Proper gut health is indispensable in allowing the body to have bolstered immunity as well as an elevated mood. The key ingredients for these to take place relate to the gut associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) and the production of serotonin in the intestinal environment.
The gut associated lymphoid tissue is lymphatic tissue that is a part of the immune system. The immune system is responsible for warding off infection and preventing pathogenic issues from manifesting in the body. It is said that 70-80% of the immune system is located in the intestines within the GALT (2.) The state of the gut has direct bearing therefore on the health of the individual and whether or not infections are kept at bay. Those who are prone to various infections, getting the common cold, having allergies, succumbing to food sensitivites, etc. oftentimes have some degree of gut compromise. This gut compromise impacts the GALT by suppressing its immune-activating abilities. It is then hampered and there are insufficient immune cells and immune factors produced to properly ward off infections. the GALT can be impacted from a number of causative factors, including: chronic stress, sedentary lifestyles, inflammatory diets (high sugar, processed and packaged foods, hydrogenated oils, high grain consumption, gluten, conventional diary, preservatives and additives, etc.,) bitterness and unforgiveness as well as prolonged courses of antibiotics. Certain issues that tend to arise when the GALT is impacted include: sinus, ear and skin infections, inflammation and infections of the internal organs, various blood disorders as well as digestive problems. Supporting the GALT is imperative to overall immune system optimization. This can include renewing the mind in the Bible, practicing gratitude, exercising, eating anti-inflammatory foods and maintaining a healthy social network.
Exercising is a fantastic way to bolster immunity/support the GALT
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter and a hormone in the body. It is said that 90% of serotonin is synthesized in the gut (1.) It is known as the happy hormone and has many functions within the body. A few of them include: stabilizing mood as well as regulating sleep, eating and digestion. A burdened gut can compromise the proper secretion of serotonin in the intestines. Some of these compromising issues include: dysbiosis, SIBO, leaky gut syndrome and intestinal permeability and candidiasis. Proper diet and supplementation can go a long way in recalibrating healthy levels of serotonin production. Nutraceuticals, herbal antibiotics and various botanicals can balance out healthy microbial levels in the gut to create a favorable environment for serotonin to be produced. Many cases of mood instabilities, anxiety, nervousness, depression and hopelessness can be linked to imbalances in serotonin production. I believe there is a better solution than a prescription of Zoloft or various selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors. We need to address the root cause of the serotonin production issue. Looking to the health of the gut is an imperative approach to balancing out serotonin production in the body. This will lead to a more stabilized mood and overall better endocrine health.
The health of the gut cannot be overemphasized. It's critical for so many body functions; I just decided to focus on two in this article. It's my hope that we can all focus on improving our gut health with some of the methods specified above. As a result we will experience less infections and better immune health as well as a more stabilized mood.
Dr. Seamus Allen
CFMP, DACBN, DC