The human gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) is home to trillions of bacteria that are essential to humans for regulation of metabolism, nourishment, immune function, and resisting infections. There are more than 500 different species of microorganisms that reside in the human gut. Every person has anywhere from 100 million to 1 trillion microorganisms per gram of fecal content. Most microbes in the human GI tract are thought to be commensal or beneficial. There are also certain microbes that colonize the ]gut and are only harmful under certain circumstances, called “opportunistic bacteria.” Finally, there are pathogenic bacteria that are widely recognized to cause disease in the human host.
Although they are found everywhere, harmful bacteria do not always cause illness in all people. Commensal (or good) gut bacteria in the GI tract help to protect the human host from developing infection. These “good” gut bacteria are also responsible for the production of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, short chain fatty acids, and other metabolic byproducts that keep the bowels and body functioning. However, when number of commensal bacteria falls, this allows for opportunist and pathogenic bacteria to wreak havoc in the body.
The GI Microbial Assay Plus (GI-MAP™) was designed to assess a patient’s microbiome from a single stool sample, with particular attention to microbes that cause disease or that disrupt normal microbial balance and contribute to illness and disease progression. The GI-MAP is FDA approved and with high remarks for sensitivity and specificity.
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Four Phases to Gut Healing
- Remove: Triggers that affect GI function which include food sensitivities, overgrowth of unfriendly organism, and other potential GI stressors.
- Replace: Digestive enzymes and supporting chemicals that are needed for optimum digestion.
- Repopulate: Targeted probiotic supplementation to help support the health of the GI Tract and maintain proper microbial balance.
- Repair: The lining of the GI tract is essential for the recovery and maintenance of our health as it acts as a barrier against undigested foods, toxins, and other organisms. It is also necessary proper nutrient absorption.