Sunday, November 01, 2009

It's NOT just in your head...

For years doctors have claimed that the vast majority of gut complaints are the direct result of emotional stability. Stress. Anxiety. Control issues.

Elaine Gottschal watched a diet prescribed by Dr. Haas heal her daughter. She went on to write a book, now published as "Breaking the Viscious Cycle," which embraced the theory that gut bacteria were intrinsically linked to whole health. Especially gastrointestinal health.

Elaine went on to explain that the bad bugs crave essence causing the human host to crave sugar. (Try and explain this to the typical MD, and he'll try very hard not to laugh directly at you.) She also explained how obesity can be caused by starvation...the bad bugs "stealing" all those yummy carbs and sugars.

After only 60 years or so, medical science has begun to wake up and agree. Those carb cravings may not be just in our heads (and tastebuds). Neither are they a product of our genes. Nope, studies have proven that people who eat chocolate have different intestinal bacteria than people who do not eat chocolate, leading to a difference in various metabolic byproducts in the blood and urine of test subjects.

Studies have also proven that intestinal flora changes after a change in weight.

Scientists feel this is exciting because if we can find ways to manipulate the bacteria, we can nudge it in the right direction for people trying to meet specific goals.

I wonder what far reaching research could lead to? They're already experimenting with certain parasites to treat Crohns disease, acknowledging that probiotics are vital for intestinal health, and begrudgingly admitting that natural vitamins might serve humans better than synthetic ones. What can gut bacteria teach us about allergies and autoimmune disorders?

What else is "all in our head", but really tied to the gut?

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