Mind Your Microbes: Gut Health

Mind Your Microbes: Gut Health | The Paleo Diet

I have a gut feeling that things are about to become much more interesting in the science world.1, 2, 3 As researchers continue to discover more and more exciting news about just how our microbiomes can uniquely identify us, change our food cravings, and alter our health, we must continually realize the importance of keeping a ‘healthy gut’.4 While this phrase has become increasingly popular in the mainstream world of health, many still do not realize exactly is meant by having ‘good gut health’. Perhaps more troubling – they have no idea how to obtain it. A Paleo diet will be the single best thing you can do for your gut, by avoiding Western foods which have been proven to alter gut bacteria in a negative fashion.5, 6

Mind Your Microbes: Gut Health |  The Paleo Diet

Bischoff, Stephan C. “‘Gut Health’: A New Objective in Medicine?” BMC Medicine 9 (2011): 24. PMC. Web. 20 May 2015.

By adding in foods that help to promote gut health (fermented choices like sauerkraut) you will be moving things in the right direction.7, 8 Poor gut health is correlated with a multitude of negative symptoms and conditions, including a lifetime of antibiotic treatments (which have increasingly been shown to be detrimental to the microbiome), and is often the most common problem experienced by anyone with poor health. 9, 10, 11, 12

For over a decade, researchers have known that the gut microflora is a major part of metabolic activities that result in salvage of energy and absorbable nutrients.13 Researchers have also known that the microbiota plays a crucial role as a source of infection and environmental insult and also in protection against disease and maintenance of gut function.14 Since this is scientific information, the general public remained largely unaware of it – even as we became fatter, sicker and more likely to receive a host of antibiotic treatments.15, 16, 17

Mind Your Microbes: Gut Health | The Paleo Diet

Bischoff, Stephan C. “‘Gut Health’: A New Objective in Medicine?” BMC Medicine 9 (2011): 24. PMC. Web. 20 May 2015.

Sadly, it has taken illness, poor health and chronic pain for many to discover a Paleo diet. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Preventative – rather than reactive – measures are ideal when looking to maintain one’s health in the long term.18 Since your microbiome is a unique fingerprint, you want it to be in the best shape possible.19, 20, 21 Researchers at Harvard recently even warned that people may be able to be identified by their microbiome fingerprint (which has possible data privacy implications).22 Fast food has been shown to worsen the balance of good bacteria to bad bacteria in the gut, and also increases the likelihood of obesity.23, 24 These are all good reasons to adopt a Paleo diet and ‘mind your microbes’ – as the saying goes.

Mind Your Microbes: Gut Health | The Paleo Diet

Hoffmann, Christian et al. “Archaea and Fungi of the Human Gut Microbiome: Correlations with Diet and Bacterial Residents.” Ed. Chongle Pan. PLoS ONE 8.6 (2013): e66019. PMC. Web. 20 May 2015.

Lastly, many are unaware that they themselves carry more bacterial cells than human cells – meaning that bacteria literally run our lives.25, 26, 27 This is one of the biggest reasons to really focus on improving your own gut’s health – and in turn – adopt a better diet. Western diets have poor implications and results for the human microbiome – it is a bad idea to continue to eat that way.28, 29, 30 Instead, focus on a nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory Paleo Diet – and make your bacteria happy.



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[2] Choct M. Managing gut health through nutrition. Br Poult Sci. 2009;50(1):9-15.

[3] Bischoff SC. ‘Gut health’: a new objective in medicine?. BMC Med. 2011;9:24.

[4] Available at: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150511162914.htm. Accessed May 16, 2015.

[5] Brown K, Decoffe D, Molcan E, Gibson DL. Diet-induced dysbiosis of the intestinal microbiota and the effects on immunity and disease. Nutrients. 2012;4(8):1095-119.

[6] Martinez-medina M, Denizot J, Dreux N, et al. Western diet induces dysbiosis with increased E coli in CEABAC10 mice, alters host barrier function favouring AIEC colonisation. Gut. 2014;63(1):116-24.

