How to Increase Good Bacteria In Gut Naturally and Improve Microbiome Diversity
In today’s culture, many people have become self-proclaimed “germaphobes” – going to great lengths to disinfect, clean, and eradicate any potential microbes. And while hygiene and disinfectants certainly have their time and their place, fewer microbes are not always better.
In fact, when it comes to your gut health, more is better. One of the biggest indicators of your gut health (and your overall health) is having a large and diverse population of bacteria and microorganisms residing in your gut.
In this blog post, we’re going to explore exactly why diversity is so important for your gut microbiome and some of the best ways to naturally support a flourishing and diversified gut ecosystem. Let’s jump in.
Diversity Of Gut Microbiome: Why It’s Important
Think of your gut microbiome as a community full of millions of different microorganisms that work in harmony with your own cells to carry out countless functions. The health and resiliency of this “community” depend largely on two concepts:1
- Microbiome richness: The total concentration or number of microbes living in your gut
- Microbiome diversity: The variety of individual species of microbes in your gut
While it’s important to have a healthy concentration of microbes, it doesn’t do you much good if the majority of those microbes are made up of the same few species. To put it in perspective, imagine your own community – with richness representing the number of people within your community and diversity representing different occupations. Your community wouldn’t function very well if you had tens of thousands of teachers and cab drivers but only a couple of doctors and firefighters right?
A healthy and thriving community requires lots of different people with a wide array of specialties and areas of expertise – that way you can call on the right person to do the right job. The same goes for your gut microbiome.
Now let’s explore one particular “job” that certain bacterial species perform within your gut microbiome.
Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA)
The microorganisms that live in your digestive tract obviously need a source of fuel to survive. And one of their favorite forms of fuel is dietary fiber. When you consume fiber-filled foods, your gut flora goes into a feeding frenzy – breaking down these undigested fiber molecules and converting them into a source of energy. This process, known as fermentation, also creates a number of by-products that are discarded by the microbes as they digest this fiber.
These by-products include life-supporting compounds like vitamins, amino acids, and fatty acids. One particularly important molecule produced when keystone bacteria (like Akkermansia muciniphila, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, and Bifidobacteria) ferment fiber, are short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). The three primary types of SCFAs are:2,3
While all of these short-chain fatty acids exert impressive health-promoting benefits, let’s zoom in on one SCFA in particular – butyrate.
Butyrate Gut Health Benefits
Butyrate, also known as butyric acid, is the most abundant – and arguably the most important – short-chain fatty acid in your body. You see, the cells that line your intestines known as colonocytes are partial to butyrate as their primary source of fuel. And keeping your colonocytes well-nourished and happy is essential for gut health because these cells play an irreplaceable role in:4,5,6
- Bolstering the integrity of your gut lining: Colonocytes are designed to be tightly packed together – keeping your gut sealed up tight to prevent potentially harmful microbes and toxins from sneaking their way into your bloodstream and causing damage.
- Modulating nutrient absorption, blood flow, and movement: Your colonocytes regulate blood flow, the movement of food and waste through your intestines, and are the direct gateway between your digestive tract and your bloodstream.
- Mucin production: Colonocytes directly impact the production of mucin in your intestines. Mucin, the gel-like substance that lines your digestive tract, is a crucial line of defense to protect your cells from harsh gastric juices and invading pathogens and/or toxins.
Well-fed and well-functioning colonocytes are essential for a properly functioning gut and healthy microbiome. But the benefits of butyrate extend far beyond just your gut health.
To really dive into the incredible health-boosting benefits of butyrate, you’ve got to head over and watch our webinar replay with Steve Wright, Digestive Specialist & Founder of Healthy Gut called Tributyrin: Breakthrough Molecule for Microbiome, Histamine Issues, and Leaky Gut?.
So how can you reap these butyrate benefits while promoting a healthy diverse microbiome?
Dietary Effects on Human Gut Microbiome Diversity
You don’t need an SCFA supplement to boost your butyrate levels. One of the very best ways to support a diverse and thriving gut microbiome and naturally boost your butyrate levels is through your diet. The good bacteria in your gut thrive on a diet that’s high in fermentable fiber such as:
- Green bananas
- Raw plantains
- Raw potato starch
- Cooked and cooled rice
Eating a diverse, well-rounded diet full of nutrient-dense non-inflammatory foods is a powerful way to support the microbiota that reside in your gut. But the truth is, sometimes a healthy diet alone isn’t quite enough to heal ongoing gut issues or fully shift your gut microbiome into the rich, diverse ecosystem it’s designed to be.
