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8 steps to protect yourself from the flu

8 Easy Steps to Protect Yourself From The Flu

8 Easy Steps to Protect Yourself From The Flu

  Are you far from ready for the 2023-24 flu season? These easy-to-follow steps can go a long, long way to protect you.   With the extreme heat of the summer finally fading away and the kids getting back to school, the CDC has already begun its annual campaign of dos and don’ts for the 2023-24 flu season.   That’s no surprise, considering last year’s unique “tripledemic” problems with the flu, RSV and the recent strains of COVID-19. What’s more, we may experience an earlier-than-usual flu season that may peak sooner just like last year, according to experts at Johns Hopkins.   The good news: Many of you are more prepared than usual, and have already scheduled appointments to get vaccinated for the flu, COVID-19 and RSV.   But keeping current on vaccines alone won’t protect you and your family entirely from the flu or any other respiratory virus. Fortunately, there’s a lot more you can do to protect your health from the flu. Here are 8 steps that can help you do just that!  

Follow these 8 steps to protect your family from the flu

 
  1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. (Do your part to protect your loved ones if you’re sick by keeping your distance too.)
  2. Wash your hands often with plain soap and water thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. (When you can’t access soap and water, use a hand sanitizer formulated with at least 70 percent isopropyl alcohol.)
  3. Do your best to keep surfaces at work and home as clean as you can. (The flu virus can live on hard surfaces for a long while, according to the Mayo Clinic.)
  4. Get the right amount of sleep you need every night. (Sleep is one of the easiest and best things you can do to stay healthy!)
  5. Don’t even think about asking your family doctor for an antibiotic to treat a case of the flu. (It’s completely unnecessary if you follow these steps.)
  6. Drink plenty of water. (Don’t overdo it with caffeine-heavy drinks like coffee, carbonated beverages and energy drinks.)
  7. Keep moving by incorporating some form of exercise in your daily routine. (Even walking makes a difference!)
  8. Pay close attention to your emotions and stress levels, and give yourself the gift of free time every day. (Stepping away from the world for just 30 minutes of peace and quiet helps.)
  All of these simple steps also serve one very important purpose: Protecting the health of your gut, the center of your immune system. We also know that life can get in the way of the best-laid plans, especially during the busy fall and winter months when the flu and other bugs are swimming around us. That’s why we remind you to take a probiotic, ideally containing multiple strains of proven, beneficial bacteria along with a prebiotic that feeds the good bacteria in your gut like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.  

   

Resources

AARP Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health CDC Cleveland Clinic      

8 Easy Steps to Protect Yourself From The Flu Read More »

Woman laying in bed unable to sleep with her hand over her head. Text reads "Sleep Challenges: Sarcopenia & your gut"

Sleep Challenges, Sarcopenia and Your Gut

Sleep Challenges, Sarcopenia and Your Gut

We never get tired of reminding you how much a good night’s sleep can do for your health as a natural way to reboot your body, a lot like your home computer, to repair and restore itself after the stresses of the day. Staying up too late, following a work schedule that includes 24/7 shift duty or traveling across multiple time zones not only disrupts your body’s natural circadian clock, but it takes away valuable time your body needs to replenish itself. Over time, these sleep deficits can harm you significantly, leaving you more vulnerable to the cluster of health problems better known as metabolic syndrome. As you know, the gut plays a major role in your sleep too, and even short-term, drastic changes can harm the balance of gut bacteria you need to maintain good health. Sleep problems and gut disruptions may also play a key role in worsening sarcopenia, the age-related and progressive loss of strength and muscle mass that often contributes to functional declines especially among seniors, according to a study appearing in the journal Sleep.

Analyzing The Data

A group of European researchers based these conclusions about the links between sarcopenia, gut imbalances and poor sleep based on an analysis of 11 clinical studies conducted with health patients ranging in age from 4-71. In many ways, sleep problems and gut health issues go hand-in-hand in creating an environment in which sarcopenia emerges as one more serious health challenge. At the gut level, sleep problems influence an unhealthy balance of gut bacteria that also reduces the structural integrity and functionality of the wall of the gut (which could lead to leaky gut problems). Bad sleep may also be a trigger for imbalances in gut bacteria that can also create the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals. Even one sleepless night creates an environment that favors anabolic resistance and muscle breakdown.

