To absorb water and dispose of waste—those are the main functions of the large intestine; we all have known this from our school biology. Lately, we are also beginning to understand that within the large intestine exists a complex system of bacteria where, if we play are cards right, some “good” bacteria are doing good work, or some “bad” bacteria are doing damage.
What’s the good bacteria’s main fuel source? A carbohydrate: fiber. We can get an increase of 20 grams of stool for every 10 grams of fiber because whenever the fiber ferments in our colons, the good bacteria thrive. When we eat fruit, for example, or any other wholefood plant, we’re encouraging our gut microbiome to multiply. That’s definitely a good thing. The colon itself is rather fond of the gut bacteria since they produce some important fatty acids, and those in turn help reduce systemic inflammation.
When we don’t consume enough whole raw plants, we’re actually starving the good guys. Highly processed foods contain no fiber and that’s bad news, cooked foods contain only dead good bacteria—that’s more bad news, we’re sending an invitation to chronic diseases. We’re creating what’s called a dysbiosis.
A dysbiosis is an imbalance: the bad pathogenic and putrefactive bacteria take over and increase our vulnerability to inflammatory diseases (such as colon cancer) or perhaps result in type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Too many of us aren’t eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables. Instead, we’re eating fiber-deficient diets and then the dysbiosis becomes the default state. The right thing to do would be to address that issue through bowel management (like our Ultra Cleanse or Eat Well programs) so that you get on track with your gut bacteria sooner rather than later, as well as learn good habits for preserving the right bacterial balance in your bowel. Join us today!
Written by Tomasz Goetel