Dr. Peter Konturek, a Professor of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at the University Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany and the Head of the Department of Internal Medicine at the Thuringia Clinic Saalfeld, recently came to Manila and discussed one of the most promising solutions to disease: human waste. BioBalance Wellness Institute, a major proponent of health optimization and gut health in the Philippines, found it fit to bring in the world’s most prominent microbiota expert to Manila in the hope of expanding the knowledge and raise enthusiasm about gut health among medical practitioners and patients. The lecture, attended by some of the country’s most prominent doctors, discussed scientific advances on the gut microbiota’s influence on health and disease.
According to Dr. Konturek, an expert in gastroenterology, much of our health can be gleaned through an inspection of our gut, emphasizing the importance of the gut microbiota as a marker of a person’s overall health status. “We can say for sure that the gut is the inner tube of life. There are over 100 trillion microorganisms residing in the gastrointestinal tract, with over 1,000 bacterial species and a very high metabolic activity,” he says. “What is very important is the cross-talk between these bacteria and the immune system, the neurologic system, and other systems in the body.”
The development of the gut microbiota begins right before birth, and according to him, the first month of life-during infancy-is an important stage, when a human develops an increased diversity of gut bacteria. Over time, the gut is influenced by a number of factors-genes, geography, hygiene, stress, diets, and more. “Dysbiosis or a reduced diversity of gut microbiota becomes a risk factor for the development of clostridium difficile,” he says, which is a common infection that causes diarrhea and other intestinal disorders. Dysbiosis may also occur through constant and over use of antibiotics, which while may provide cure, may also cause the gut to leak and absorb harmful elements for the body, he explains. Here is where fecal transplants or formally Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) comes in as a plausible solution for those who have an inflamed gut, those who have developed resistance to antibiotics, and those who experience recurring infections.
FMT is an emerging procedure in the medical field, which involves transferring a healthy person’s gut bacteria to a sick person’s colon. While the approach may seem radical, more and more studies lend credence to its use as an effective way of treating and curing a range of gastrointestinal diseases, such as ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and leaky gut syndrome. It also shows promise in addressing non-gastrointestinal diseases such as diabetes, liver disease, allergies, obesity, and autoimmune diseases, among many others.
Simply put, a healthy gut not only properly absorbs nutrients, it also prevents diseases. Because of this, FMT saw a huge spike in its demand in the past two years, with patients from around the world also seeking other advanced gut health diagnostics and treatments.
With the aid of new technology and countless research and studies, gut health was revealed to be responsible for 70% of the body’s immune system. A normal gut would harbor trillions of good bacteria that help in absorbing nutrients from food, and in training our body to fight off diseases. A person with low levels of good bacteria will resultantly fare poorer at fighting diseases.
“Today, we can already look into a person’s overall gut health and clearly see if there are bad bacteria or if you lack good bacteria that causes you to get sick, become obese, and more,” – Dr.Ted
Doctor prodigy who specializes in gut health and is double-board certified in Nutritional Medicine and Anti-Aging Medicine from Europe. He currently heads BioBalance Wellness Institute. BioBalance offers intensive and advance gastro-intestinal and nutritional diagnostics, making the institute the perfect partner for Dr. Konturek in the Philippines.