How Your Gut Health Affects Your Whole Body

Common Symptoms of an Unhealthy Gut

There are hundreds of species of bacteria that reside in the gut. While typically we may think of bacteria as bad, many are actually friendly and critical for our health. The good gut bacteria are important for digestion and immunity, as well as creating vitamin K, B12, and anti-inflammatory short-chain fatty acids. When the gut flora contains too many harmful bacteria and not enough good bacteria, an imbalance can occur. This is also known as dysbiosis (1). Both dysbiosis and a reduction in gut flora diversity have been linked to insulin resistance, inflammatory bowel disease, weight gain, and colorectal cancer (2, 3, 4, 5).



Skin Issues

Mood Imbalance

Poor Sleep Quality

Sugar Cravings

Five Reasons Your Gut
Microbiome May Be Out of Balance

  • 1

    Our Modern Diets Prioritize Speed & 'Taste' 

    Grocery aisles are now dominated by low-fiber, high-sugar, and heavily processed foods. Fibre is crucial for good bacteria to thrive, and too much sugar and processed foods can promote the growth of bad bacteria (6).

  • 2

    Increased Stress Levels

    Psychological stress can impact the gut-brain axis and alter the composition of the gut microbiome from changes in gut permeability and immune function (7).

  • 3

    Environmental Factors

    Exposure to pollutants, pesticides, and other endocrine-disrupting environmental toxins is an often overlooked factor with negative impacts to our gut, weakening our gut lining and creating microbiome imbalances (8).

  • 4

    Antibiotic Use

    Antibiotics are designed to eliminate harmful bacteria, but they often disrupt the balance in the gut microbiome by affecting both beneficial and harmful bacteria, and potentially lead to antibiotic resistance when overused or misused (9).

  • 5

    Overcoming an Infection

    Bacterial or viral infections in the gastrointestinal tract can disrupt the balance of the gut microbiome (10). When recovering from and infection, it's important to also focus on restoring a health gut.

The First Step to Healing Our Gut Is

Understanding It

The First Step to Healing Our Gut Is Understanding It

Modern life has been hard on our gut microbiome, which explains why over over 60% of adults experience weekly digestive and gut issues, with symptoms including heartburn/reflux, bloating, cramping, constipation, and diarrhea (11). Lifestyle factors like stress, diet and environmental toxins and pollutants have lead to an imbalance of bacteria in our microbiome.

What is the gut microbiome?

The gut microbiome is a microscopic world within your body consisting of trillions of microorganisms of thousands of different species. These include both good and bad bacteria. Most are symbiotic (meaning both our bodies and the bacteria benefit), while some are pathogenic (promoting disease). In a healthy gut microbiome, these bacteria coexist peacefully, but if there is a disturbance in that balance, the body may become more susceptible to disease and other negative side effects (12).

So How Does It All Connect

Your Gut is Your Second Brain

Your gut is home to what scientists call your "second brain" (aka your Enteric Nervous System). It creates hormones and has 100 million nerve cells sending constant messages from our gut to our brain (19). Our brain and gut are intricately connected in so many ways, which is why to take care of our mental health, we need to prioritize our digestive health and diet first.

80% of Your Immune System Comes From the Gut

Many illnesses and conditions are tied to imbalances of gut bacteria and leaky gut. Our gut has the very important job of blocking large food particles, allergens and pathogens from entering our bodies, but when we don't have enough good bacteria to ward off the bad, we start to feel the effects. Leaky gut can be caused by environmental toxins, an unbalanced diet, alcohol, or long term stress response.

Autoimmune diseases like celiac disease, IBS, IBD (Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis), Multiple Sclerosis, T1D, lupus, are all tied to gut bacteria imbalances and leaky gut (20). Our gut holds around 70% of our immune cells and is responsible for around 60-80% of our immune system (21).

95% of Your Serotonin is Produced in the Gut

Since our gut and our brain are so intricately connected, we can actually see direct effects of gut health on mental health and mood.

Our gut produces 95% of our serotonin, our “happy” hormone, and some oxytocin, our “safety” hormone (22). Anxiety can influence gut imbalances, but poor gut health can also increase anxiety symptoms. For example, women are more likely to experience anxiety, and also be diagnosed with gastrointestinal disease and symptoms than men. High cortisol (stress hormone) can cause inflammation in the gut, and even affect the muscles in your stomach, negatively impacting our bowel movements.

Patients with chronic digestive diseases (i.e. IBS, IBD) are significantly more likely to report depression and anxiety than the general population (23). It's also reported that patients with mental health and neurological diagnosis, like autism and ADHD are more likely to have dysbiosis (imbalanced gut bacteria) (21).

With this connection, there’s been a lot more research on how to treat these diseases and conditions. We’ve found that practices like meditation can support gut health and may lower risk of mental health symptoms, and that supporting the gut with probiotics and prebiotics may support treatment for mental health disorders (24).

Skin Issues? Your Gut May Be the Reason

Acne, psoriasis and eczema have been linked to gut bacteria imbalance (20). By taking care of the root cause, gut health, it's possible to reduce the symptoms or flare-ups of these diseases.

Our gut also creates vitamins (B12, K), and controls the absorption of vitamins. Most vitamins we consume need to be metabolized by gut bacteria to be absorbed into our bodies. So despite us taking a healthy dose of critical vitamins, we still need the healthy gut bacteria to make them available to us. Having a healthier, balanced gut increases our vitamin levels, which in turn support our skin hydration and balance.

It's Time to Treat the Cause Instead of the Symptom

We spend a fortune on specialty foods, beauty products and diets to alleviate symptoms from things like acne, mood and low energy. Let’s start with the cause instead.

Superfood Hydration For a Happy Gut

Superfood Hydration
For a Happy Gut


Strawberry Hibiscus


Açai Pomegranate



Lemon Ginger


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