gut bacteria

Stress alters gut bacteria balance, inhibits proper immune function

Sunday, March 27, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: stress, gut bacteria, health news

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(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....).

"Alterations in intestinal flora are thought to play a role in many gastrointestinal disease conditions including irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease (eg., colitis and Chron's disease) and systemic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis," writes Allison Tannis in her book, Probiotic Rescue: How You Can Use Probiotics to Fight Cholesterol, Cancer, Superbugs, Digestive Complaints and More. "Research has found probiotics play a protective and beneficial role in these disease conditions."

To learn more about the benefits of probiotics in helping to balance gut bacteria, visit:
http://www.naturalnews.com/probiotics.html

Sources for this story include:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-...

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