Gut Health 101 - Everything you need to know to get your gut right | IV Nutrition



Your Cart is Empty

Gut Health 101 - Everything you need to know to get your gut right

November 03, 2022 9 min read

Gut Health 101 - Everything you need to know to get your gut right - IV Nutrition

Everything You Need to Know About Gut Health:

Everything you need to know about gut health is included in this blog post

Topics Covered:

What does "gut" mean?

Explaining Gut Flora & Microbiome

Supplements with probiotics

Leaky Gut


Bioavailability: What is it?

A healthy gut diet?

Ailments that are bad for gut health

What Does "Gut" Mean?

Everyone has heard about the benefits of having a healthy gut, but what exactly is the "gut"? One could argue that the entire digestive system, from ingestion to excretion, is the "gut," however the majority of the real action happens after the stomach releases the material that has been digested.

Yes, the stomach plays a crucial role in the process, but the intestinal system comes to mind when thinking about the gut. mostly in the small intestine, where 90% of nutritional absorption takes place. Many dietary intolerances also develop in the small intestine. Nearly 70% of the population, those who are lactose intolerant, may experience stomach aches, bloating, flatulence, nausea, or diarrhoea 30 minutes to 2 hours after consuming dairy products.

People who are lactose intolerant have difficulty digesting milk products because they do not create enough lactase, an enzyme that aids in breaking down the sugars in milk. Undigested lactose then lingers in the intestine and ferments leading to the symptoms many people experience after consuming dairy products.

Therefore, the "stomach ache" or "upset stomach" that is so frequently reported is actually concentrated in the small intestine! The large intestine, or colon, is the primary location for all of that healthy bacteria together referred to as the microbiome, whereas the small intestine serves as the site for nutrition absorption and a variety of other tasks. As a result, the intestinal tract contains the entirety of the "gut" about which we are all talking.

Microbiome and Gut Flora

Nearly everyone who reads this has probably at least heard of the terms "microbiome" and/or "gut flora," but what exactly is the microbiome? What does gut flora actually mean?

All of the bacteria, viruses, fungus, and other microscopic organisms that live inside your intestines are collectively referred to as the microbiome. These exact bacteria are what we refer to as gut flora.

 An essential component of how the body works is good bacteria. In actuality, your general health is primarily dependent on having a good gut flora.

The microbiome serves a wide range of functions. Healthy gut flora helps with digestion, it helps the body digest certain foods that the stomach and small intestine have not been able to digest. Gut flora also plays an important role in the immune system, performing a barrier effect, preventing the growth of harmful, pathogenic bacteria, and helping with the production of vitamins B and K.

Some studies even connect the microbiome to the health and performance of the gut-brain axis. Today, specialists consider this microbiota to be a "organ," given that its primary duty is to support the body's regular operations and the various tasks it does. However, because you do not have a healthy microbiome at birth, it is thought of as a "acquired organ" that develops throughout the course of our life.

There are germs in the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine as well, albeit they are considerably less numerous. A better intestinal wall will be able to host more of the desirable microbiota than an unhealthy intestinal wall since these microorganisms reside in the mucosal lining of the intestinal wall. When establishing a healthy gut flora, specific foods and supplements may also be beneficial. These supplements are typically probiotics.

Probiotic & Prebiotic Supplements

If you have been to any health store, natural product expo's, or read up on health trends it is easy to see the rapid growth in popularity when it comes to prebiotics and probiotics. Just in 2012, the use of probiotics or prebiotics by adults in the United States was four times higher with around 3 million more persons utilising probiotic or prebiotic supplements than in 2007. In recent years, these figures have only risen. But before getting into the specifics, you might be curious to know what prebiotics and probiotics are.

In reality, prebiotics and probiotics differ greatly. Prebiotics refer to dietary substances such as fibers, that support the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.

Probiotics, on the other hand, are living microorganisms that support the digestive system among other body benefits. Probiotics include live culture yogurts, fermented foods and beverages, dietary supplements, and even products like skin creams.

Although the benefits of probiotics have gained widespread public acceptance, the concept of purposefully ingesting bacteria and other microbes may seem unusual or unsettling to some.

Probiotic bacteria aid in the digestion of food, the eradication of pathogenic microbes, and even the production of vitamins. Plus, many microorganisms contained in probiotic products are the same as or similar to those that naturally live in our bodies to perform these functions.

When researching how to choose a probiotic, be aware that not all probiotics are alike. Probiotics include such a vast range of microorganisms that, even if they are in the same family of bacteria, can perform different functions within the body.

The most typical, for instance, belong to the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus families. Within each of their separate families, these two groups contain a wide variety of bacteria. Say one Lactobacillus bacteria helps prevent an illness, that doesn’t necessarily mean that a different Lactobacillus would do the same.

People with serious medical problems or with weakened immune systems should also be careful when introducing new bacteria to their systems. In addition to probiotics, there are also some dietary supplements that can help to improve the gut environment, making it more hospitable to good bacteria.

View IV Nutritions Virgin Sugarcane Prebiotic Fibre Supplement Here

Leaky Gut

Leaky Gut: What Is It? Numerous illnesses and disorders have the potential to impact digestion and bowel health. Leaky gut syndrome is one of these conditions.

Increased intestinal permeability, a condition where germs and poisons can leak through the intestinal wall and into the circulation, is basically what a leaky gut is.

Our food is broken down by the digestive system into helpful nutrients, which are then transported by the bloodstream to various parts of the body as needed. Not only that, the digestive tract acts as a physical barrier, much like a gatekeeper, only allowing valuable compounds through.

Tight junctions is another name for these gatekeeping sections of the digestive tract. Tight junctions are microscopic openings in the gut wall that let healthy nutrients and water through but prevent poisons and germs from entering the bloodstream.

The gut wall effectively becomes more porous to both beneficial substances and detrimental bacteria and poisons if these tight connections loosen, resulting in the so-called leaky gut syndrome.

Allowing bacteria and toxins into the bloodstream to travel freely around the body results in an overactive immune system and systemic inflammation. This then leads to the symptoms of a leaky gut including gastrointestinal bloating, excess wind, poor digestion, lethargy, underproductivity, and even skin problems.

Many people are left to wonder: What causes a leaky gut? Although there is still much to learn about leaky gut syndrome, it is believed that a protein called zonulin is at least partially to blame.

The gut may become more permeable if this protein is activated by intestinal bacteria (that have seeped out of the gut). The consumption of a diet heavy in sugar, long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (such as ibuprofen), stress, inflammation, and excessive alcohol use on a regular basis are some of the factors that might cause zonulin activity.

We are learning more about the issue now as researchers gain more knowledge about the gut and the function it plays in our general and immunological health.

There are more of us taking taking control of our own health, reading for ourselves, and learning about ailments like a leaky gut. After realizing we may have had that all along, we feel motivated to take action to fix our own intestines. Diabetes, Crohn's disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and several food allergies have all been linked to a leaky gut. Making every effort to stop and fix a leaky gut may help shield us against chronic illness.


The importance of absorption as it relates to gut health cannot be overstated. This phrase is frequently used in the nutrition and supplement sectors. But how many individuals actually comprehend it? What DOES absorb mean? The small intestine, which is the primary location for nutrition's ability to be absorbed, needs these nutrients to cross the intestinal lumen, enter the mucosal cells that line the intestinal system, and finally enter the bloodstream in order to be absorbed.

Several different mechanisms are involved in this, depending on the type of nutrient flowing through.

First comes diffusion. Simply said, this is the movement of molecules from a high concentration location to a low concentration area. Simple diffusion is the independent movement of molecules across the cell membrane.

The diffusion of water is the next process, called osmosis. Then there is facilitated diffusion, in which the nutrient must travel via a carrier or transport molecule in order to enter the bloodstream. These are called passive transfers and they all take place without the use of energy.

Additionally, active transfer requires a carrier molecule and energy to be absorbed. In contrast to passive diffusion, this type of transport can carry chemicals from one concentration to another.

