Gut Health Part 4: Gut Microbiota & Autoimmune Conditions

Gut Health Part 4: Gut Microbiota & Autoimmune Conditions

Broccoli People share the last article in their 4-part Human Microbiota series, so you can understand your body, it's principles and make the best choices for your wellbeing.



The Human Microbiota Series: Part 4

The health of the gut microbiota, which means the diversity and quantity of the populations of bacterias living in there, could be linked to many conditions and diseases that are on the rise nowadays, for example, autoimmune conditions.


So, you may have heard this term a lot, but what is actually this?


The immune system is supposed to defend our bodies, so a strong one help us to not get sick, but it is possible that accidentally attacks our own bodies inappropriately, as explained by Dr. Charles Mackay, immunologist professor at Monash University in Australia [1]. In simple words, the system attacks your own cells, and although the exact reasons for this are not yet fully understood, researches have already seen that factors like genetics, environment, diet, and the gut health, have important roles in this.

To give you an introduction to autoimmune diseases, there are many types, with different levels of severity, and that can be present at different moments of life. When you hear that someone has a flare-up, it mean that the symptoms appear and get worse, and when they get better or disappear, it is called remissions. Some common ones: are rheumatoid arthritis, alopecia, inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes, and psoriasis.


So, in practice, what are the guidelines for a healthy gut microbiota?

Dr. Mackay recommends a diet rich in fruits, veggies, nuts, and fiber; while keeping low in fat and sugar. Voilá! How many times have you heard this before?! Yes, you know it, now you have another reason to put it in practice!

Remember that when we talk about “fat” here, it means industrial fats and too much saturated fat, because a balanced intake of the different types of fats is actually important to shape your gut bacterias populations. Actually, the effect of dietary fat in the gut microbes is another whole field of research [2]! So, it doesn’t mean to avoid fats, but to take the right ones and in the right proportions.


And if you have any predisposition for these kind of conditions, like a family history of autoimmune diseases, then it is especially important to follow these advices for prevention! [1]. As we have been explaining in previous articles of this series, studies in relation to the gut have mainly been done on mice, but we can already learn the importance of maintaining a healthy gut.

We leave you with a diagram of how we can make happy partnerships with out gut microbiota.
[1] Mariño, E et al., “Gut microbial metabolites limit the frequency of autoimmune T cells and protect against type 1 diabetes”, May 2017, Nat. Immunol., doi. 18, 552-562 (2017). [2] Andreu Prados, “Fiber is not everything: dietary fat type shown to be relevant for gut microbes” , March 2019,
Written by Broccoli People | Mind Your Life, Mind Your Body
A further in depth look at autoimmune conditions and your gut, plus all topics in this human microbiota series are explained further in Broccoli People's 'Foods for Your Brain & Emotions Ebook - Learn How Food Affects Your Brain & Emotional State' ebook.
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