Read on to learn more about xenobiotics and ways you can improve your gut health plus some warning signs.
A xenobiotic is typically a chemical found inside a living organism that isn’t supposed to be there under normal circumstances. Due to the widespread use of the word to describe a host of things from yogurt to antibiotics, it’s essential to understand precisely what a xenobiotic chemical is and what they do in your body.
Xenobiotics get a lot of labels these days, and many refer to them as the next evolution in treating disease and some hereditary problems. The benefits beyond helping your gut work better may not be adequately researched at this point and lack a proper direction. We do know they offer some benefits to your gut flora.
A Brief History and Biography of Xenobiotics
The term xenobiotic originally referred to many toxic substances our bodies absorbed. Before the research taught us better, many common chemicals and household items held poisonous compounds. An excellent example of everyday objects once believed harmless include things like asbestos and lead paint. However, since then the word xenobiotic evolved to include any molecule not naturally formed in your body.
Today, and for the purpose of this article, xenobiotics may be used in most cases to describe something we add to our body to improve things. The list gets out of hand if we try to include everything since anything we eat becomes a xenobiotic if molecules in it do not naturally occur in our bodies. It gets pretty complicated, and the list grows rapidly.
History aside, assume any xenobiotic we mention, unless otherwise noted, is used by your body to benefit it. Our primary targets include your guy and the xenobiotics that help your gut manage food well, stabilize digestion, and promote the growth of helpful gut bacteria. Keep in mind that anything we list or suggest here really needs clearance from your doctor before you make changes to your nutrition plan.
Why is Gut Health So Important?
Your gut flora is a group of bacteria that live in your gut. What you eat may help or harm your gut flora. This delicate mini ecosystem inside you offers a lot of benefits if you take care of it. The things you eat may cause healthy, beneficial bacteria to die. At the same time, a healthy, nutritious diet promotes the growth of good bacteria.
Just because we refer to the bacteria as good doesn’t mean it always does the right things for us. Some gut bacteria may cause ulcers to form in your stomach if it escapes your intestines and makes its way to your stomach lining. Your body reacts by trying to kill it, and ulcers may form as a result. Generally speaking, it usually takes some kind of digestive disorder or an unhealthy diet to allow this to happen.
Some research suggests diseases like Crohn’s disease may be affected, aggravated, or possibly caused by irregularities in gut bacteria. The evidence that gut bacteria causes Crohn’s disease is weak, but we do know gut flora problems affect your guy and may create complications directly related to Crohn’s disease and other intestinal issues like irritable bowel syndrome.
There’s even some research in progress, as of this writing, that seeks to prove asthma in developed countries may be related to lack of exposure to microbes that strengthen the immune system. Roughly 70 percent of your immune system is in your gut. So, you see why gut health is essential and may contribute to several health problems directly and indirectly.
How Do I Know if I Need More Xenobiotics or Gut Metabolizers?
- Several things may indicate poor gut health and throw up some warning signs that your gut needs help. Sometimes these signs make a subtle appearance while other times they may send you running for the nearest bathroom. However, conditions like diarrhea may not be the best indicator of poor gut health. A host of other things cause diarrhea from lousy food to food allergies.
The symptoms on the list below may not indicate poor gut health as we mentioned above in the diarrhea scenario, but they make good warning signs. If you feel like your gut is in trouble, talk to your doctor or try adding healthy probiotics, xenobiotics, and digestive enzymes to your diet. Some warning signs and poor eating habits that may contribute to poor gut health include:
- Upset stomach: This includes bloating, sour stomach, diarrhea, constipation, and even heartburn. Several things may cause any of these conditions; if they become chronic, it’s time to consult your doctor or try adding beneficial xenobiotics to your diet. Without specific enzymes and bacteria, your body rejects some foods and upset stomach in all its varieties may be a symptom.
- Rapid weight loss or rapid weight gain: A sudden increase or decrease in weight may indicate a number of things including poor digestion or a lack of digestive enzymes. If this occurs, seek medical attention to stay on the safe side of things since rapid weight fluctuations may indicate more severe diseases like cancer or a perforated intestine.
- Diets high in sugar: e=Eating a lot of processed foods or sugary foods is bad for you no matter what disease or condition you may want to avoid. An abundance of sugar in your gut may promote the growth of harmful bacteria or cause beneficial bacteria to smother other healthy bacteria. It’s a good idea just to avoid sugary foods, especially highly processed foods.
- Skin disorders: Sudden changes to your skin without reason may indicate poor gut health. Some conditions once considered a lifelong curse like eczema might be related to your gut health. Any sudden change to your skin’s texture or the appearance of mystery sores is something your doctor needs to know about right away.
While these remain the most common problems that manifest, many hidden problems caused by a lack of good gut bacteria stack up and turn into more pressing issues. Your gut may cause fatigue, sleep loss, food intolerances, and even some autoimmune disorders. If you know your nutrition habits lean to the wrong side, start changing now to improve your gut health.
Can I Just Take a Pill to Fix My Gut?
Many fermented foods, some more appealing than others, offer a host of benefits including adding good enzymes to your gut that help your body digest food. Fermented foods help promote healthy bacteria growth by adding probiotics and xenobiotics to your diet. Probiotics even help offset some of the damage done by strong antibiotics.
If you fear your gut may need rescuing from harmful bacteria, try adding some of these foods to your diet and see if your symptoms improve or disappear:
- Kombucha tea: the recipe for this tea is thousands of years old. It may even help prevent heart disease, lower your risk of diabetes, and kill off harmful bacteria. Your liver works hard to remove toxins from your body, and this tea helps your liver stay healthy and flushes out some toxins.
- Sauerkraut: this is definitely an acquired taste if you ask us, but a lot of people enjoy it. The benefits of this fermented cabbage outweigh to taste which may be too intense for some people.
- Kefir: this is a fermented drink made from fermenting milk while adding special yeast and promoting the growth of bacteria. It’s yogurts ugly cousin, but it’s loaded with probiotics and beneficial enzymes to help your digestive system work better.
- Tempeh: if you’re a vegetarian, you may recognize this product. It’s made by fermenting soy and often used to replace meat in diets because it’s high in protein. It also comes chock full of vitamins, minerals, and xenobiotics that help your body break down and move food.
- Miso: this is technically a condiment, but you’ll find it in many traditional Japanese dishes. You may recognize it if you’ve eaten miso soup. It helps beef up your immune and digestive systems plus it tastes good if used correctly. It’s made using fermented soybeans with a mixture of salt and koji.
The list of helpful foods includes many more items, and we encourage you to do some research and find foods that fit your taste buds. The foods on our list may be the most common or readily available in most areas with the exception of kefir and kombucha tea. If you can’t find them in your area, ask your local grocer to order you some.