify our gut microbiome to optimize our health by choosing the best foods for our unique biology.”  - Dr. Sarah Berry, Reader in Nutrition Sciences, King’s College London

When most people talk about the microbiome, they are usually referring to the gut microbiome, but we actually also have a distinct microbiome of our skin, nose, mouth, etc.  Better put is, that not only are we what we eat, but we are also feeding trillions of symbiotic bacteria cultures that inhabit our digestive system; without which we could not live!  The words “We Are Not Alone” have a different meaning when viewed from this perspective don’t, they?

This population of gut bacteria is a most complex, integrated ecosystem that has a symbiotic relation with YOU.  This complex ecosystem is barely understood by even the most advanced scientists and less than 30% of the varieties of the gut microbiota have been identified or have been cultured and studied.

Those that have been studied show that these several pounds of microbes are essential for our digestion, metabolic function and resistance to infection.  They can even synthesize vitamins like B12 and folate, regulate our gene expression and generate signaling molecules like short chain fatty acids that can influence your appetite and even product neurotransmitters that may affect your mood and behavior.

Just like no two people are alike, there are no two identical gut bio cultures or GI tracts.  Every one is different but many are very similar and are controlled by what a person eats!

The ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates, nearly 2500 years ago is said to have said “All Disease Begins in the Gut” so one can proffer a corollary that “All Health is Based in a Healthy Gut”. 

“Seventy percent of the immune system is located in the gut,” says David Heber, MD, PhD, professor emeritus of medicine at UCLA Health. “Nutrition is a key modulator of immune function.”  “The microbiome and the immune system are critically intertwined,” says Jonathan Jacobs, MD, PhD, a professor of digestive diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “What’s present in the gut determines what education immune cells get.”

Immune cells in the gut interact with the microbiome, the diverse array of bacteria and fungi that live in the gastrointestinal tract and are directly influenced by an individual’s diet and lifestyle.  The foods we eat affect the diversity and composition of bacteria in the gut, which in turn affect immune cells. Those gut bugs are healthiest and support strong immunity when their hosts (that’s us) consume plant foods that are high in fiber.

So, my friends, not only Are we what we eat, but We may CONTROL what we are and how healthy we wish to be and how long we may live!  It is NOT the drugs/medications it is the FOOD and Nutrition you consume and that is completely IN YOUR CONTROL.

A Note on Vitamins

There aren't many vitamins that we can't get from consuming a fully Plant Based Diet but there are two (2) that are a challenge for many.

B12 - Found in bacteria in DIRT.  Those that rave about how eating meat gives them B12 are wrong.  Most 'meat' is grain fed at the slaughter house before butchering so any B12 pretty much is dissipated from the animal tissue.  Cows get it when they eat pasture grass as they get dirt with each mouthful!  So, since we don't eat 'meat' make sure that you take a B12 vitamin every few days; check your multi-vitamin as they usually have some.

K2 - Many people don't even know about vitamin K2- also known as 'menaquinone'.  K1 is found in greens so no problems for most plant based folks.  BUT, K2 is a bit of a challenge.  While K2 is found in many fermented Plant Foods like Saurkraut, NATTO which is rarely consumed in a typical Western Diet.  

Vitamin K2 plays a central role in the metabolism of calcium, the main mineral found in your bones and teeth.
Vitamin K2 activates the calcium-binding actions of two proteins — matrix GLA protein and osteocalcin, which help to build and maintain bones.  K2 also will help reduce arterial buildup of plaque in your blood vessels.  Also, K2 combined with vitamin D3 may help the natural immune system and will help with calcium absorption; building stronger bones, teeth and helping prevent osteoporosis.

Initial Steps

When we discuss initial stages or early steps that Must be taken when embarking on your Healing Journey and discuss your gut, digestion and cleansing, THIS is what I am talking about.

You see, if you have been eating a Standard American Diet (SAD) you have been cultivating trillions of these gut bacteria and not the good ones because your previous diet has been much lower in the necessary fiber that Plant Based embraces.   The task ahead is daunting, just think you are displacing/replacing Trillions of those little critters that have inhabited your GI tract all these years and they Must be replaced with more immune-friendly ones that will build a Healthy Natural Immune System.

This is where the front end ‘Juicing’ comes in to play.  Inundating the old gut bacteria with High Nutrition fluid therapy will drown them out and flush them down the drain (quite literally!).  Eating lots of Raw foods, especially in this initial 90 days) with loads of salads and fresh vegetables, fruits and some nuts and seeds will begin to cultivate your biological pharma-garden to grow the healthy gut microbiome that will be the foundation of your natural well-being from here.

It takes about 14 days for your taste buds to be replaced and you will begin to taste the full nature of the new foods you may be eating.  You should begin to see external signs of improved health as well.  It all depends on where you started!  Oftentimes, the improvement is quite dramatic; others it is more subtle.

As you introduce more and more variety of Whole Natural Foods into your diet and build that delicious foundation of favorite recipes, know you are feeding and cultivating your new natural gut bacteria pharmacological garden.  Keep it nourished and keep yourself healthy!

Please know that this is NOT a ‘Miracle Diet Cure’ for anything, just a pathway to help your own body Heal Itself.  Like anything else, much depends on where you start from and WHEN you start.  Those much down the path of an illness may find the struggle more daunting than others.  It is not a guarantee of health, just a pathway to it.

Tens of thousands of people have found this lifestyle beneficial and amazingly invigorating promoting a Long Healthy Life and often reversing many ailments.  Enjoy the journey into a wondrous Lifestyle of Whole Delicious Foods!

"You can’t keep one disease and heal two others. When the body heals, it heals everything.”

Eating for Two: Nourishing Yourself and Your Gut Microbiome
Dr. Pradip Jamnadas, MD
Live Long and Prosper