Miracle of Our Gut LinnFit Coaching Podcast Ep: 27

This is a transcription of Episode 27 of the LinnFit coaching Podcast. If you want to listen to it you can find it on Spotify by searching for LinnFit coaching Podcast, and check out this episode on YouTube here.



Welcome to the LinnFit coaching podcast where we take some of the most important Lifestyle, Nutrition, and Exercise related topics and make them practical for you, so that you can take control of your path in your own fitness and health journey.


Hey Guys welcome to today’s episode of the LinnFit Coaching Podcast! I’m Coach Caleb here with you today talking about the Miracle of our Gut. This is an amazing part of us. I’ve been studying the gut for a really long time, for over twelve years, through college and all the way to today. The more that I study it the more I see your gut really is a miraculous thing that we often take for granted. It’s so resilient with all the things that we put it through. Today I want to take you on a little bit of a journey of the gut to help you understand what is going on, and I’ll be talking about the microbiome. Specifically about why we shouldn’t take it for granted, why we should care for it, and how that can transform the way you feel.


Process of Digestion

First let’s take a journey into the process of digestion. This isn’t going to be all inclusive, but can help give you a good idea of what is actually happening when you eat.


You put a bite of food into your mouth and you start chewing it. Once you start chewing it you are already preparing that food to be broken down further. Your Saliva has enzymes that start breaking down carbohydrates so that they can be ready to be digested and absorbed. Then this amazing thing takes place when we swallow, it activates a muscle contraction that moves food all the way through the entire tube of your GI tract. This is called peristalsis, this is what moves food. Picture this like pinching a hose in order to move something through it. This muscle and process is why we are able to swallow even while upside down, but it always works better if you’re right side up.


Stomach

Then it hits your stomach, there are valves that open and close to make sure that the food stays in the stomach. These valves may not work perfectly for everyone, but for most of us they do their job well and close off when they need to. Once the food is in your stomach, it will release acid to break down the food even further. Our stomach does quite a bit of work breaking down the food. It is a really muscular organ that churns our food and breaks it down better than a blender. It turns our food into a liquid that is ready to be absorbed, as it continues along. There is some absorption that has already started taking place while in the stomach. It’s crazy in the stomach there are some of the most powerful acids known to man, that are breaking this food down. At the same time there is a mucus membrane on our stomach wall that prevents it from digesting itself, and putting a whole in your body. Even while food is in your stomach there is an entire cascade of hormones that let your body and brain know when you are full and have had enough. This is a miracle alone because your hormones adjust to what your body needs. Your body knows when it needs more and knows when it needs less, according to your activity, stressors, and anything going on in life.


Intestines

Your Stomach works this food over and when it’s done with its part of breaking down food it will send it to the small intestine. This is where a ton of the action of absorbing your food, and the nutrients in it, actually takes place. Once it gets into the small intestine the acid gets neutralized, and your liver, gallbladder, and pancreas activate and flood in a bunch of enzymes that help you digest and break down this food further. Your intestine has this semipermeable layer that’s in between your food and your blood, it’s semipermeable because it allows some things in and keeps other things out that you don’t want in your body. It’s amazing to see that this all takes place over a matter of hours and that it can absorb so much. This is partly because in your small intestine there is a lot of surface area, that allows for that absorption to happen. Once it gets everything out of your food it sends the rest to the large Intestine, where water and a few other nutrients are taken out. You can probably figure out what happens after that. Once your body is done getting everything out of your food, it gets rid of what’s left.


Microbiome and digestion

That’s a short explanation of what happens to your food, now I want to rewind a little to the small intestine because that’s where some of the most important parts of our digestion takes place, in our microbiome. What is that Microbiome? It is bacteria, and some fungi. Researchers estimate that within our gut there are 10-100 Trillion microorganisms. That is an absurd number most of us can’t really comprehend how big of a number that really is. Those microorganisms live within our GI tract. There are somewhere between 15,000 and 36,000 individual species living there. These bacteria are mostly probiotic, which means that they are good bacteria. Because there are so many good bacteria it helps to crowd out other bacterias, viruses, fungi, or parasites that our body does not want. This is a big deal because up to 70% of our immunity is dependent on our gut! Again up to 70 Percent of our immunity depends on our gut. So if 70% of our immunity depends on our gut, maybe we should value it right? This means we should care about what goes in, how it’s doing, and how we can maintain it. What’s even more amazing about our microbiomes is that each one is as unique as a fingerprint. Every person is a little bit different, this makes sense when we think about how every individual can have a different response to the same food. No two people can be treated exactly the same when we think about how they absorb or react to food, and how their body treats what they are eating.


Let’s go into a little bit more detail. What does this microbiome do for us? How does it actually help our digestion? Why do we need all of that bacteria?


Here’s a quick list for you:

  • Helps us digest and absorb nutrients

  • It produces nutrients for us. Such as vitamin B, A, and short chain fatty acids

  • Keeps our digestive system moving

  • It helps prevent bad bacteria from settling in and growing

  • Metabolizes medications, and plant chemicals or phytonutrients which can reduce inflammation

  • Produces coagulation and growth factors

  • Improves cell health

  • Produces cytokines, which are cell signaling molecules

  • Regulates our secretion of intestinal mucus

  • Helps regulate blood flow to internal organs


In other words what happens in our GI tract can affect our overall immunity, even our lungs, skin and many other things in our body. So this microbiome in our gut is incredibly important to our overall well being.


Probiotic products

It’s no wonder why probiotic foods and supplements are a fad right now. It’s nothing new but it’s been rebranded and there are a lot of different varieties of foods and supplements that are really popular. It’s nothing new, it has been there through the ages in different forms. If it’s so popular right now then a good question to ask yourself is, Why? What happens if your microbiome gets thrown off? What if you don’t care about it? First of all what can throw it off? Lots of different things can affect your microbiome, one example could be stress. If you are living a high stress life then it might have an effect on your gut, and your digestion because you may be unable to relax.


Other things that can disrupt your gut include:

  • Taking short or long term antibiotics, that can wipe out a lot of that good bacteria and kill it. This can leave you more sensitive to a lot of things.

  • Getting sick with something that causes diarrhea or vomiting. That can clear out your system.

  • Eating a lot of really processed foods can throw it off. Food that doesn’t have time to be absorbed is not going to feed that bacteria well.

  • Even obesity can be something that affects the microbiome within your gut.


What happens when your gut is affected?

  • Poor digestion. Potentially stomach ulcers, or gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD).

  • Issues with Intestinal motility (either constipation or diarrhea).

  • Mood disorders (e.g. depression, anxiety)

  • Overgrowth of other pathogens and microorganisms (yeasts, “bad” bacteria)

  • Poor clearance of medications and hormones, for example this could lead to estr