Thursday, April 16, 2015

4 Toxins that Are Destroying Your Gut Health

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4 Toxins that Are Destroying Your Gut Health

Published April 15, 2015


Many people don't realize just how important the microbiome (your gut's bacteria) is for maintaining overall health. Your gut is home to about one trillion bacteria, and in order to keep things running smoothly those bacteria need to stay healthy. But there are many, many things out there that can disturb that balance.

4 Toxins That Destroy Gut Health

Keeping your body healthy relies heavily on the health of your gut. Here are just 4 toxins that are destroying your gut health and, subsequently, your overall wellbeing.

1. Antibiotics

Studies suggest certain antibiotics can affect gut flora—even changing "the microbial and metabolic patterns of the gut." [1] When you take a common antibiotic like penicillin or erythromycin, for example, the diversity of those bacteria could decrease. [2] Even if levels will likely return to normal over time, these drugs disturb your gut's health, and that could be a factor in future health problems.

2. Pesticides

One of the main ingredients in the weedkiller Roundup, glyphosate is often used by farmers. Residues from the toxin then go on to contaminate our food supply. With gluten intolerance and celiac disease on the rise, a recent study suggests glyphosate is the culprit and that it destroys gut health and kills off healthy gut bacteria. Gluten intolerance and celiac disease can, in turn, lead to other health issues. [3] However, thanks to assurances from Monsanto, glyphosate's creator, the EPA still doesn't recognize the threat of this toxin to humans.

3. Emulsifiers

Emulsifiers keep the ingredients in processed food from separating. They’re also used to improve the shelf-life of items, or to help the texture. Be careful: if you're buying processed food, it’s likely you're also buying emulsifiers. Those—let's call them what they are—poisons could also be adding to the obesity epidemic "by interfering with microbes in the gastrointestinal tract." [4] There's even evidence suggesting emulsifiers could be a factor in other serious health issues like inflammatory bowel disease and metabolic syndrome.

4. Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners could even change the way your body processes sugar—leading to high blood sugar, a possible precursor to diabetes. [5] Because they contain no calories, these sweeteners aren't digested, but they still have to make their way through the gastrointestinal tract. That same study also strongly suggests artificial sweeteners could, if nothing else, contribute to weight gain—that they "may favor the growth of bacteria that make more calories available to us, calories that can then find their way to our hips, thighs and midriffs." [6]

One Final Thought

But gut health does more than just affect physical health; there's evidence suggesting levels of certain gut bacteria could be linked to autism and depression. [7] Another report suggests probiotic treatments could help autistic children. [8] So remember, keeping your gut healthy could go a long way to improve your entire state of being.

What do you do to maintain your gut health? Tell us about it in the comments.

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM


  1. Perez-Cobas, A. E. et al. Gut microbiota disturbance during antibiotic therapy: a multi-omic approach. Gut. 62.
  2. Hassan, T. Pharmacologic considerations for patients taking oral contraceptives. CONNECTICUT DENTAL STUDENT JOURNAL.
  3. Samsel, A. & Seneff, S. Glyphosate's Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases. Entropy. 15 (4).
  4. Chassaing, B. et al. Dietary emulsifiers impact the mouse gut microbiota promoting colitis and metabolic syndrome. Nature. 519.
  5. Suez, J. et al. Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota. Nature. 514 (7521).
  6. Shell, E. R. Artificial Sweeteners May Change Our Gut Bacteria in Dangerous Ways. Scientific American. 312 (4).
  7. Kang, D. et al. Reduced Incidence of Prevotella and Other Fermenters in Intestinal Microflora of Autistic Children. PLoS ONE.
  8. Patterson, P. et al. Microbiota Modulate Behavioral and Physiological Abnormalities Associated with Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Cell. 155 (7).

The post 4 Toxins that Are Destroying Your Gut Health appeared first on Dr. Group's Natural Health & Organic Living Blog.

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