Word has gotten around that a healthy intestine (healthy intestinal flora with all their intestinal bacteria and viruses [intestinal microbiome) not only ensures that our digestion functions smoothly, but according to current research, we also know that the composition of our intestinal bacteria has a major influence on how fit and healthy we are.
The gut microbiome plays a central role in many aspects of human health, e.g., regulating the immune system, body weight, metabolism, even our emotions are influenced by signals coming from the stomach. Social or fear behavior as well as stress reactions and, also neurochemistry can be influenced by the microbes in the intestine. The whole world is currently revolving around the microbiome.
A fascinating world in midst of our body
The world of microorganisms in midst of our body is fascinating. For instance, a single gram of intestinal contents contains more living organisms than humans on earth, mostly bacteria, but also viruses and fungi. A total of around 100 trillion bacterial cells live in the intestine. These modulate our immune defense, supply the organism with vitamins, work on the digestion of food components, supply the intestinal epithelia with energy through the formation of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) and stimulate intestinal peristalsis.
The microbiome also plays an important role in the detoxification processes. Shifts in the microbiome are causally relevant factors for diseases such as obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver, diabetes mellitus, coronary disease or cancer.
In recent years, the composition of the human intestinal microbiome is more and more in the focus of research. It is now possible to detect changes in the microbiome and take specific actions to treat it respectively and correct it.
Stool analysis to identify the composition of the microbiome and possible deviations
An essential part of our intestinal regeneration program is the implementation of a molecular genetic stool analysis to identify the composition of the microbiome and possible deviations. For example, a reduced diversity of intestinal bacteria shows a predisposition to many diseases from irritable bowel syndrome to Alzheimer’s disease. Due to the decrease in diversity, the intestinal microbiome no longer offers sufficient protection against endogenous infections.
A reduction in lactobacillus and bifidobacterial signals a reduced immune defense. Increased Firmicutes / Bacteroidetes ratio can favor weight gain. Also, increased Firmicutes / Bacteroidetes ratio is often associated in patients with irritable bowel syndrome with meteorism. An increase in fusobacteria is found in patients with colorectal carcinoma. If this is the case, the recommendation for a screening colonoscopy should be made.
The fermentation of carbohydrates in the large intestine leads to the formation of short-chain fatty acids and gases. The short-chain fatty acids detected in stool samples mainly include propionic acid and butyric acid. Dietary changes lead to altered production rates of short- chain fatty acids. Low-carb diets reduce butyrate formation by a quarter, while prebiotics or increased fiber intake lead to an increase in short-chain fatty acids. The short-chain fatty acids have positive effects on health, stimulate intestinal motility and reduce inflammatory reactions. Butyrate is the most important source of energy for other bacteria in the intestine that protect the mucous membrane and has a preventive effect on colorectal cancer.
Causes of microbiome dysregulation
Microbiome dysregulation can result from:
- One-sided eating habits
- Hormonal, enzymatic and immunological changes medication
- Environmental irritants
- Chronic inflammatory bowel changes
- Chronic inflammatory bowel changes
- Health status
- Various stressors
Children born via caesarean do not have the physiological colonization with lactobacteria during birth. Stool transplantation studies in such children have shown clear advantages in terms of susceptibility to infection.
Tasks of a healthy microbiome
A healthy gut microbiome has a wide variety of tasks:
- Mechanical barrier for pathogenic germs and foreign substances
- Detoxification e.g., inactivation of nitrosamines or breakdown of polycyclic, aromatic hydrocarbons
- Stimulation of the bowel-associated defense system
- Formation of essential vitamins such as vitamin K and B vitamins
If the natural balance between the microorganisms is disturbed, the so-called tight junctions (leaky gut syndrome) are loosened. This makes the intestinal mucous membrane more permeable for bacteria and toxins from the intestinal lumen. These can come into direct contact with epithelia of the mucous membrane and get into the bloodstream. The consequences of such strain on the intestine are changes in bowel movements, damage to the immune system and loss of vitality. Patients with leaky gut syndrome feel tired all the time, suffer from digestive disorder and also suffer from joint problems, headaches, depression and anxiety.