Muscle Growth and Your Gut

We know this initial review of studies is a toe in the water when it comes to understanding the collision of gut bacteria imbalances, poor sleep and sarcopenia, yet there’s no denying the link between muscles and good gut health is a real one. Interestingly, another recent review of studies published in the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle found a very gut-healthy way to improve muscle mass and muscle strength with the help of probiotics. In fact, researchers noted significant improvements in global muscle strength among adults older than age 50 after taking a probiotic for at least 12 weeks. Also, among the strains of beneficial bacteria cited in this report included several featured in EndoMune Advanced Probiotic. There’s still a lot we don’t know about the connections between muscle growth and the gut, but we do know how a healthy gut and a good night’s sleep work hand-in-hand to give your overall health a major boost. If you need some help improving your sleep hygiene, check out our Sleep 101 article that includes many common-sense steps you can implement today to help your health and your gut too!  

Resources

Sleep Nutra Ingredients USA Cleveland Clinic Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle

Sleep Challenges, Sarcopenia and Your Gut Read More »

Illustration of the Circadian Rhythm with an illustration of the digestive system next to it. Text reads "How poor sleep affects your gut"

How Poor Sleep Affects Your Gut

How Poor Sleep Affects Your Gut

It’s hard to imagine people who are more sleep-deprived and really need their rest the most than those who serve in our military.

Sleep schedules often turn around on a dime from around-the-clock duty cycles to long periods of rest and relaxation, depending on the day and the mission at hand.

Even for those of us who aren’t active duty service men or women or first responders, big shifts to sleep schedules (like shift work) create problems for our circadian clocks that help us regulate many parts of our lives, including our body temperature, the way we digest food and the health of our gut.

Even short-term but drastic changes to sleep patterns can alter the composition of bacteria in the gut, according to a recent study appearing in Scientific Reports.

 

No Sleep

Nineteen healthy service members between ages 17-45 who had previously followed normal sleep schedules and hadn’t taken antibiotics for three months or probiotics and other supplements for two weeks participated in the trial.

Soldiers were randomly selected for three-day periods of healthy sleep (7-9 hours) or unhealthy sleep (two hours per night) separated by up to a 21-day break (depending on which rest interval came first). Diets were monitored as were periods of exercise and stool samples were taken after each service member woke up for the final day of each three-day sleep period.

It wasn’t surprising that restricted sleep reduced the diversity of bacteria in the gut, but it was the actual amount — an estimated 21 percent over just three days — that grabbed the attention of researchers.

Imagine the harm done to the human gut over much longer periods, especially for first responders in pressure situations that last for weeks on end.

 

Follow Our Sleep Protocol

Fortunately, there’s lot you can do to ease any challenges with sleep and we address some of the basics in our Sleep 101 feature where we recommend an easy-to-follow protocol (which doesn’t include melatonin).

One additional step you can take that will make a big difference in your sleep: Make sure your diet is rich in prebiotics, foods that contain non-digestible plant fibers and carbohydrates that feed the bacteria in your gut.

If you’re not getting enough prebiotic-rich foods (apples, oats, garlic and onions), skip the melatonin, follow our sleep protocol and be sure to take a prebiotic-rich, multi-strain probiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.

 

References

Scientific Reports

News-Medical.net

Nourish by WebMD

How Poor Sleep Affects Your Gut Read More »

Illustration of breast exam that includes an illustration of the human gut. Text reads: "Breast Cancer and Your Unbalanced Gut

Breast Cancer and Your Unbalanced Gut Health

Breast Cancer and Your Unbalanced Gut Health

The list of serious health problems associated with an unbalanced gut is growing as researchers discover more links between gut dysbiosis and various forms of cancer.

Some of the more interesting and disturbing findings have come recently from a research team at the University of Virginia’s Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology unit studying the connections between the gut microbiome and breast cancer.

So, why does breast cancer spread in some patients but not all of them?

A new study from Virginia researchers has answered that simple question, concluding alterations in a patient’s gut health influence changes in healthy breast tissue that makes it easier for breast cancer to spread to other parts of the body.

Scientists led by Dr. Melanie Rutkowski found an unhealthy gut reprograms mast cells (immune cells in healthy breast tissue) accumulating in the breast that eventually allows cancer to spread to other organs, according to a study appearing in Cancer Immunology Research.

Based on work with human patients and mice, an unbalanced gut alters breast tissue even before the presence of a tumor, setting the table for a tumor to have the resources it needs to spread cancer cells throughout the body, says Dr. Rutkowski.

Additionally, researchers could calculate the risk for a recurrence in breast cancer merely based on the number of mast cells and collagen, opening the door to develop treatment strategies targeted at prevention.

The need for life-saving alternatives is real. Just 29 percent of women and 22 percent of men survive five years after a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis.

Until those alternatives come, the best cancer-fighting steps you can take to protect your gut and your health are easy ones.

  1. Eat a diet rich in nutrient-dense whole foods and dietary fiber and ditch your Western diet ways.
  2. Incorporate more movement in your life with some consistent exercise. Even walking helps!
  3. Stay on a consistent sleep schedule.
  4. Avoid antibiotics except when you really need them.
  5. Take a daily probiotic with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria, like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.

Need some help figuring out how to get the most out of a probiotic? Check out our updated guide on the basics of taking a multi-strain probiotic, and learn why the prebiotics contained in probiotics matter, especially when fighting cancer.

 

References

Cancer Immunology Research

UVA Health Newsroom

National Cancer Institute

Click On Detroit

Breast Cancer and Your Unbalanced Gut Health Read More »

Senior woman gripping wrist. Overlayed text on image reads: "Reduce inflammation with multi-strain probiotics

Reduce Inflammation With Multi-Strain Probiotics

Reduce Inflammation With Multi-Strain Probiotics

If you’ve experienced a cut, low-grade fever or a broken toe, you know what inflammation feels like.

Inflammation is a very necessary signal from your body’s immune system in the form of pain, warmth, swelling or redness that lets you know healing is on the way. Fortunately, much of the inflammation our bodies experience is acute and gets resolved pretty quickly.

However, chronic inflammation is a much more serious problem that can be triggered in the very same ways, but it often doesn’t go away, even after the initial problem gets resolved.

The real challenge, especially for seniors, is preventing chronic inflammation, and there’s many lifestyle modifications you can make to lower your risks.

Adding a multi-strain probiotic and an omega-3 supplement (with vitamin D) every day to your anti-inflammatory to-do list may help too, according to a recent study appearing in Nutrients.

 

Curbing Chronic Inflammation

A team of European scientists were eager to study simple, non-drug ways to curb the effects of inflammaging, a chronic, low-grade form of inflammation that develops as seniors age, increasing their risks of health problems.

Over the course of eight weeks, researchers tracked the health of 76 elderly patients (ages 65-80) who took placebos or a multi-strain probiotic containing Bifidobacterium lactis and Lactobacillus acidophilus, along with an omega-3 supplement (consisting of fish oils and vitamin D).

(These probiotic strains tested in this trial are among the 10 featured in EndoMune Advanced Probiotic for adults.)

The benefit for seniors battling inflammation came from an upward trend in levels of the anti-inflammatory chemical cytokine IL-10 and a big increase in beneficial short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) among patients taking the multi-strain probiotic/omega-3 combo.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time we’ve talked about the benefits of fish oil when taken with a multi-strain probiotic like EndoMune, fortified to maintain and protect your immune system by increasing the good bacteria in your gut.

 

Resources

Nutrients

Nutra Ingredients.com

WebMD

Cleveland Clinic

Harvard Health Publishing

Reduce Inflammation With Multi-Strain Probiotics Read More »

Woman laying in bed with sleeping mask on. Overlayed text reads: A Sleepy Problem, Taking Too Much Melatonin

Taking Too Much Melatonin

A Sleepy Problem: Taking Too Much Melatonin

There’s no doubt that getting a good night’s sleep is one of the best, easiest and most restorative things you can do for your body.

Some health experts have even compared your body’s need for sleep to a computer that needs to “reboot” from time to time so it runs better.

When people have problems getting the right amount of sleep due to shift work, jet lag, or insomnia, many take the easy way out by turning to an over-the-counter sleep aid like melatonin for help.

Unfortunately, taking what most people assume is a “safe” sleep aid creates its own set of problems, especially for kids, according to a recent study from the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that details a dramatic increase in poisonings involving melatonin.

 

By The Numbers

Between 2012-2021, the number of children who had ingested too much melatonin ballooned by a staggering 530 percent to more than 52,000, according to data collected by the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System.

During that decade. the number of calls to poison control exploded from 2012 (0.6 percent) to 2021 (4.9 percent). Nearly 28,000 children received care for a melatonin overdose, more than 4,000 children were hospitalized (mostly teenagers) and two babies (under age 2) died. Melatonin overdosing hit its peak prior to the coronavirus pandemic (a 38 percent jump from 2019 to 2020).

These rising numbers may have also shed light on an even deeper and known problem: A significant variance in the amount of melatonin contained in supplements based on their labelling.

The amounts of melatonin in a tablet may deviate from a decrease of 83 percent to an increase as high as 478 percent (based on its labelled content), according to a 2017 study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Although most of you recognize melatonin as a supplement, it’s also a hormone produced and released by the pineal gland in the brain. The production of melatonin is light-sensitive too, meaning the pineal gland produces more melatonin at night to help us get to sleep and much less during the day.

What’s more, some foods produce melatonin naturally (flaxseeds, walnuts, yellow bell peppers, almonds and goji berries) but not enough to make a real difference in your sleep.

So, if melatonin can be problematic, what do you do to get more sleep that doesn’t involve a drug?

 

Safer, More Effective Sleep Solutions

If you’re looking for ways to improve your rest, there’s plenty of safe and easy ways to do it as we described in our recent Sleep 101 blog.

Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and routine, shutting down the tablet and keeping your bedroom cool and comfortable can go a long way toward helping you get the shuteye your body needs.

Your gut also plays a role in your quest for more sleep too, as studies have shown how consuming prebiotics, the parts of vegetables made of non-digestible plant fibers and carbohydrates, can be just as helpful.

But it can be challenging to eat enough vegetables every day to make a real difference in your sleep.

However, you can ensure your family and your kids get the prebiotics they need by taking a probiotic like EndoMune Junior and EndoMune Advanced Probiotic that contains multiple strains of beneficial bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families and a prebiotic (FOS) derived from plant fibers.

 

Resources

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine

Slate

NPR

McGill Office for Science and Society

Mayo Clinic

Taking Too Much Melatonin Read More »

Clock with a moon and sun on either sides. Text: "The Best Way to Take a Probiotic"

The Best Way to Take a Probiotic

The Best Way to Take a Probiotic

Thanks to the wonderful feedback we receive on our website, a growing number of you are learning why a probiotic-prebiotic combination is such a critical and valuable tool in protecting your body’s immune system from disease.

Believe me, we recognize how challenging it can be to do everything you can to ensure your gut gets the help it needs — eating nutritious, fiber-rich meals, getting the right amount of exercise and setting aside enough time for good sleep — over the course of a day to stay healthy and strong.

That’s why taking a probiotic formulated with multiple strains of live beneficial bacteria can be a critical and necessary step that gives your gut the extra help it needs to maintain that healthy balance.

Now that you have a better understanding of good gut health, you’re ready to take the next step: Learning the best way to take a probiotic.

For Adults In Good Health

Adults receive a gut-friendly boost if they take a probiotic on an empty stomach (ideally with water) about 30 minutes before eating their first meal of the day (probably a morning meal).

It’s important to give the beneficial bacteria in a probiotic some extra time to travel from the bottle to your gut without food getting in the way.

A go-to study in the health journal Beneficial Microbes concluded probiotics with multiple strains of key bacterial strains survived when taken before a meal (including strains contained in EndoMune Advanced Probiotic).

On the other hand, taking a probiotic after a meal — when your stomach acid is at its highest — is the worst time to take a probiotic because far fewer beneficial bacteria make it to your gut.

A tip: If you eat breakfast on the run, you may want to take a probiotic before you go to sleep to ensure those beneficial bacteria have the necessary time to do their work.

Whether you take a probiotic first thing in the morning or before you turn in for the night, just be consistent and take your probiotic supplement every day.

For Your Healthy Child

Young children may need some extra help, especially if their developing gut health is compromised or they’re having problems like constipation.

For children under age 3, parents can help to protect their developing immune systems and potentially reduce problems with colic by sprinkling a multi-species probiotic in powdered form (like EndoMune Junior Advanced Probiotic Powder) in a liquid or noncarbonated formula or on soft foods before or with their meal once a day.

As your child grows up and out of those toddler times, she/he will graduate to a probiotic of their own. You can make it fun for your young child with the chewy, fruity EndoMune Junior Advanced Chewable Probiotic.

For Those Sick Days

Taking a probiotic every day is really important, especially when you’re sick and taking medications like antibiotics that can upset the healthy balance of bacteria in your gut and sometimes create more problems like superbugs.

When your doctor prescribes an antibiotic, don’t be surprised if he/she suggests you take a probiotic as a way to lessen the chances of any extra problems like extra gas and bloating or diarrhea.