Although absorption is a normal bodily process, having a bad stomach might reduce the amount of nutrients that are actually absorbed and used by the body. Some supplements for gut health can aid in boosting this absorption, which will then raise the bioavailability of the vitamins, proteins, and other vital nutrients contained in our diets.


Simply said, bioavailability refers to how well a nutrient is absorbed and utilized by the body. The vitamins and nutrients we ingest have a wide range of bioavailability. Sodium and other minerals are absorbed in a very high percentage, meaning that the body absorbs almost all of the sodium we consume. Contrarily, we typically only absorb about 25% of the calcium we ingest. Even lower, with only 5%, is iron.

Generally speaking, animal goods are easier for the body to absorb than plant diets. This is due to the presence of compounds in plants such phytates, tannins and oxalates that bind minerals in the digestive system and inhibit absorption. Sadly, these plant-based foods contain a lot of nutrients whose body bioavailability could use a boost.

For instance, turmeric is recognized for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities, yet it has a relatively low bioavailability. In order to fully benefit from turmeric's anti-inflammatory properties, many businesses will also include absorption enhancing ingredients to make turmeric's key ingredient, curcumin, more bioavailable so that lesser doses will have a greater impact.

Again, it's crucial to consider how those chemicals that promote absorption impact the stomach. Do they swell up to force nutrients through? Or do they help the gut's natural transporters and lining to heal?

Eating with Gut Health in mind

Our overall health is directly impacted by how our stomach feels. Our gut health affects our immune system's effectiveness, our mood, and how well we digest food. Poor gut health can make it difficult for us to absorb all the nutrients we require from food, which can result in malnutrition and even sickness.

Our microbiome, which consists of billions of beneficial bacteria, fungi, and viruses, lives in our gut. These bacteria, sometimes known as "good bugs," keep our digestive system functioning normally. Not only that, but our gut microbiota also affects our mental health, immune system, skin, and risk of contracting illnesses like cancer. If we take care of our microbiome, it will take care of us. What we consume affects our microbiota and gut health; therefore, what foods should we eat more of and less of to preserve gut health?

The gut loves yoghurt, kombucha, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, and other fermented foods and beverages. Probiotic microorganisms found in them aid in colonization.

Prebiotics are a particular kind of fibre that the organisms in our microbiome require to survive. Inulin is one form of prebiotic fibre that can be found in foods like leeks, onions, and garlic.

High-fiber foods assist the colon absorb water to ensure that food and waste move through the gut smoothly while also feeding the healthy bacteria. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains are included in this.

If you feel like you are lacking in prebiotic fibre, you can view IV Nutrition's Virgin Sugarcane Fibre here.

It has been proven to be one of the most effective supplements in aiding prebiotic health of the gut and aiding the maintenance of gut health.

What foods really damage your gut health?

The advice that unprocessed red meats, sweets, and saturated fats are harmful for you while fresh veggies and whole grains are good is not just for weight loss and heart health.

Foods that are high in fat, sugar, and salt damage the gut. Avoid processed meats, baked goods, desserts, chips, fried meals, and fast food as much as you can if you want to improve the health of your gut. Keep them for special occasions only.

Additionally, pay attention to your gut feeling. Foods containing specific proteins, like gluten, or sugars, such the lactose present in dairy products, are often intolerable to many people.

You should avoid eating these items if consuming them makes you feel bloated, gassy, or otherwise uncomfortable. Your stomach will physically talk to you if it's not healthy. As it works to break down the food you eat, it will gurgle and make noises that are out of your control.

Additionally, you'll feel bloated and gassy, and you may get radial, all-over stomach pains. Along with regular diarrhoea and/or constipation, you might also go through ups and downs with your weight.

Having a bad gut affects more than simply digestion. Due to the gut-brain connection, having a poorly functioning stomach can cause mood swings, low mood, difficulty concentrating, and even skin conditions like eczema.

Additionally, if you have trouble sleeping, it could leave you feeling groggy and cranky all the time. These symptoms are a common, everyday occurrence for so many, and are so often put down to other things such as stress or simply leading a busy life.

If this is you, then it could be time to pay attention to your diet and your gut.

Get your gut health back on track - click here.