[7] Selhub EM, Logan AC, Bested AC. Fermented foods, microbiota, and mental health: ancient practice meets nutritional psychiatry. J Physiol Anthropol. 2014;33:2.

[8] Van hylckama vlieg JE, Veiga P, Zhang C, Derrien M, Zhao L. Impact of microbial transformation of food on health – from fermented foods to fermentation in the gastro-intestinal tract. Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2011;22(2):211-9.

[9] Hemarajata P, Versalovic J. Effects of probiotics on gut microbiota: mechanisms of intestinal immunomodulation and neuromodulation. Therap Adv Gastroenterol. 2013;6(1):39-51.

[10] Kelder T, Stroeve JH, Bijlsma S, Radonjic M, Roeselers G. Correlation network analysis reveals relationships between diet-induced changes in human gut microbiota and metabolic health. Nutr Diabetes. 2014;4:e122.

[11] Hoffmann C, Dollive S, Grunberg S, et al. Archaea and fungi of the human gut microbiome: correlations with diet and bacterial residents. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(6):e66019.

[12] Catanzaro R, Anzalone M, Calabrese F, et al. The gut microbiota and its correlations with the central nervous system disorders. Panminerva Med. 2015;57(3):127-43.

[13] Guarner F, Malagelada JR. Gut flora in health and disease. Lancet. 2003;361(9356):512-9.

[14] Tuohy KM, Probert HM, Smejkal CW, Gibson GR. Using probiotics and prebiotics to improve gut health. Drug Discov Today. 2003;8(15):692-700.

[15] Rocca WA, Petersen RC, Knopman DS, et al. Trends in the incidence and prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and cognitive impairment in the United States. Alzheimers Dement. 2011;7(1):80-93.

[16] Roth J, Qiang X, Marbán SL, Redelt H, Lowell BC. The obesity pandemic: where have we been and where are we going?. Obes Res. 2004;12 Suppl 2:88S-101S.

[17] Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/behindtheheadlines/news/2014-10-10-antibiotic-resistance-continues-to-rise-/. Accessed May 16, 2015.

[18] Maciosek MV, Coffield AB, Flottemesch TJ, Edwards NM, Solberg LI. Greater use of preventive services in U.S. health care could save lives at little or no cost. Health Aff (Millwood). 2010;29(9):1656-60.

[19] Franzosa EA, Huang K, Meadow JF, et al. Identifying personal microbiomes using metagenomic codes. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2015;

[20] Gillevet P, Sikaroodi M, Keshavarzian A, Mutlu EA. Quantitative assessment of the human gut microbiome using multitag pyrosequencing. Chem Biodivers. 2010;7(5):1065-75.

[21] Albenberg LG, Lewis JD, Wu GD. Food and the gut microbiota in inflammatory bowel diseases: a critical connection. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2012;28(4):314-20.

[22] Available at: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150511162914.htm. Accessed May 16, 2015.

[23] Available at: http://www.ibtimes.com/what-good-gut-bacteria-fast-food-kills-natural-allies-worsens-obesity-other-health-1916714. Accessed May 16, 2015.

[24] Slavin J. Fiber and prebiotics: mechanisms and health benefits. Nutrients. 2013;5(4):1417-35.

[25] Available at: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/strange-but-true-humans-carry-more-bacterial-cells-than-human-ones/. Accessed May 16, 2015.

[26] O’hara AM, Shanahan F. The gut flora as a forgotten organ. EMBO Rep. 2006;7(7):688-93.

[27] Turnbaugh PJ, Ridaura VK, Faith JJ, Rey FE, Knight R, Gordon JI. The effect of diet on the human gut microbiome: a metagenomic analysis in humanized gnotobiotic mice. Sci Transl Med. 2009;1(6):6ra14.

[28] Myles IA. Fast food fever: reviewing the impacts of the Western diet on immunity. Nutr J. 2014;13:61.

[29] Poutahidis T, Kleinewietfeld M, Smillie C, et al. Microbial reprogramming inhibits Western diet-associated obesity. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(7):e68596.

[30] Wong JM, Esfahani A, Singh N, et al. Gut microbiota, diet, and heart disease. J AOAC Int. 2012;95(1):24-30.

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