Wie können wir unser Mikrobiom stärken?

How can we strengthen our microbiome?

The best prerequisite for health is an intact intestinal flora. If this is out of balance due to illness, medication (such as antibiotics), stress, lack of sleep or a poor diet, we suffer from tiredness and fatigue, digestive problems, stomach ache and increased infections. This can even lead to food allergies, and the skin also shows signs of impurities, skin irritation and inflammation when the gut microbiome is out of balance. In this article, we shed light on the background to the microbiome and how we can positively influence our gut flora.

What is the microbiome?

The most important task of the gut is to digest food and filter vitamins and minerals in order to make them available for metabolic processes in the body. How well or poorly the optimal utilisation of nutrients works depends largely on intestinal health. To ensure that the digestive system functions properly, the diversity of intestinal bacteria (microbes) should be as high as possible. Their task is to protect our organism from a variety of external stimuli and attacks by "bad" bacteria, organisms and allergens. The totality of all microbes in and on the body is referred to as the "microbiome".

What influences unbalance the microbiome?

A sterile environment, lack of contact with nature, chlorinated water, synthetic chemicals and highly preserved and sugary foods permanently change our microbiome. We need to counteract this by preserving microbial diversity and promoting healthy microbes. This applies to the gut and also to the skin: a balanced microbiome improves the skin's barrier function and helps it to lock in moisture and exclude toxins.

If stress, an unhealthy diet or medication become a constant burden, the body's own protective mechanisms are no longer able to restore a healthy balance to the complex biosystem. This is where probiotics come into play, which are used to strengthen the body's defence mechanisms and maintain its natural resistance.

Probiotics are the key to promoting a healthy and strong defence against pathogens, stimulating regeneration processes and rebalancing the protective barrier. A balanced gut is the best prerequisite for health and beauty. Around 29 per cent of the microbiome lives in the gut and there is almost as much diversity on the skin. These need to be protected and nourished so that they protect us from inflammation and pathogens, strengthen the immune system and slow down the ageing process.

What is the difference between probiotics and prebiotics?

Probiotics refers to a group of over 400 different types of bacteria. Live probiotics and probiotic extracts are used to colonise and multiply microbes in the gut or on the skin. To do this, they need food - and this is where prebiotics come into play. They are not living organisms, but serve as a food source for the healthy bacteria and thus promote their growth. They create an important prerequisite for the multiplication of beneficial microbes over harmful bacteria. Products with prebiotic ingredients are a kind of doping for the "good" bacteria already present and nourish them.

Which diet helps to strengthen the microbiome?

First and foremost, diet influences the optimal function of the intestinal flora. Foods that are rich in healthy bacterial cultures that can colonise the gut and promote the diversity of microbes and the digestibility of food. These include lactic acid bacteria as powerful helpers. They also support targeted reconstruction after antibiotic therapy or a gastrointestinal illness.

Foods that have a prebiotic effect and keep the gut running smoothly include sauerkraut, kimchi, natural yoghurt, kefir, ayran, kombucha, apple cider vinegar, cheese and sourdough bread. Dietary fibres that serve as a nutritional basis for the health-promoting bacteria are psyllium husks, linseed, chia seeds, wholemeal products such as bread, rice and oatmeal, pulses (e.g. beans, lentils and chickpeas), nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables, preferably root vegetables, which contain many antioxidants and dietary fibres.

Omega-3 fatty acids, such as those from algae oil, should also be included in the diet. Their anti-inflammatory and prebiotic properties lead to a proliferation of healthy intestinal bacteria and reduce bacterial strains that are associated with fatty liver, for example. Spices also play a role, as they contain a variety of bioactive substances and antioxidant properties. Particularly valuable: turmeric, ginger, cumin, chilli, cardamom, cinnamon and coriander.

If you have any further questions about the microbiome, probiotics or prebiotics, please do not hesitate to contact our pharmacists in the Saint Charles pharmacies in Vienna, Berlin and Dornbirn. We will be pleased to help you! We are also happy to recommend this blog post about probiotics.

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