Lifestyle Factors that Impact the Gut

The gut is the core of the body, linked to the brain and adrenal system, and an integral part of staying healthy. It is so important to live a healthy lifestyle while enjoying a clean, balanced diet full of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fuel for your mind and body.

Lifestyle Factors

Let’s explore the Lifestyle factors that can disrupt the balance of the gut and negatively impact health, including:

  1. Poor Diet: Consuming a diet of processed foods, sugars, and unhealthy fats can lead to an imbalance in gut microbiota.
  2. Lack of Fiber: A low-fiber diet negatively affects gut health since fiber is essential for feeding beneficial gut bacteria.
  3. Stress: Chronic stress alters the gut microbiota and increases gut permeability, leading to inflammation and other health issues.
  4. Lack of Sleep: Poor sleep quality and insufficient interrupted sleep can disrupt the gut microbiome.
  5. Sedentary Lifestyle: Lack of physical activity can negatively impact gut health. There are many ways to get moving, from plain old walking to running to yoga, so find something that fits your style and get moving.
  6. Antibiotic Overuse: Frequent and unnecessary use of antibiotics kills beneficial gut bacteria, leading to dysbiosis and candida overgrowth. It only takes one round of antibiotics to throw off your beneficial bacteria and put your gut at risk.
  7. Smoking: Smoking alters the composition of gut microbiota and leads to gut inflammation; add vaping to that list.
  8. Excessive Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol disrupts the balance of gut bacteria and increases gut permeability.
  9. Dehydration: Inadequate water intake affects gut health by slowing digestion and impacting the mucosal lining.
  10. Artificial Sweeteners: Some artificial sweeteners negatively impact gut bacteria and lead to metabolic issues and GI distress.

Natural Remedies to Improve Gut Health

  1. Probiotics: Consuming probiotic-rich foods like coconut yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and other fermented foods can help restore a healthy balance of gut bacteria.
  2. Prebiotics: Foods high in prebiotics, such as garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, and whole grains, feed beneficial gut bacteria.
  3. High-Fiber Diet: A diet rich in organic fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains provides the necessary fiber for gut health.
  4. Hydration: Drinking plenty of pure water supports digestion and maintains the intestines’ mucosal lining.
  5. Regular Exercise: Regular physical activity can improve gut motility and overall health, so get moving. As Nike would say, Just Do It.
  6. Stress Management: Stress Reduction strategies such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness can help reduce stress and its negative impact on the gut. It’s a lifelong habit to add to your wellness journey.
  7. Adequate Sleep: Ensuring you get uninterrupted 7-9 hours daily can support gut health.
  8. Limit Alcohol and Avoid Smoking: Reducing or, better yet, eliminating alcohol consumption and quitting smoking can improve the balance of gut bacteria.
  9. Herbal Teas: Organic loose Teas such as ginger, peppermint, and chamomile can aid digestion and soothe the gut.
  10. Healthy Fats: Healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, flaxseeds, and chia seeds, can reduce inflammation and support gut health. Choose the organic version of flax and chia seeds. When selecting fish, opt for the low-mercury ones.
  11. Avoiding Artificial Sweeteners: Avoid the intake of artificial sweeteners to help maintain a healthy gut microbiome. These artificial sweeteners negatively impact one’s overall health.
  12. Intermittent Fasting: Studies suggest intermittent fasting can promote gut health by resting the digestive system and reducing inflammation.

Incorporating these lifestyle changes and natural remedies can help restore and maintain a healthy gut, vital for overall health and well-being.

Scientific Research

Let’s dig into the scientific research extensively documenting how various unhealthy lifestyle factors negatively impact gut health.

Here are some key findings:

Poor Diet and Gut Health

  1. High-Fat and High-Sugar Diets: Diets high in fats and sugars can reduce microbial diversity and promote the growth of harmful bacteria. Studies have shown that such diets can lead to gut dysbiosis, inflammation, and metabolic disorders.
  2. Low-Fiber Diets: Fiber is essential for feeding beneficial gut bacteria. Diets low in fiber can reduce the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which are crucial for maintaining gut health and reducing inflammation. Research indicates low fiber intake is associated with a less diverse microbiome and increased risk of gut-related diseases.

Stress and Gut Health

Chronic stress can alter the composition and function of gut microbiota. Stress-induced changes in the gut can lead to increased permeability (often called “leaky gut”), which allows harmful substances to enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation. Studies have shown that stress affects the gut-brain axis, impacting mental and gastrointestinal health.

