Understanding our gut bacteria is being discussed in relation to many problems of the gut and even in other parts of the body. An American dietitian with a special interest in what is happening in the gut, especially in irritable bowel syndrome, has an update. Her take-away message is “this science is new, evolving and individual.” She uses the idea I applied to our individual way of metabolising food chemicals. Where I spoke of our “metabolic fingerprint” in all that happens after chemicals pass from the gut into our bloodstream and affect how the body works, she uses the same idea in speaking of own “microbial fingerprint” to emphasise how different one person is from another when it comes to what is happening in our gut.
Remember that our microbiome is said to affect many types of symptoms. These include heart disease, autism, arthritis, cancer, obesity, IBD, IBS, diabetes and many more. What is my take home message when it comes to food chemical sensitivity? If you investigate your diet, such as by using my Diet Detective Method, and your symptoms decrease you are probably managing your microbiome as well as the knowledge we have now allows. As Kate reports, research into how the microbiome might affect various disorders is still a very new area of research. We hope that some time in the future that there will be probiotics that you can use that may reduce your need for diet. If you find a probiotic that decreases your symptoms, use it. If a probiotic does not change your symptoms you can ask yourself if it is worth continuing.
One team has revealed the link with intake of emulsifying agents (polysorbate 80 and carboxymethylcellulose), common in the food supply, with gut inflammation and metabolic syndrome in animal studies. His final advice, ‘eat more whole foods’ and less food products. This is the beginning of a discussion of additives having a role in the gut flora, but the preservative sorbate is not among the additives that most often cause gut distress. Those that most often cause reactions are the additives in cola and other soft drinks and processed foods (artificial colours, flavours and preservatives), and the savoury ones that contain monosodium glutamate [MSG] and other glutamates.
You can read Kate Scarlata’s article here.