A Healthy gut is hard to come by with modern lifestyles. Thanks to the work of Martin Blaser, MD at NYU, we know that by studying tribes that live closer to the earth that it’s all about biodiversity. These folks have thousands of species of bugs in their guts that provide a system of checks and balances for each-other. They tend to be healthier and more resilient.
Thanks to modern monocrop farming and the use of too many pesticides, our guts have a few hundred species and some people even less. This leads to a lack of gut tolerance, immune intolerance, and possibly intolerance of other humans if we carry it through.
Sure, back in the days we’d drink from rivers and eat roots straight from the ground and get lots of variety in our diets. Today we don’t. We wash our broccoli and steam it. Good for sulfurophane but not great for bug variety.
So what can we do to nudge our systems into better gut health? For most people, layering on lots of new types of fiber through new fruits and vegetables can lead to gas, bloating, and overall discomfort.
It’s a chicken and egg issue really. We need the fiber and new bugs to have healthy microbial balance but but not having it and being inflamed, adding that stuff in our adult life tends to set things on fire.
This short chain fatty acid helps promote healing of tight junctions in the gut and brings down inflammation. It helps modulate gut immunity and helps offset the negative effects of harmful bacteria. In short- it’s a good thing and we’ve been trying to isolate it into a supplement for years.
It hasn’t worked well because we tried to bind it to salts originally. That said, there’s been a lot of talk about it over the years and a lot of hype. There have also been some amazing advances in the field and some positive signal on new forms of delivery. We may be there.
Is it the end all silver bullet for health and healing? Of course not. Nothing is. Lifestyle will always remain the key. What you eat matters. Always.
That said, getting a little supportive bump to turn the microbial tide is a good plan and this may be part of an overall strategy that can help.
See this interview I did with Steven Wright about the topic here: