Those who are already living a low carb lifestyle already know the answer to this but in this two-part ABC Catalyst Documentary, Dr Graham Phillips reveals new research about the interplay between food and the bacteria deep within our gut. Remarkable new discoveries are telling us that our current eating habits could be making us sick, very sick and our food might be contributing to heart disease, cancer, asthma, allergies, arthritis, autism, depression, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and much more.
Dr Phillips states in the documentary “We’ve been hearing for years how we should be eating healthy food. But this research is different. It’s all about the bacteria that live in our intestines. Eat good food, you end up with good bacteria. Eat badly and you get bad bacteria in your gut. Now, it turns out your gut bugs have an enormous influence on your health.”
Science has revealed that we are home to many trillions of bugs, living on and inside us are an enormous number of bacteria. In fact, the bacterial cells greatly outnumber our own and the bacteria contribute a hundred times as many genes as our own too.
Most of the bacteria in our guts require an anaerobic (oxygen-free) environment. So as soon as they’re exposed to air, they die, which means they can’t be cultured in a lab. The discoveries now beginning to be made about this microscopic world are the result of a revolution in technology.
Because of this technology, we’re learning why these bacteria are critical to our health and one of the main reasons is, they help educate the body’s defences.
It’s mainly in the gut that the immune system learns what to, and what not, to attack and our bacteria don’t just affect physical health, they also have pathways to our brains.
So, what about the unnatural foods we eat today? our gut bacteria change depending on what we eat. Eat bad food and you support bad communities of bacteria, and there seems to be one main bad food culprit, we are eating too many low-fibre meals. Indeed, a lot of research is now pointing to low fibre being largely responsible for that long list of diseases.
But how much fibre should we naturally eat? This means travelling back to the Stone Age to see what our ancestors ate. Africa’s Hadza people provide a glimpse of this.
Jeff Leach of the Human Food Project lives with and studies the Stone-Age Hadza people. “They are some of the last people in the world still getting 95% of their food from hunting and gathering, hunting the same animals that our ancestors have hunted and scavenged for millions of years. They drink the same water, gather the same plants and they are covered in the same soil” states Leach.
“The Hadza eat a remarkable variety of food, but the one thing that is striking about the diet is the extraordinary quantity of dietary fibre that the Hadza eat. We know that these Hadza kids and adults are eating literally five – ten times more fibre than us in the West which means they’re feeding their bacteria on a regular basis.
It’s not just diet and the early years of life that are changing our gut bacteria. So are antibiotics. They are like dropping a nuclear bomb on our gut bacteria. Particularly vulnerable to antibiotics are young children. Altogether, our low-fibre diets, antibiotics and Western ways have left us with a very low diversity in our gut bacteria.
“The most diversity we’ve ever seen is with the Hadza. Let’s take a healthy adult in Australia. They might have 1,000 to 1,500 species of bacteria, dependent on how you define species. So all the health problems on that long list may be connected to a lack of diversity and to the wrong type of bacteria disturbing the immune system, leaving our bodies in a perpetual state of inflammation.”
Part 2 https://youtu.be/klnYh7SZRic