Gut Check For Gut Health
You might be wondering why a cardiologist is writing on gut health. I was wondering the same thing three years ago when I began my fellowship in Anti-aging Medicine.
There are viable alternatives to maintain a healthy GI tract, which can help guard against acid reflex. Digestive enzymes can make it easier for our food to be digested and consequently improve gut motility. Probiotics help to maintain a healthy colon. We now know a lot about the protective nature of our intestinal flora, the good bacteria that keep our gut functioning in a healthy manner. Unfortunately, disease and many commonly prescribed medications such as antibiotics can easily wipe out our flora and set us up for poor health.
Wall Street JournalFew people might know that 85 percent of neurotransmitters are made in the GI tract, and not in the brain. I wasn’t aware of this until three years ago. So, a healthy balance of serotonin, dopamine, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) and the like which can affect both brain function and mood depends on healthy gut function. Moreover, nearly 90 percent of the immune system emanates from the gut. Obviously, this is extremely important in helping guard against common infections, cancer and autoimmune disorders.
So, even though I am best known as a cardiologist and an anti-aging medical specialist, I take most pride in being known as the “Medical Advocate,” since my goal is always to motivate my patients, my readers and my audiences to get in the driver’s seat when it come to their health--so that they, in turn, can become their own best medical advocate. My interest in gut health is paramount to our well-being. Therefore, we dedicate April and May as “Digestion Health Months” here at HeartWise to promote healthy gut function in everyone.
Dr. Elkin is a board-certified internist, cardiologist and anti-aging medical specialist.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE / DISCLAIMER: I am offering—always—only general information and my own opinion on this blog. Always contact your physician or a health professional before starting any treatments, exercise programs or using supplements. ©Howard Elkin MD FACC, 2012
*originally published Friday, April 20, 2012