Gut Diversity: How your gut bacteria control your food cravings

Have you ever wondered why you struggle to control your cravings? Or maybe why you always seem bloated or sensitive to certain foods when you never had these symptoms before? It might be the bacteria in your gut and the messages they send you that are at play here.

Did you know that the bacteria in your gut can communicate with you? The intricacies of this conversation are at a microbial level where over 10-100 trillion bacteria cells are living in the human body and sharing messages to each other and also to YOU!  These messages are sent to your brain via complex biological networks, that signal your reaction in the form of what you crave to eat.

And if you react to these cravings by consuming the very foods the bacteria tell you they want, we continue to feed this bacteria strain and their microbial colony grows stronger and instead of trillions of different bacteria colonies in your gut living in harmonious balance, you have colonies that grow out of control and cause a problematic imbalance in the gut.

This can then lead to gut dysbiosis (bacteria/microbial imbalance) where there is a decrease of beneficial healthy bacteria and an increase in pathogenic bacteria which may cause bloating, discomfort, leaky gut, digestive disorders and food sensitivities to name a few.

With food cravings lead by our microbiome, it is somehow fitting that we refer to this as food for thought, or should we say thought for food and add the missing step describing where that thought emerged and why? When we have any number of microbial species in the gut that grow out of control, they have a stronger capacity and intelligence to send us messages to crave for the food they need.

The problem with the messages sent by our gut microbes is the limited form in which the communication is sent.  We identify these messages in simple ways and think we are actually hungry even if we may have already eaten and feel quite full.  Your cravings are messages sent up from your gut microbes telling you what substrates they need to feed them and each type of microbial strain has its own food preference.

If you crave carbohydrates like chips, bread and pasta, then you have carbohydrate loving bacteria sending you messages and this would be the bacteria that is out of balance. The same goes for sugar cravings and sugar loving bacteria which is often associated with the bacteria Candida Albicans that thrive on simple sugars.

The more these pathogenic microbes grow, the more demanding the message becomes to motivate your actions to seek and consume its preferred food source to keep them happy and the cycle continues allowing them the opportunity to grow stronger again until the next time.  Meanwhile, the state of gut dysbiosis worsens.

Some sugar loving pathogenic bacteria will let you know if they don’t get what they want by creating a fuss and making you feel uncomfortable and perhaps even irritable until you give them what they want.  It’s that moment you realise that you are craving chocolate even though you have had a full meal and it may be late at night, but you still find it reasonable to jump in the car to go get your fix from the local store.  The majority of people are completely unaware of this gut brain axis where the microbes communicate their needs to their host.  Are we really going to let these little guys dictate our health?  We are therefore puppets to our own microbiome and unless something changes we will continue on this path!

The good news is that your brain can also talk back to your gut to help you regain control.  This is the amazing gut brain connection we are talking about.  You can change the composition of your gut, just by eating different foods and introducing healthy bacteria to create healthy gut diversity.

If your diet is restrictive and only feeding a limited number of species in your gut, it’s likely that you’re restricting the ability of some important species to thrive and you may in contrast, be feeding harmful pathogenic species that grow larger colonies and contribute to disease, inflammation and digestive disorders.

Gut diversity is key to a healthy gut!  The combination of species that you have in your gut will influence your overall health and well-being.   One way to increase microbial diversity in the gut is to focus on a healthy well-balanced and DIVERSE diet with a VARIETY of healthy fruits, and vegetables, meats fish, eggs and probiotic foods like fermented vegetables, kefir and yoghurt. Avoid commercial and fast foods and regain control of what you choose to eat.  When your microbiome becomes more diverse and balanced by what you consume, these messages will cease and your cravings will subside.

In addition to a balanced diet, we recommend introducing a VARIETY of beneficial probiotic strains to your gutbiome to help increase diversity and strengthen healthy microbial colonies that will love you back and keep your immune system strong.  Our Advanced Synbiotic Formula is a multi-strain broad spectrum probiotic and prebiotic containing 18 strains to help increase healthy bacteria growth and support digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

For such tiny, quiet living microorganisms, our microbiome bacteria have got a lot to say!

If your gut is healthy and in balance, it will be robust and teeming with beneficial microbes with no one species dominating your gutbiome. Healthy microbiome balance and diversity are crucial to healthy immune system function.  No one species should be given the opportunity to exercise too much control over others.  Gut dysbiosis, in contrast, has less diversity and less microbial balance.

Take back control of your health, override the cravings with willpower, change your gut diversity with diet and build and maintain your microbiome health with Gutbiome Advanced Broad Spectrum – Multi Strain Synbiotics.

Gutbiome Synbiotics: Protecting your tribe on the inside

AUTHOR: Linda Paterson, B.H. Sci, Gutbiome CEO