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The effects of modern life on our gut health and what to do about it

  • Dr. Viv Rolfe
    Dr. Viv Rolfe

    Dr. Viv Rolfe is a gut physiologist and herbal researcher. She
    raises awareness of the health benefits of herbs and the existing evidence base. She has a Foundation in Herbal Medicine from Heartwood Education and is involved in herbal research and education through her company Curiosity Research. She plays jazz saxophone and can be found on LinkedIn.

  • 8:53 reading time (ish)
  • Cleansing & Metabolising Digestion & Nutrition History

Written by Dr. Viv Rolfe

The effects of modern life on our gut health and what to do about it

The gut is the centre of the body’s universe, (I say this because I’m a physiologist who has been fascinated by it for thirty years). But people’s recognition of the importance of a healthy gut is not new and Ayurveda places emphasis on our agni or “digestive fire” which is responsible for strength and the healthy state of the body. Ayurveda states we need to provide it with the right nourishment to keep it balanced and regular (1).

So how do our digestive fire’s fair today? With the advent of ultra-processed foods and the over-use of pharmaceuticals, what do we know about the impact this is having? The ‘omics’ revolution of recent decades has shed incredible light on our body’s molecules and the intricate relationship between our own cells and the trillions of microbes – fungi, bacteria, viruses – that are harboured within us, including within the gut. These biological sciences include genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, or metabolomics. They have shown us the importance of the symbiotic relationship between our bodies and our bugs, and the damaging effects that our habits and lifestyles can have. In Ayurvedic terms, the outlook for agni looks rather irregular and possibly even bleak.

Dr. Viv Rolfe

Dr. Viv Rolfe is a gut physiologist and herbal researcher. She raises awareness of the health benefits of herbs and the existing evidence base. She has a Foundation in Herbal Medicine from Heartwood... Read more

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