For true overall health we need a healthy gut because life-force depends on it.
The gut is home to both good and bad bacteria, and collectively they outnumber the cells in the body by at least 10-1! Cultivating beneficial gut bacteria is the first line of defense against many serious diseases.
The cornerstone of major disease progression is inflammation. It's important to not think so much about identifying specific diseases but look to the common factor in them all, the one underlying mechanism that unites all disease - and that's inflammation.
Inflammation is the pivotal player in causing degenerative disease. The million-dollar question is why? It usually starts with the two I's - Irritation, which causes Inflammation. Or the three I's if it then leads to Infection.
We need to centre our attention on the good gut bacteria, or microbiota, in regulating the permeability or leakiness of the gut lining - this is the connecting factor. When the gut becomes permeable, when the gut bacteria levels are disrupted, or foods or environmental toxins which upset the gut lining are ingested, then certain chemicals and proteins in the gut get through the lining and advance an inflammatory cascade which affects the whole body from top to bottom.
A leaky gut affects the whole process for every medical condition, be it joint, skin, brain and so on; everything has to do with the gut and specifically the lining which is a mere 1-cell thick, which, as you can appreciate, makes it extremely vulnerable.
Research has been carried out on the genetic signature of ancestral microbiota on human fossils, some 8000-yrs old, by looking at ancient poop, as well as fossilized plaque on teeth. What researchers found was that the microbiota of those living today is almost identical to those ancestors, yet the diseases of today in this cosmopolitan western world, which didn’t exist historically, is induced by environment, food choices, antibiotics, NSAIDS, all of which threaten the microbiota. Life, health, vitality, and a strong immune system, depend completely on the healthy microbiota living within the digestive system.
The modern world is now experiencing an incompatibility between DNA, which until recently has remained relatively stable throughout the course of history, and the microbiota, which has experienced dramatic changes due to modern management and species-inappropriate feed.
We have the right tools right now to improve the equine diet, not just in fibre but in prebiotic fibre which changes the microbiota for the better and nurtures it to flourish.
It's fundamentally important to Feed The Flora, not just for nurturing the gut but for maintaining the lining of the gut and the blood-brain barrier, to exclude the factors that can threaten brain health. Whatever we do to amplify the good gut bacteria and the various organisms, to increase bacteria diversity to ultimately stabilise the gut lining, will reduce inflammation in the body.
Now we need to look at another major player, Stress, and how The Effects of Stress negatively affect not only the gut, but immunity as a whole.