Be sure to give yourself a two-hour break between taking an antibiotic and probiotic. That extra gap gives those beneficial bacteria extra time to do their work.

Check in With Your Doctor

If you’re ready to begin taking a probiotic, you have one last assignment to complete: Make an appointment to see your primary care physician.

Consulting with your doctor is really important, especially if you’re taking medications (antifungals or immunosuppressants) for specific conditions every day, to ensure your body can handle a probiotic.

References

The Best Way to Take a Probiotic Read More »

Man laying face down sleeping in bed. Text reads "Sleep 101: Your Gut Heath Matters

Sleep 101: Your Gut Health Matters

Sleep 101: Your Gut Health Matters

Whether it’s working longer hours, traveling across time zones, catching up on your favorite book or late-night doom-scrolling on your phone, getting a good night’s sleep remains a serious challenge for many people.

Any one of these aforementioned variables can disrupt your circadian clock (the human body’s natural sleep-wake schedule), stealing precious time your body needs to “reboot” and repair itself from the rigors of daily living.

Over time, these disruptions to your sleep may create vulnerabilities to serious health problems like the cluster of symptoms that lead to stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease better known as metabolic syndrome.

Did you know your gut health plays an important role in helping you get the sleep you need too?

 

The Prebiotic Solution

Previously, we’ve shared the results of a report from the University of Colorado about the benefits of prebiotics, the unsung heroes of gut health, related to sleep.

Made of non-digestible plant fibers and carbohydrates, prebiotics do a lot of work behind the scenes to feed the bacteria living in your gut.

Researchers at the University of Colorado were tasked by the Office of Naval Research to learn how prebiotics could ease disruptions in the body-clock from irregular work schedules, jet lag, and a lack of daily exposure to sunlight.

These challenges are a daily reality for military personnel, especially those who work on submarines for months at a time, says lead study author Dr. Robert Thompson.

First, scientists fed two groups of rats regular food or chow enhanced with two prebiotics, then manipulated their light-dark cycles (creating the stressful effect of traveling to a new time zone 12 hours ahead) each week over two months.

No surprise, the addition of prebiotics made a healthy difference, helping test animals more quickly adjust their sleep-wake cycles and core body temperatures (a problem when the body’s internal clock is disrupted).

What’s more, the gut health of animals fed prebiotics generated an abundance of health-promoting bacteria and resisted changes in gut flora related to stress and jet lag.

 

Gut Health and Good Sleep Hygiene

There’s lots of ways to improve your rest through good sleep hygiene. Here’s a few common-sense suggestions from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

  • Maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
  • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine.
  • Turn off any tablets or phones at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Keep your bedroom at a cool, comfortable temperature.

Adding a prebiotic to your diet may seem simple, given that a lot of vegetables (leeks, asparagus, garlic, onion, corn and bananas) contain rich amounts of them, but doing it consistently and daily can be challenging.

Fortunately, you can give your sleep a healthy and natural prebiotic advantage — along with the health of your gut — by taking a proven probiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic with 10 strains of beneficial bacteria and the proven prebiotic Fructooligosaccharides (FOS).

 

Resources

Brain, Behavior, and Immunity

CU Boulder Today

Healthline

American Academy of Sleep Medicine

CDC

Sleep 101: Your Gut Health Matters Read More »

Illustration of woman holding her hands in the shape of a heart over her gut while arrows point in cyclical directions from her gut to her brain. TEXT: Gut-Brain Axis 101 A gutsy link to your emotions.

Gut-Brain Axis 101

Gut-Brain Axis 101: The Gutsy Link to Your Emotions

How often do you make decisions based on a gut feeling during the day? And, do you notice butterflies in your stomach when you do make them?

We’re not exactly sure about the origins of those sayings but it seems as if we have known about the gut-brain axis — the connection that links the brain, intestines and emotions — for a very long time.

Although its existence had been debated in the past, that became impossible once modern medicine proved some 90 percent of serotonin (a neurotransmitter chemical that governs mood) in the body originates in the human gut, and specific bacteria play important roles in producing it.

The gut and brain are linked by the enteric nervous system (ENS), a network of 100 million nerve cells that line the gastrointestinal tract from the esophagus down to the rectum. Although the ENS doesn’t “think,” it transmits signals between the gut and brain.

Unfortunately, we begin to notice the gut-brain axis in our lives when these two-way signals become scrambled due to disruptions in the healthy balance of gut bacteria due to variables like a poor diet that lead to more stress and less restful sleep.

