Understanding the Link Between Gut Health and Overall Health

Understanding the Link Between Gut Health and Overall Health

Our digestive system is our main route for absorption of essential nutrients and serves as both a communication hub and disease fighter. A healthy gut has positive impacts on every area of our wellbeing – including mental clarity and sleep quality.

Your gut microbiome, the bacteria living in your digestive tract, has the potential to influence everything from obesity to fertility and mood disorders such as depression or anxiety. New studies are uncovering how these bacteria and the microbes that help them flourish in your gut can impact overall wellbeing.

Good Bacteria

Your gut is home to an intricate community of microorganisms, both good and bad bacteria alike.

Healthy bacteria help the body digest food, manufacture vitamins, and protect the immune system. Furthermore, they can keep inflammation low and promote mental wellbeing.

However, overuse of antibiotics can wipe out beneficial gut bacteria, leading to an imbalanced microbiome. Other factors that may influence this balance include diet, age, environment, medications taken and genes.


The gut is an integral component of good health, acting as a gateway for nutrients to enter and process, communication hub and disease fighter. But when your gut becomes out of balance due to inflammation, it can have serious repercussions on both mental and physical wellbeing.

Inflammation is the body’s response to infection, injury or disease. When activated by a toxin, needle or cold, inflammation can aid your body in healing and protecting itself from foreign invaders.

Inflammation is usually a temporary, rapid response that helps protect the body against bacteria and other foreign invaders by sending white blood cells and other healing agents to the site of an attack.

Inflammation is often a sign that your immune system is working optimally, but chronic inflammation can lead to serious diseases and other health complications. Knowing which foods cause inflammation and which combat it can help you optimize your wellbeing.

Immune System

Your immune system plays a significant role in maintaining overall wellness. It does this by recognizing and neutralizing any harmful substances that enter into your body – such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.

The immune system consists of cells, proteins and organs that work to keep you healthy. B cells produce antibodies which bind to foreign molecules and prevent them from docking with healthy cells.

Your gut is the home to much of your immune system. It serves as a major gateway to the body and houses 70% of lymphoid immune cells in areas known as Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue (GALT).

These innate immune cells collaborate with your microbiota, or gut microbes, to mount an effective response against harmful pathogens and promote tolerance to harmless bacteria that pass through the gut. Maintaining good health depends on this delicate balance between these systems; if it’s compromised, other aspects of wellbeing could suffer as well.

Weight Gain

Your gut is the first line of defense in fighting off disease and illness. It breaks down food into a simple form that can enter your bloodstream to deliver essential nutrients to cells.

Your gut microbiome contains beneficial bacteria that help absorb and digest food for optimal health, so it’s essential that the balance of bacteria be maintained for optimal wellness.

Researchers discovered that obese individuals tend to have fewer bacteria in their guts than lean individuals. This means your digestive system must work harder to break down and extract the nutrients you consume, leading to weight gain.

Diet plays an integral role in the composition of your gut bacteria. A diet rich in animal foods tends to favor Firmicutes, while fiber-rich plant-based meals tend to favor Bacteroidetes.