- Gut Health -

TAKING NOTES: Why Good Bacteria Are Our Friends

Senior editor Anjula Razdan shares details on the important connection between the gut and the brain.

In February, several Experience Life staffers (including me!) attended the annual Integrative Healthcare Symposium (IHS) in New York City. It is truly one of my favorite times of the year — a chance to learn, walk, talk, and eat with my fantastic co-workers.

Below are some of the key takeaways from “Restoring Balance and Harmony to the Gut Microbiome,” a talk on the all-important gut-health connection given by two digestive-health dynamos — Gerard Mullin, MD, an integrative gastroenterologist at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Liz Lipski, PhD, a holistic clinical nutritionist specializing in digestive wellness. Bon appétit!

  • There is a lot more information going from the gut to the brain than the brain to the gut. –Liz Lipski
  • We can use food as medicine to alter the composition of our gut flora. –Gerard Mullin
  • One dose of Cipro can have lasting effects on the immune system. –Gerard Mullin
  • When you deplete good bacteria, you can have an overgrowth of the pathogens that float through us everyday, such as C. difficile. –Gerard Mullin
  • I had a friend who had most of his colon taken out. He had depression all his life and was on medications and never felt good and had chronic fatigue, but when they took out his colon, he went off all his meds and now he feels like a million bucks. You think there was some kind of gut-brain connection there? I do. –Liz Lipski
  • We eat to take in nutrients. But, at the same time, we are also feeding the three to four pounds of bacteria that run our immune system and our metabolism — if we don’t give them the right substances, they are not going to give the right messages to our cells and our genes. –Liz Lipski
  • After Hiroshima, people who drank miso soup had lower rates of cancer and death. –Liz Lipski
  • Carbohydrates is what the bugs like to eat, so if we can control the types of carbs we give people, then we can have a profound effect on health. –Liz Lipski
  • Our microbiota educates the immune system to recognize self from non-self. –Gerard Mullin

 Anjula Razdan is a senior editor for Experience Life.