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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Magazine > August 2017 > BOOST YOUR GUT HEALTH


Scientists are learning more about how specific strains of bugs in our guts protect us from diseases. Here’s the lowdown on a unique British project that’s mapping the nation’s microbes – and how to make yours healthier

Only in the last five years have we realised that we have this new organ – the microbiome – that weighs about the same as your brain (around 3lb) and contains 100 trillion microbes. We’re starting to understand how important these organisms are; while we once associated microbes with poor health, we now know most of those in the gut are beneficial.

We’ve made a range of discoveries about microbes, showing they’re key to our immune systems; play a role in allergies and autoimmune diseases; aid weight management; and produce hundreds of chemicals including serotonin, which is involved in mood, sleep and memory, and vitamins. They help us understand why some cancer treatments work in some people and not others. A recent study found that when we transplant poo from younger fish into older ones, they live longer – so microbes may have an anti-ageing role, too.

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About Healthy Magazine

Embrace a #naturalsummer with the August issue of Healthy, which helps you maximise the wellbeing benefits of summer. We’ve rounded up everything you need to know for your summer holidays, including your summer beauty 'capsule' bag, plus why being outside = a natural happiness boost. Also, we've rounded up a whole list of salad supper under 300 calories to keep you trim, plus the best veggie burgers to enjoy at those BBQs. Read all about it – we chat to Sadie Frost on why she's swapped late night partying for morning yoga, and we catch up with Delicious Ella in her regular column. Find out more in the brand new issue of healthy.