The gut and our microbiome

Inside a typical digestive system billions of active bacteria live and work together to carry out basic physiological processes such as breaking down food. But, it is now increasingly understood they also have a big role to play in our health.

Gut bacteria - and the imbalance that can take place if you don’t have enough of the ‘good’ bacteria - are being linked to an increasing number of health issues such as autoimmune conditions (eczema, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease), depression and other mental health issues

As well as these health conditions imbalances our gut bacteria could also be causing a number of gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, flatulence and nausea or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

What affects our gut bacteria balance?

Just as no two humans are the same there are no two microbial makeups that are the same - even in identical twins. There are believed to be around 1,000 different species of bacteria living inside each of us but the different types of bacteria vary from person to person.

Throughout our lives we are exposed to various things which can shape or upset the balance of our bacteria.

For example it is believed that our microbiome first develops as we pass through the vaginal canal of our mother. Before this time we are sterile and the bacteria in our mother’s body as we are born populates our gut. If a child is born through cesarean section they are exposed to a very different set of microbes - skin microbes. It is believed breastfeeding plays a role in the positive development of our gut microbiome.

And, as we grow and develop we are exposed to a number of things - both consciously and unconsciously - that continue to help build our microbiome such as breastmilk, contact with other humans and animals, germs and other bacteria. During our first few years our microbiome develops the most as we are introduced to new bacteria on an almost daily basis.


As we continue through our lives we also come into contact with factors which are believed to have a negative role affect on our microbiome. These include:

  • Taking antibiotics and some other medications
  • Illness and disease
  • Poor diet
  • Stress

Shifts in our microbiome can happen very quickly and easily - for many people just taking one course of antibiotics could do this.

If our microbiome balance is upset then it can cause us to experience changes in our health.

How can you get back the balance?

Avoiding some of the things that upset our microbiome can help prevent changes, but in today’s fast-paced environment it’s not easy.

To help you could try introducing multi-strain bacteria back into your gut on a daily basis - this is where Symprove comes in.

Symprove has independent evidence in clinical trials which show its efficacy in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It has also been shown to arrive, survive and thrive in the gut.