Modern advances have created opportunities for us to accomplish things once only imagined. In this age of convenience, we can have anything at any time—but what does it actually cost us? Health conditions are skyrocketing, and chronic illnesses are on the rise including depression, obesity, GI issues, autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. And all of these can be tied back to the state of the gut microbiome.
The trillions of bacteria residing in the intestines called the gut microbiome are deeply and profoundly connected to health. When in harmony, these bacteria educate the immune system, help digest food, maintain the health of the intestines, and create nutrients to nourish the human body.
The types and quantities of bacteria can alter inflammatory processes, regulate mood and thinking, and even modulate gene expression. All of these functions serve to protect and heal the body. Our ability to thrive depends on our ability to cultivate and create a positive ecosystem within that will sustain health from the inside.
Unfortunately, our modern conveniences don’t always mix well with our ancient allies. Many practices today may save us time and money and make things accessible on demand—but they could also harm the health of these bacteria.
As a functional medicine doctor and an expert in gut health, I wish more people understood the potential harm these three modern practices could cause to the microbiome: