Recent studies demonstrate the vast importance of a well-balanced microbiome, the microorganisms that call your gut home. Imbalance in the gut has been linked to increased risks, as well as actual diseases, including Type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease, and cancer. And to drive home the importance of gut bacteria, a number of studies add yet another item to this list – liver disease.
A study at Johns Hopkins University in 2003 found that gut microbiome has an impact on the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Normally, the excessive use of alcohol causes the accumulation of fat in the liver. In the case of NAFLD, fat accumulates because of factors besides too much alcohol. The condition can lead to various diseases and is linked to heart disease and stroke.
The researchers at Johns Hopkins found that intestinal bacteria played an important role in hepatic insulin resistance related to liver disease. After feeding mice with a high-fat diet, they discovered that that bacteria in the animals' intestine converted choline into methylamines. Choline is a chemical that is key to the metabolism of fat.
The loss of choline means that the body is unable to transport fat from the liver, causing it to accumulate in the organ instead. The study confirmed that by improving the balance of gut microbiome, insulin resistance can be minimized and the occurrence of too much fat in the liver can be prevented.
But how do you make this balance possible? A good way to ensure that your gut is populated with friendly bacteria is by taking probiotics. (Related: Probiotic twice a day zaps 'bad' cholesterol, could prevent heart disease.)
About 85 percent of the bacteria in your intestine are “good” bacteria. Over time, however, you lose them gradually because of a number of factors, including aging and the use of antibiotics. Probiotics are friendly bacteria which you ingest in various edible forms so they can colonize your gut and re-invigorate your microbiome population.
Eating these probiotic foods is good for your gut and your general well-being:
Learn how you can live longer with the right nutrients at Longevity.news.