For a long time, health experts believed that your gut and digestion had very little to do with other aspects of your health. It was almost as if the gut was merely a channel for food to pass through, and that was it.
In recent years, however, it has become clear that there is a very important link between the bacteria in your gut (known as your gut microbiome) and the way you think and feel.
The term “gut-brain connection" was even coined as a way to describe how your gut microbiome impacts the other areas of your health, including your mental well-being.
In this blog post you will learn about the importance of the gut microbiome, plus see some of the research on light's ability to improve the bacteria within your gut!
The home of your bacteria: Your gut!
The gut is the long tube that starts in the mouth and ends at the anus. Along your gut you will find a host of microorganisms, including bacteria, archaea and fungi. These all serve to aid your digestion, immune system, as well as your brain function.
Although your gut appears as a clear pathway, it is actually connected to your brain through your nervous, as well as hormonal system. It is through this connection that a healthy gut microbiome can impact your:
- Energy levels
- Immune system
- Muscle recovery
- Athletic performance
What affects the health of your gut microbiome?
The most obvious factor that will impact your gut microbiome is the food that you eat. Healthy, whole-foods, having been shown to increase the diversity of the gut microbiome, whereas processed foods will lead to a less diverse microbiome.
This is another reason why “you are what you eat” is so true.
Emotions also have a huge role in the gut/brain communication. When you are anxious or stressed, your body goes into “fight or flight mode”.
In this state your body won’t prioritize digestion, as it is responding as if you are still in the wild (digesting food would not be a priority if you were running from a tiger).
This means that stress and your gut microbiome have a two way impact on each other. When you’re more stressed, this negatively impacts your gut microbiome, and when your gut microbiome is impacted, it also impacts your mood and stress levels.
Other factors that affect your gut microbiome include sleep quality, age, medication, and...
Light's affect on your gut microbiome
In a landmark study titled, “Can Light, Including Photobiomodulation, Alter the Microbiome?”, researchers did a review of the research on light's affect on the gut microbiome.
What the researchers found was that not all frequencies of light provided benefits. They found that near-infrared light, which penetrates much deeper than visible light, was able to have profound effects on the gut microbiome.
In fact, one study they covered saw a 10,000 fold increase in the ratio of healthy bacteria from using near-infrared light on the belly!
The researchers believe that the primary way that red light therapy is able to improve the gut microbiome is by decreasing inflammation in your cells, which means that they can function better and create a healthier home for the bacteria in your gut.
If you're looking for a red light therapy device that delivers both red and near-infrared light, at a highly effective dose, then be sure to checkout the MyLight collection below: