Bugs and Guts

The Royal College of Physicians, London

I’ve been to London many, many times, and I don’t know why I’ve never been to The Royal College of Physicians in Regents Park before. What a wonderful place. So much history, and the gardens are full of medicinal plants and flowers.


I was attending a Conference at The College yesterday, about the importance of the microbiome, in particular the microbiota of the gut – that’s the bacteria in your intestines 😉

There were more microbiologists, virologists, gastroenterologists and bacteriologists than you could shake a stick at, and all talking about the same thing, how important our gut bugs are.  In other words, it’s very important that we have lots of ‘friendly’ bacteria in our intestines because studies and research show that low levels of  these ‘friendly’ bugs can affect our immune system, and make it weaker, leaving us more exposed to infections. Low counts of ‘friendly’ bacteria can also make our intestines and livers more ‘toxic’, and these ‘toxins’ can leak out of the intestines and liver, and ‘contaminate’ our blood-stream.

There’s also been a study to show that as we get older, and our ‘friendly’ bugs are out of balance, we get more frail and confused.

They don’t have to convince me though with their research.  I’ve been doing my own research, in my daily clinical practice, for many years now. I’ve seen the remarkable results obtained when someone with a bloated, painful tummy, probably due to IBS, has taken a probiotic capsule for a few days, and the bloating and pain has disappeared.

What I can’t understand is why, when our gut bacteria is one of the most researched and studies areas, with the results of such research and studies showing how critical these micro-organisms are to our health and wellbeing, YET we can’t tell people about these benefits, and the benefits of taking probiotic supplements, because of some dictat in Europe. In my opinion, it’s wicked to with-hold such information from the population. Probiotics have been shown to be extremely safe, even to take in large amounts, so what’s the problem!? YET, they allow the sale of high sugar fizzy drinks, and allow food manufacturers to load their products with fat, salt and high-fructose corn syrup. It doesn’t make sense, but then perhaps it’s not supposed to make sense, it’s just to make money?

Oh dear, I can feel myself getting into full rant mode. I’d better calm down. Deep breaths Linda – in and out, and in and out ….

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