Connection to Illness
Research is now indicating that our gut bugs may be linked to ‘modern’ chronic illnesses including:
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease which includes Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis – Research hasn’t yet been able to demonstrate exactly which microbial strains are causing the inflammation however specific diet recommendations and fecal microbial transfers are being investigated.
- Obesity – weight gain may be associated with an increase of a class of bacteria called Firmicutes and a reduction in Bacteroidetes strains. This research has been conducted in animal models, human models and twin studies. (Mullins, 2015).
- Diabetes – Early life antibiotics may be increasing the incidence and age of onset of Type 1 Diabetes. In mice models, the pancreatic and gut cells are altered after being exposed to antibiotics doses; this damage precedes the onset of diabetes. (Blaser, 2014).
- Allergies (asthma, eczema, hayfever) – The theory goes that because the gut microbes play a role in training the immune system, an imbalance in gut health early on in life may have a role to play in an ‘unbalanced’ immune system that incorrectly targets itself. (Finlay & Arrieta, 2016).