Kiran Krishnan is a research microbiologist and the co-founder of Microbiome Labs. He specializes in understanding gut health and a healthy gut biome.
I’ve known Kiran for a number of years (we often attend the same medical conferences) and I always enjoy getting his scientific perspective. Today I especially wanted to hear his perspective on stress and the gut-brain axis.
How are stress and our gut health connected?
Kiran explains that we’ve known for a long time that stress is not good for us but we haven’t really understood molecularly how that is or why and how it affects us.
Stress induced dysbiosis and leakiness in the gut is the number one driver of mortality and morbidity worldwide and stress induced gut damage leads to things like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s, obesity, autoimmune disease, etc.
There’s so much we can do to help ourselves recover from stress, there’s so much we can do to heal leaky gut and rebalance our gut bacteria but I don’t see that information being widespread. It’s not only about flooding your gut with that vassilis and bacteria, that’s not going to solve the issue.
We have 150 times more microbial DNA in our body than human DNA. We house about 2.5 million microbial genes in our system that give us all of this capability, that dictate the vast majority of functions that happen in our bodies. If we don’t have the right microbes it alters that functionality and stress response is an example of that.
This microbiome is affecting our immune system like how we fend off infections. For example, if it’s out of balance it can make us more susceptible to autoimmunity. It also affects our nervous system and our mood so if we can get them rebalanced in the right way we can influence and improve our mood and stress response.
Most chronic illnesses come about because of an imbalance of certain types of microbes within the system. So, longevity and health are based on the health of ourselves and our microbiome.
The gut and the brain are intimately attached through neurological system called the vagus nerve.
The gut communicates with the brain and the brain communicates with the gut and stress response is one of those critical examples where the gut and brain aren’t working together.
Without stress we wouldn’t exist as a species. Stress response induces something called the flight-or-fight response. The reason for this: So that we are in tune with potential dangers around us.
What’s happening in the in the modern world is that process where cortisol gets dumped into the gut and cortisol makes your gut super leaky.
The more we understand it the more we can become aware and conscious about the choices we’re making so that we can take back control of our bodies and our health.
When the whole system falls apart is when cortisol enters the gut making your gut leaky because you’re missing certain microbes and bacteria.
If you experience stress and anxiety on most days or throughout every day and you have issues sleeping, you likely don’t have enough of these microbes.
What Can We Do for Good Gut Health?
The beauty of all of this is you can easily take a specific probiotic and then completely change how your body responds to stress. ZenBiome, for example, is a new supplement Kiran developed that contains a specific strain of Bifidobacterium known to reset cortisol production. It is used for people who have elevated cortisol (such as “Stress Magnets” and “Sluggish & Stressed” types based on Dr. Doni’s Stress Types).
ZenBiome Cope, 60 capsules$55.99
Also, if you’re not sleeping adequately, you are not getting the repair your body and gut needs, so you keep experiencing this overtime and the damage starts accumulating.
We all have some degree of leaky gut it’s more about is it mild, moderate, or severe and if we don’t pay attention to healing, we’re going to have a hard time surviving.
We have to adopt habits for good gut health like cleaning up our diet to help our microbiome, so even things like trying to move towards organic or cleaner foods minimizing exposure to pesticides and herbicides which of course all act as antibiotics in your gut and kill off good bacteria.
There are lots of microbes in your gut who are waiting for food and aren’t getting the right types of food because we’re eating the same half a dozen things every single day.
When you combine the diet, lifestyle, supplementations, food and sleep then you start to see a profound difference, and everything gets back in balance again.
If these changes become a part of your normal routine, you can then maintain that resiliency.
I explain more of this subject in my book Master Your Stress Reset Your Health.
Or you can reach out to me to set up a one-on-one appointment if you prefer.
You can also enroll in my upcoming FREE Masterclass: Transform Your Life: Get to the Root of Anxiety and Depression going live on October 12th:
Find the supplements mentioned by Kiran in this interview, such as ZenBiome, in the shop here on this site [see the SHOP tab in the top menu].
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