The good news: There are safe and effective tools you can use to bring balance to your gut and calm your brain.

 

Protecting Your Gut-Brain Axis At Work

The world of information technology (IT) — encompassing everything from information processing to building computers and websites like this one — is known for the high-pressure, 24/7 demands it places on its workforce.

Given those many stressors, a team of Chinese scientists investigated how to create more emotional stability to IT workers via the gut-brain axis with the help of a daily probiotic.

Out of 90 recruits, 36 IT workers (ages 20-60) met the criteria to participate in an eight-week trial, largely based on high initial stress test scores.

During the trial, workers took a probiotic containing a proprietary strain of Lactobacillus plantarum (one of the 10 strains of beneficial bacteria contained in EndoMune Advanced Probiotic).

After the testing period, stress test scores dropped significantly in terms of self-perceived stress, depression and overall negative emotions as well as gastrointestinal problems.

Additionally, scientists also noted a decrease in cortisol (the body’s primary stress hormone) with a coordinated increase in positive emotions with IT workers taking a probiotic.

 

The Gut-Brain Health Solution

You can tell the popularity of the gut-brain axis has grown by leaps and bounds given all of the new attention by medical experts looking for alternatives for the alarming rise of prescription drugs to treat anxiety, depression and insomnia just during the coronavirus pandemic.

Making lifestyle changes in the form of eating healthier diets full of nutrient-dense foods rich in dietary fiber and getting more sleep really do matter, but those aren’t the only tools at your disposal if you want to keep your gut-brain axis working as it should.

Taking one more precaution — a probiotic — gives your gut-brain axis the extra protection you need, especially on those extra-long workdays from home or at the office.

Make sure that any probiotic you select contains proven, lab-tested strains of beneficial bacteria and a prebiotic, made from non-digestible plant fibers and carbohydrates that feed the good guys in your gut (they may help you fight cancer too).

It really takes a community of beneficial bacteria and prebiotics to protect your gut-brain axis. That why EndoMune Advanced Probiotic is formulated with 10 strains and 30 BILLION CFUs of beneficial bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families, plus the prebiotic FOS.

 

Resources

Frontiers in Nutrition

Healthline

Johns Hopkins Medicine

Caltech

Neuroendocrinology

Mayo Clinic

University Hospitals/Cleveland Medical Center

Gut-Brain Axis 101 Read More »

photo of woman sleeping. Text on image: Healthy Sleep, Healthy Gut

Healthy Sleep, Healthy Gut

A good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health. In fact, many health experts view sleep as a way your body “reboots,” much like a computer, to repair and restore itself from the stresses of the day.

Previously, we’ve talked about how disrupting your sleep-wake schedule — better known as your body’s circadian clock — not only steals time your body needs to replenish and restore its resources, it harms the health of your gut microbiome too.

But how?

Good Sleep, Good Gut Diversity

Researchers from Nova Southeastern University and Middle Tennessee State took on the job of finding gut health connections to sleep with the help of 26 healthy patients.

Over 30 days, patients were monitored 24/7 for their sleep-wake activity (by wearing smart watches), took tests to measure their cognitive skills in eight areas and provided saliva and fecal samples.

No surprise, sleep quality and total sleep time yielded significant benefits for patients related to the diversity of species and richness of their microbiomes, while fragmented sleep patterns affected overall sleep quality and gut health adversely.

On the cognitive side, the gut health/good sleep connection stood out in a few measures including abstract matching, while a lack of richness was linked to poorer risk decision-making.

Scientists also found increased levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) that were linked to total sleep time and positive impacts on diversity and richness of the gut microbiome.

The Take-Home Message

On the surface, getting more sleep along with the quality and time you devote to it goes a long way towards the health of your gut, and thus, your overall health.

Also, following good hygiene before you go to sleep by taking simple steps — maintaining a consistent sleep routine and turning off your phone, laptop computer or tablet about an hour before you turn off the lights — can help.

Health experts also believe taking a probiotic along with a prebiotic may do lots of good, not only to promote better more restful sleep, but to protect the rich diversity of bacteria in your gut as well. But not just any probiotic will do…

Be sure to look for a probiotic formulated with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families that mirror the diversity of bacteria in your gut, plus a prebiotic that feeds the “good guys” in your gut, like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.

References

 

Healthy Sleep, Healthy Gut Read More »

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