The Tuesday lecture this month began with some fascinating science. Your stomach plays host to something like 1,000 species of bacteria, which number in the trillions. Each one goes through its entire lifespan in the space of 20 minutes.
Okay, gross, right? But these organisms play vital roles in digestion, metabolism, and even in mood regulation. Dr. Kachmann explained that our guts are so intricately connected to their different parts by nerve fibers, and in turn so heavily connected back to our brains by still more nerves, that some researchers refer to our stomachs as our "Second Brains."
It is by no means the case that what happens in the gut stays in the gut. Rather, the health of the ecosystem inside our bodies determines how much weight we gain, how many nutrients we absorb, and even how we feel throughout the day.
So what do you think happens when we take antibiotics as often as we do? These drugs don't stop at killing the bacteria causing infections; they also disrupt the delicate balance of our gut microbiomes. What about meat and dairy products that come from animals treated with massive doses of antibiotics? Might these be playing a role in skyrocketing rates of obesity, diabetes, and mood disorders?
But what are we to do if we want to establish and maintain a healthy ecosystem inside our guts? Dr. Kachmann had three main recommendations:
First, don't be in a hurry to take antibiotics, even if your doctor is eager to prescribe them. Push back a little and say you only want to take them if you're sure they're necessary.
Second, add some fermented foods to your diet, like sauerkraut, kimchi, or yogurt (low-sugar of course).
Third, be careful with other substances that may wreak havoc with your gut microbiome. For example, don't "disinfect" your gut with alcohol (i.e. drink only in moderation).
(If you'd like to learn more, scroll down and watch the show Dr. Kachmann recorded on the topic.)
As has become the custom, we raffled off a Ninja blender at the end of the lecture. This time, Dr. Kachmann's friend and sometimes patient George was the lucky winner.
A heartfelt thank you to all who attended! Happy holidays to all!
There will be no lecture in December, but make sure you're signed up for the Newsletter to get details on the January lecture topic.
Watch Our Gut Microbiome: The Gut Biome Revolution
You can see Dr. Kachmann's Access TV Shows Mondays at 6:30 pm or Wednesdays at 6:00 pm on Comcast channel 57.
You can hear him on the radio at 95.7 WELT on Tuesdays at 12:00 pm and Thursdays at 8:00 am.
You can attend one of his monthly evening lectures at the Kachmann Auditorium in Lutheran Hospital (check Facebook for event details).
Or you can visit him after 9:00 am on Fridays at Three Rivers Pharmacy on North Anthony, where he gives free consultations