(NaturalNews) Researchers from Ohio State University (OSU) have identified an important connection between stress and health. According to their study, which was published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, stress directly affects the delicate bacterial balance in the intestines that digests food, defends against harmful bacteria, and regulates proper immune function.
Dr. Michael Bailey and his colleagues discovered that bodily stress changes the composition, diversity, and number of gut bacteria. As a result, the smaller array of bacteria ended up giving way to more harmful varieties, throwing off the entire balance and jeopardizing the integrity of the immune system.
"These bacteria affect immune function, and may help explain why stress dysregulates the immune response," said Bailey. "These changes can have profound implications for physiological function."
Imbalanced or lacking gut bacteria is responsible for a wide variety of ailments and diseases, including inflammatory bowel diseases like Chron's, infections, malnutrition, organ failure, obesity, heart disease, and cancer. And since previous research has established that roughly 80 percent of overall immune function is dependent on a healthy gut, it is important to maintain vibrant intestinal flora (http://www.naturalnews.com/healthy_bacteria.html).
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