Does Sunlight Change the Gut Microbiome?

It doesn't make much sense that the amount of sun you get would have an impact on your gut microbiome. Because…your gut isn't even exposed to the sun. But, studies show that you should be catching those RAYS if you want a healthy gut!

Why? We're not the only ones confused! Scientists are confused, too. They don't know exactly why sunlight exposure has anything to do with diversifying your gut microbiome.

So let's review just really quick here: why do you need a diverse microbiome?

For one thing, if you don't have enough types of good bacteria to combat the bad and balance your gut, this could cause the BARRIER in the small intestine to erode. This barrier prevents toxins from entering your bloodstream…or at least, it's supposed to. But for people who have a "leaky gut," like those with Crohn's or celiac disease, there are rips in the small intestine. Bad molecules can escape into the blood! Unless, that is, you prevent leaky gut by eating healthy and consuming probiotics.

(If that's not enough of a reason for you to consume probiotics, how about I direct you to this article of mine, where I talk about how fermented foods and drinks WILL help you lose belly fat? Should You Drink Fermented Drinks/Teas)

gut microbiome

And if even THAT'S not reason enough for you…

The more diverse your gut bacteria is, the more you're able to combat inflammation. And as you may know, diseases like cancer and heart disease are directly linked to inflammation.

But a gut that isn't diverse enough links to inflammatory bowel issues too, such as inflammatory bowel disease. That's what the scientists in this study were researching.

Basically, they were curious whether sunlight could be the natural cure-all for your gut microbiome, and therefore just about all health problems!!

Here's what they found out:

Canadian researchers from the organization Frontiers of Microbiology took 21 healthy young women (the average age was 28) and collected their vitamin D levels and stool samples. (Using the stool samples, the scientist could figure out whether their guts were diverse or lacking.) Since these women were all healthy, they all had a decent composition to begin with, except the only thing that made some of them not as healthy was having a slight vitamin D deficiency.

See, since this study was done in Canada in the winter, so they weren't getting the sunlight they needed. Vitamin D is so important!!

Anyway, in this study, all the women had to do was go under a UVB lamp 3 times in a week, and that was the whole study! Just three sessions of UVB rays. So, was this short study enough to make a difference in their gut health, thus having a big impact on their overall health?

Yes!

Just from SUNLIGHT, all of these women had their microbiomes become more diverse. And again, scientists don't know exactly why it happened. But I won't question it! I'll always be a sun-loving gal…I even lived in Hawaii…and if it has natural restorative effects on the gut, then I'm even happier!

Speaking of "natural restorative effects on the gut," why not check out the fermented black tea from China's Yunnan province – from trees 100s of years old.

Click here to look around on the Pu'er website!

NBC

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