Sleep and Gut Health

Poor sleep quality and insufficient sleep are linked to changes in the gut microbiome. Sleep deprivation can reduce microbial diversity and promote the growth of harmful bacteria. Research indicates that poor sleep can exacerbate gastrointestinal disorders and negatively impact overall gut health.

Sedentary Lifestyle and Gut Health

A sedentary lifestyle is associated with a less diverse gut microbiome and an increased risk of metabolic and inflammatory diseases. Regular physical activity has been shown to enhance the diversity of gut microbiota and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.

Antibiotic Overuse and Gut Health

Frequent and unnecessary use of antibiotics can disrupt the balance of gut microbiota by killing harmful and beneficial bacteria. This can lead to long-term changes in the gut microbiome, increasing the risk of infections, antibiotic resistance, and gastrointestinal disorders.

Smoking and Gut Health

Smoking has been shown to alter the composition of the gut microbiota, leading to dysbiosis. Studies have found that smokers have lower levels of beneficial bacteria and higher levels of harmful bacteria, which can contribute to inflammatory bowel diseases and other gastrointestinal issues.

Excessive Alcohol Consumption and Gut Health

Alcohol consumption can disrupt the balance of gut bacteria and increase gut permeability, leading to inflammation, liver disease, and other health problems. Research has shown that heavy drinking is associated with a less diverse microbiome and increased harmful bacteria.

Artificial Sweeteners and Gut Health

Artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose can negatively impact the gut microbiome. Studies have found that these sweeteners can alter gut bacteria, leading to glucose intolerance and metabolic changes that increase the risk of obesity and diabetes.


Scientific research underscores the significant impact that lifestyle factors have on gut health. Maintaining a balanced diet, managing stress, getting adequate sleep, engaging in regular physical activity, and avoiding harmful substances like antibiotics, tobacco, and alcohol are crucial for promoting a healthy gut microbiome and overall well-being.

Getting Tested

Imagine a non-invasive comprehensive stool analysis specialized lab test that will tell you what probiotic strains you are imbalanced in and which would benefit your unique body.

70% of the immune system lives in the gut microbiome.

An imbalanced gut microbiome can lead to various chronic digestive ailments and diseases, including autoimmune diseases. 

The Lab Test can help detect root causes of acute or chronic illness that stem from the gastrointestinal tract, with correlations to disease states and health risks. This can help you address chronic ailments and develop personalized solutions.

The Lab Test includes a robust panel of pathogenic bacteria, yeast, viruses, and parasites known to cause serious health concerns in humans, giving you a comprehensive view of potential health threats.

Gain insight into the health of your gut and natural remedies to balance it out.



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  2. De Filippo, C., et al. (2010). “Impact of diet in shaping gut microbiota revealed by a comparative study in children from Europe and rural Africa.” PNAS.
  3. Sonnenburg, E. D., et al. (2016). “Diet-induced extinctions in the gut microbiota compound over generations.” Nature.
  4. Wu, G. D., et al. (2011). “Linking long-term dietary patterns with gut microbial enterotypes.” Science.
  5. Foster, J. A., et al. (2013). “Stress & the gut-brain axis: regulation by the microbiome.” Neurobiology of Stress.
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  8. Anderson, J. R., et al. (2017). “Impact of sleep loss on the gut microbiome.” Journal of Sleep Research.
  9. Matsumoto, M., et al. (2008). “Impact of exercise on gut microbiota in humans.” Scientific Reports.
  10. Clarke, S. F., et al. (2014). “Exercise and associated dietary extremes impact on gut microbial diversity.” Gut.
  11. Dethlefsen, L., et al. (2011). “Incomplete recovery and individualized responses of the human distal gut microbiota to repeated antibiotic perturbation.” PNAS.
  12. Jernberg, C., et al. (2010). “Long-term ecological impacts of antibiotic administration on the human intestinal microbiota.” The ISME Journal.
  13. Biedermann, L., et al. (2014). “Smoking cessation induces profound changes in the composition of the intestinal microbiota in humans.” PLOS ONE.
  14. Shanahan, F. (2002). “The colonic microbiota in health and disease.” Current Opinion in Gastroenterology.
  15. Bode, C., et al. (2003). “Effect of alcohol consumption on the gut.” Best Practice & Research Clinical Gastroenterology.
  16. Wang, H. J., et al. (2012). “Alcohol and gut barrier function.” Alcohol Research: Current Reviews.
  17. Suez, J., et al. (2014). “Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota.” Nature.
  18. Palmnäs, M. S., et al. (2014). “Metabolic effects of sweeteners: an overview of the effects on gut microbiota.” International Journal of Obesity.

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