8 Gut Health Myths Debunked
Feb 24, 2023
Gut health is a hot topic these days, with many people believing that certain foods and habits are bad for your gut and others claiming they’re good. But do we really know what’s true and what’s not?
In this blog post, we will look at eight common misconceptions about gut health and separate the facts from fiction. From whether or not you should “cleanse” your colon to the truth about gluten, let's dive into some of the most common myths surrounding gut health so that you can make informed decisions when it comes to taking care of your body.
Myth #1: Gut health only matters for digestion. False!
Gut health is essential to your overall health and well-being, impacting everything from nutrient absorption to immune function, and even mental health.
Did you know that an estimated 80 per cent of your immune system is located inside your gut? Your gut microbiome plays a vital role in maintaining the right balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria, helping to support healthy transit time, reduce occasional diarrhoea and constipation, as well as help absorb essential nutrients and eliminate waste from your body.
Furthermore, over 90% of your serotonin, which regulates your mood, sleep and overall psychological and emotional well-being, is produced in your gut.
So don't underestimate the importance of gut health - it really matters. This is why we (the JUVIA team) love talking about this so much. We created our supplement to rebalance the microbiome, because we know just how vital it is for our day to day lives!
Myth #2: You should poop at least once per day. False!
This is one of the most common misconceptions about gut health. In reality, there is no set standard for how many times a day you should poo. It is more important to establish what is ‘normal’ for you and monitor if that changes. Some people poo once per day, while others poo once every three days. Some people poo three times per day.
If you pass without difficulty or discomfort and your pattern of passing stools is long-established, you have nothing to worry about, no matter how different it is from other people's routines.
Things like age, gender, activity level, stress level, diet and even genetics play a key role. So will your individual gut microbiome, which is as unique as your fingerprint.
Myth #3 Spicy foods cause heartburn & apple cider vinegar cures acid reflux. Mostly false!
Spicy foods certainly contribute to heartburn and eating them frequently will likely have an affect, but they are not necessarily the sole or primary cause. Eating slowly and properly chewing your food may help to reduce episodes of heartburn, as will drinking water before or with your meal. This is because chewing reduces the size of food particles, making it easier for saliva to envelope them and break them down. It also puts less strain on your stomach. Water also helps to break down food and aids your enzymes with digestion.
If you are suffering from frequent heartburn or acid reflux, you may want to check with your doctor for a medical issue. If this is the case, spicy foods may not be the cause but may irritate your condition. Apple cider vinegar is often cited as a cure for heartburn, but there is no evidence that it works. It may even make things worse. If undiluted apple cider vinegar will likely lead to enamel erosion, and it also slows down the rate food leaves your stomach, which can cause discomfort and bloating.
Myth #4: All high-fibre foods improve digestion. False!
Consuming a diet with adequate amounts of fibre can contribute to overall gut health and help with digestion; however, some people (who haven’t taken JUVIA yet) might need to avoid certain foods called FODMAPS because they have the potential to cause digestive discomfort.
FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols, which are short-chain carbohydrates (sugars) that the small intestine absorbs poorly.
FODMAP foods should be avoided by people with sensitivities to certain types of carbohydrates because it produces hydrogen in the gut which can lead to gas, bloating and constipation. It's important for individuals to listen to their bodies and take note of what works best for them in terms of diet and fibre intake.
If you’re already taking JUVIA though, you no longer need to worry about low FODMAP diets. Our main ingredient ERME breaks down carbohydrates and allows people to live a life free of restrictive diets.
Myth #5 Gluten is bad for your gut. Mostly false!
Gluten is only bad for your gut health if you have an allergy to it. Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects around 1% of the population. For those that have it, eating gluten causes their body to attack itself, which results in damage along the small intestine.
Wheat allergies, which are even rarer than coeliac disease, also cause discomfort. Lastly, some individuals test negative for both wheat allergy and coeliac disease but continue to experience digestive upsets. This is known as Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS), but generally speaking, gluten is not a culprit in digestive disorders. In fact, gluten-free products are often lacking in folic acid, fibre, selenium, and B12, among other essential nutrients.
What’s more, studies suggest that those following a gluten-free diet are more likely to eat insufficient amounts of heart-healthy whole grains. In one study, 80% of those following a gluten-free diet consumed less than half of the daily recommended grain servings. Far from damaging your gut, whole grains are foods that our beneficial bacteria love!
Myth #6 You should “cleanse” your gut with colonic irrigation. False!
Attempting to “cleanse” your gut using colonic irrigation could potentially do more harm than good. Colonic irrigation, also known as colonic hydrotherapy, is a process of flushing large amounts of water into the rectum in an attempt to flush out the contents of the colon. However, doing this can actually strip away beneficial bacteria from the gut microbiome - something that's important for good gut health and digestion.
Furthermore, performing this type of cleansing can be risky due to potential side effects. These include discomfort and cramping during the procedure, nausea and vomiting after, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, infection and even puncturing of the bowel if done incorrectly. What's more, repeated cleansing can cause diarrhoea which further depletes your vital gut bacteria.
In conclusion, there is no scientific evidence that colonic irrigation improves gut health and it should not be used as a means of cleansing or detoxifying your digestive system. Your body is perfectly capable of performing its own natural cleansing processes through the functioning of your liver and kidneys. Therefore, it's important to be aware of these potential risks before considering any sort of colonic irrigation or other "detoxing" cleanses for improved gut health.
Myth #7: Low-Carb Diets Can Lead to Digestive Discomfort. False!
Low-carb diets are often touted as being good for weight loss, but bad for digestive health. While it is true that reducing carbohydrates will likely result in weight loss, it is untrue that this is bad for digestion, quite the contrary.
A diet low in, or better still, free from grains entirely, can actually enhance digestion. This is because your body won’t encounter some of the difficult compounds known as FODMAPs that it struggles to break down. Unfortunately, it is not sustainable or feasible to maintain a diet that is low or devoid of carbohydrates in the long term, nor is it good for overall health. This is because you will likely deny your body other essential nutrients that it needs.
Instead, try JUVIA. JUVIA breaks down carbohydrates before they reach the gut, which lets you enjoy your favourite nutrient-rich foods without the consequences.
Myth #8: Stress causes stomach ulcers. False!
For a long while it was believed that stress caused stomach ulcers, but the scientific community have proven this to be false. While stress can exacerbate the symptoms associated with stomach ulcers, it is not the cause. The cause is bacteria infections such as Helicobacter pylori.
This blog post has now put out some fires surrounding gut health. Armed with this information, you are better informed, so you can rest with peace of mind and make better decisions surrounding your lifestyle choices.We hope this helps you; if you are serious about giving your gut health the edge, try JUVIA and boost your overall health and well-being!