Home' Clinical Aesthetics : CA issue - 3 Contents WELLNESS
Essentially the intestinal
tract that runs from mouth
to anus, the gut is the only
organ in the body with an
independent ner vous system,
an intricate network of 100
million neurons embedded in
the gut wall.
The one-cell bugs that
make up the gut are primarily
bacteria but there are also
yeast, fungus and parasites.
A fast emerging school of
thought is that if microbiome
mayhem is reversed, it could
combat the non-stop rise in the
proliferation of food allergies
and intolerances, autoimmune
conditions such as, diabetes and Crohns disease, as well as severe
digestive track issues, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and
Already, there is easy access to DNA testing of our own
microbiomes revealing how our g ut health compares to other
people’s (especially compelling if you’re on a special diet) or how
our gut health changes and evolves over time.
A term that has taken hold for the cause of digestive issues is
Leaky Gut Syndrome.
The theory is that an altered or damaged bowel lining allows
toxins, microbes, undigested food and even waste to leak into the
body, causing an immune system reaction that leads to some of
these more serious health conditions.
“One of the biggest functions of the microbiome is the barrier
it creates between the outside of the gut and the inside of the gut,”
says Dr Jim Nicolai, author of Integrative Wellness Rules.
“ When our microbiome is healthy, our intestines are able to
retain their integrity and work correctly. To put simply, our guts are
working for us and not against us.
“ When you have bad bacteria entering the gut, a kind of toxic
invasion, it gets more damaged and leaky, triggering the immune
responses to spike.”
In turn, the buzz in plugging and healing a leaky gut is about
promoting methylation: a v ital metabolic process that happens in
ever y cell and ever y organ of our body. Life would simply not exist
w ithout it.
Methylation takes place more than a billion times per second in
the body – anything that’s happening a billion times per second has
to be crucial to survival and wellbeing!
It was a key theme at last year’s Australasian Academy of Anti-
Ageing Medicine (A5M) conference in Melbourne (as it will be this
year, August 6 -7, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins) and has become the
subject of sellout A5M workshops around the country.
“Our first Methylation Workshop was held as our pre-conference
workshop last August,” says Loretta York, business development
manager of A5M Medical Education.
“It was a sell-out, prompting us to repeat the workshops in Perth last
November, then Brisbane in March. They were all very well attended.
“The feedback we have received from our delegates suggests the
understanding of the methylation process is important, as it is a
biochemical process involved in almost all of the body’s functions.
“It controls ever ything from stress response to our energy
levels and brain health. Methylation aids in the detoxification of
hormones and heav y metals. It assists in the inflammation response
and the repair of DNA.
“ We have made the recording of the Methylation Workshop
available for purchase for those who haven’t been able to attend it.”
IT’S NOT ALL
IN THE MIND
For several decades, scientists have known about the direct line of
communication between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract. This
information is only now f iltering into the mainstream consciousness.
“The nervous system as we know it first began in the gut,” says
Dan Hurley, award-winning American science journalist.
“The CNS, found in the brain and spinal cord, evolved from the
enteric ner vous system.
“Because both the brain and the gut share much of the same
tissue, there is an uncanny relationship between the nervous system
and the digestive system.
“This is why, for example, SSRIs are sometimes prescribed for
bouts of irritable bowel syndrome.
“Approximately 90 percent of the serotonin in the body is
located in the g ut.
“So, do you want to get happy? Boosting gut health with
beneficial bacteria w ill not only improve digestion, but it can
benefit the mood.”
Oregon State University in the US recently issued results
of a study that said personalised diagnosis of an individual’s
microbiome could be used to determine which prebiotics or
probiotics might help to prov ide the right “healthy” balance.
The author of the report, Dr Natalia Shulzhenko, said that
contrary to conventional wisdom, “our intestines contain more
immune cells than the entire rest of our body.”
There is other testing being done to prove how the microbes
in our gut affect our brain chemistry. Initial research shows that
replacing the gut bacteria of anxious mice with bacteria from
fearless mice has had the effect of turning the timid bold. And
scientists have seen aggressive mice calmed down by altering their
microbes through diet or probiotics.
CLINICAL AESTHETICS | 19
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