The intestinal brain axis
The so-called intestinal brain axis has also been well investigated. This means that the blood-brain barrier is also affected by microbiome disorders. Every dysbiosis disrupts the formation of neurotransmitters.
- 10% of the total serotonin in our metabolism can be found in the neurons of the intestinal nervous system
- 95% is stored in the enterochromaffin cells of the gastrointestinal tract
In the case of digestive disorders, leaky gut syndrome and dysbiosis, an increased release of serotonin in the intestinal cells can be detected. Increased released serotonin is a direct activator of the intestinal motility and the local pain stimulus, but also strengthens the conduction of pain stimuli via descending serotonergic neurons in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. An increased release also leads to an increased breakdown and thus, in the long term, to serotonin depletion, constipation, depressive moods, fears and psychosocial withdrawal are typical symptoms of exhaustion that are favored by this mechanism. Intestinal fermentation and putrefaction processes thus have an impact on the entire serotonergic system, which is associated with sleeping, eating, addiction and a good mood.
The cholinergic system, which is about the transmission of stimuli to the nerve synapses and muscle contractions, as well as the dopaminergic system, which is associated with reward, satisfaction and depth of perception, are also passionate about fermentation and putrefaction processes. They all depend directly or indirectly on a healthy intestinal environment.
Disturbance of the intestinal mucosal integrity and chronic diseases
The organism is burdened by every disturbance of the intestinal mucosal integrity, the leaky gut syndrome, every dysbiosis and the humoral immunological reactions triggered by it and lead to chronic diseases. For this reason, the diagnostics we strive for include the implementation of a precise microbiome analysis. The further naturopathic diagnostics will also include an examination for food intolerance, inflammatory parameters in the intestine such as alpha-1-antitrypsin and calprotectin as well as secretory immunoglobulin A.
In addition to the intestinal brain axis, the intestinal lung axis is also increasingly becoming the focus of research. In fact, changes in the intestinal microbiome can also be observed when the lungs are infected. The immune function of the lungs is influenced by the intestinal flora.
The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal cortex axis (HPA) is another mechanism by which the microbiome influences the entire organism. Sound investigations have shown that the intestinal microbiome is significantly involved in regulating the HPA axis and thus the stress reactions. In addition, communication between the intestines and the brain can be controlled through the vagus nerve, which is also closely related to the microbiome.
The intestinal flora is so flexible that it can usually compensate for the above-mentioned fluctuations on its own. However, if the influence lasts longer and thus, represents a chronic burden, the intestinal ecology can be impaired.
Our multi-target bowel regeneration program
To support and restore the health of our patients, we have developed an extensive multi-target bowel regeneration program.
- Detailed molecular-biological stool analysis with recording of all physiological and pathogenic germs including markers for intestinal permeability, as an indication of the permeable degenerative intestinal wall. In this phase clarification of food intolerances such as lactose, fructose and histamine intolerance or gluten intolerance might be necessary.
- Colon cleansing and conditioning
- Duration 14 days to 4 weeks.
- During this time, we adhere to our oral hygiene program with oil pulling and special teeth cleaning. Ingestion of TOXOSORB, colon cleansing capsules, deacidification capsules, glutamine, butyrate, linseed oil, colostrum or the product “Rechtsregulat” according to an individually created plan depending on the previous microbiome analysis.
- Gut microbiome repair
- The core of our intestinal regeneration program, whereby effective microorganisms are settled in the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract as part of a gastroscopy and colonoscopy; these are multi-species preparations of non-human origin.
- Duration 4 to 8 weeks
- Ingestion of ingredients such as zinc, glutamic acid, fiber, butyrate and propionate to regenerate the intestinal barrier as well as further application of highly concentrated mixtures of physiological intestinal bacteria to restore the normal intestinal flora.
- An essential part of our comprehensive intestinal regeneration program is also profound professional nutritional advice to guarantee long-term intestinal health.
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