What is the Gut ?
The processing and absorbing and excretion of food happens in the gut which is of vital importance to prevent and heal cancer.
The majority of the “human bacteria” which consists of the 10-100 trillion microbial cells are housed in the gut
This gastrointestinal tract (gut), is a long tube that starts at your mouth and ends at your anal passage.
Interesting that two thirds of the gut microbiome ( the population of bacteria in the intestine ) is unique to each individual.
You are not just what you eat but also what you digest and what you excrete.
The Gut , your Brain and your Emotions.
Giulia Enders, author of Gut: The Inside Story Of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ, says:
“The gut is the largest sensory organ in the body, and has the second biggest collection of nerves, after the brain,”
No wonder it is refer to as “The Second Brain” in alternate health circles.
The health of the gut effects the well-being of your body, mind and even emotions.
How we feel emotionally can influence our gut – for example, experiencing butterflies in the stomach or having diarhoea when you are nervous. It works the other way round too: what is happening in your gut can influence your mood and health.
According to the “American Psychological Association (APA)” in an article by Dr Siri Carpenter, September 2012, “gut bacteria produce an array of neurochemicals that the brain uses for the regulation of physiological and mental processes, including memory, learning and mood. In fact, 95% of the body’s supply of serotonin is produced by gut bacteria.” http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/09/gut-feeling.aspx
Cancer and Gut Bacteria.
Most of the bacterial colonies in your body are housed in the gut – on average 1.6 kg of bacteria.
The healthy balance and functioning of these bacteria makes up 70% of your immune system. If they are thriving, they can launch successful attacks on invading unhealthy ‘bad’ bacteria.
“The gut and immune system are closely linked. Just as our gut bacteria control our immune system, our immune system controls our gut bacteria. Research now suggests this interaction plays a significant role in determining cancer risk. Mice lacking certain immune molecules that slow the immune response, called anti-inflammatory cytokines, have more bad bacteria in their gut. This means a strong immune response ensures bad bacteria do not overpopulate our guts.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23696660
Bouts of constipation, diarrhea, bloating, heartburn, indigestion or gas, could be a warning sign that your gut health is less than optimal. We are created to digest, assimilate and eliminate in perfect balance so that we can stay in good health.
Most people with cancer have impaired digestive systems that have been damaged by years of abuse of refined carbohydrates, antibiotics, toxins, metals and especially STRESS. My situation was no different. I suffered from bouts of constipation.
Women with breast cancer have a higher abundance of Enterobacteriaceae, Staphylococcus, and Bacillus when compared to women without breast cancer. Lactobacillus acidophilus, a familiar probiotic found in yogurt and kimchi, can reach the mammary gland and has a number of anti-cancer effects. Women who ingest fermented milk products may experience protective antioxidant effects. http://www.asm.org/index.php/general-science-blog/item/6663-the-breast-microbiome-a-role-for-probiotics-in-breast-cancer-prevention
In an article in Medical News Today by Honor Whiteman published on 11 March 2015, he refers to a 2013 study published in The Journal of Cancer Research, in which US researchers claimed to have discovered specific bacteria in the intestines – Lactobacillus johnsonii – that may play a role in the development of lymphoma, a cancer of the white blood cells. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290747.php
Food and the Gut.
Don’t despair if your gut is less than optimal as you can correct it.
You can alter the composition of your gut flora positively by eating a variety of prebiotic and probiotic foods.
But please also remember to cut out all processed foods, and those high in sugar and chemical additives. They are a sure way to decimate the beneficial bacteria in your gut, allowing the harmful pathogenic type to thrive.
Dr Joseph Mercola believes that “Nourishing Your Gut Bacteria Is Critical for Health and Mental Well-Being” and “Your Gut Impacts Your Metabolism and Genetic Expression” http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/06/27/probiotics-gut-health-impact.aspx
Food that is prebiotic contains ingredients, mostly fiber, that gut bacteria feed on, producing fermentation by-products that benefit health.
Here are some of the most potent prebiotic foods:
- Burdock root
- Cereal grains (whole wheat, barley, rye)
- Chicory root
- Greens (especially dandelion greens)
- Jerusalem artichoke
Probiotic rich Foods.
Probiotic-rich foods are prepared by allowing bacteria to ferment food naturally. Common bacteria, like lactobacilli, break down the sugars into acids, preserving the food and imparting a salty, tangy flavor.
Fermented foods can provide a fresh instalment of bacteria into the gut. The new bacteria enhance the diversity of our gut microbes to help the resident bacteria do their job better.
Here are some of the most potent probiotic foods:
- Fermented vegetables (kimchi, sauerkraut, carrots, green beans, beets, lacto-fermented pickles, traditional cured Greek olives)
- Fermented soybeans (miso, natto, tempeh)
- Cultured dairy products (buttermilk, yogurt, kefir, cheese)
- Cultured non-dairy products (yogurts and kefirs made from organic soy, coconut, etc.)
- Fermented grains and beans (lacto-fermented lentils, chickpea, miso, etc.)
- Fermented beverages (kefirs and kombuchas)
- Fermented condiments (raw apple cider vinegar)
A healthy gut will lead to a healthy body. It might take a bit of time to restore the balance but it is possible by consistently doing everything that you can to repair the balance of the gut bacteria
Repairing the bacteria in the gut will not only assist in the healing of cancer but also ensure your general wellbeing and mood.