Megaspore & MegaPre for Diversity of Gut Microbiome
While your diet is an excellent and necessary foundation for gut health, oftentimes, taking some strategic supplements is the most effective and quickest way to restore genuine gut health. So what are these strategic supplements?
Spore-based probiotics are also referred to as either spore-forming or soil-based probiotics. You see, these soil-based microbes evolved alongside us – hitching a ride into our guts via the food we eat and making themselves at home. These unique strains of bacteria are particularly well-suited to surviving the journey to our gut due to their ability to encase themselves in a protective outer layer or spore.
Spore-based probiotics work triple time to support a healthy diverse gut. Not only do they set up camp and directly populate your gut, but they also work to shift the PH and balance of your entire gut ecosystem. This subsequently creates a more welcoming environment – promoting the growth of other strains of good bacteria. This creates an upward spiral that enhances the integrity of your gut lining, boosts butyrate and SCFA production, and further promotes microbiome diversity.
Not all spore-based probiotic supplements are created equally though. It’s essential to choose one that contains specific strains that have been clinically proven to be effective. Just take a look at some of the science behind Microbiome Labs Megasporebiotic and you’ll see why we’ve dubbed it the world’s best probiotic. You can learn more about Megasporebiotic and grab your own bottle by clicking right here.
If you want a gut full of healthy diverse microorganisms, you have to be sure they’re properly fed. That’s where prebiotics come in. Prebiotics are non-digestible ﬁbers that feed the bacteria residing in your gut.
But just like probiotics, not all prebiotics are created equally. Many prebiotics can inadvertently feed harmful bacteria alongside good bacteria – accidentally spurring the overgrowth of bad bacteria and exacerbating digestive issues.
MegaPre is the first of its kind precision prebiotic supplement – strategically designed and clinically tested to selectively feed beneficial bacteria like Akkermansia muciniphila, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, and Bifidobacteria. Click here to learn more about the science behind how MegaPre works or order your own bottle today by clicking right here.
How To Improve Microbiome Diversity
Your gut health and the community of microbes that make up your microbiome are impacted by many things. Creating a flourishing, diverse microbiome often requires a big-picture approach that addresses:
- Exposure to toxins
While all of these factors are key to supporting gut health, the fastest and most effective way to create the foundation for optimal ongoing gut health is through strategic supplements. And studies have found that MegaSporeBiotic and MegaPreBiotic can dramatically and rapidly improve gut health and microbiome diversity.
In fact, one study found that taking MegaPre in conjunction with MegaSpore probiotic not only significantly increases microbial diversity in the gut, but also increases total SCFA production by a whopping 80–140%!7,8
Ready to Optimize Your Own Gut Microbiome?
As much as we’d like to think our bodies are our own, the truth is, our ability to survive and thrive depends on the microscopic organisms that live within and alongside us. So if you’re battling ongoing tummy woes, have a chronic digestive diagnosis, or are just concerned that your gut health isn’t at 100%, it might be time to revitalize your gut microbiome.
Giving your microbiome the support it needs to have a healthy, well-functioning, and well-fed community of friendly microbes can be a game-changer for your gut health and your overall well-being. So if you’re ready to optimize your gut microbiome and experience the incredible benefits of probiotics, prebiotics, and more, we’ve got you covered.
- Diversity, stability and resilience of the human gut microbiota – PMC (nih.gov)
- Review article: short chain fatty acids in health and disease – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Gut-derived short-chain fatty acids are vividly assimilated into host carbohydrates and lipids – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Butyrate Enhances the Intestinal Barrier by Facilitating Tight Junction Assembly via Activation of AMP-Activated Protein Kinase in Caco-2 Cell Monolayers | The Journal of Nutrition | Oxford Academic (oup.com)
- Formation of short chain fatty acids by the gut microbiota and their impact on human metabolism – PMC (nih.gov)
- Dynamics of Human Gut Microbiota and Short-Chain Fatty Acids in Response to Dietary Interventions with Three Fermentable Fibers | mBio (asm.org)
- Synbiotic Study Published – Microbiome Labs
- Treatment with a spore-based Fic containing five strains of Bacillus induced changes in the metabolic activity and community composition of the gut microbiota in a SHIME® model of the human gastrointestinal system – PubMed (nih.gov)