What’s living in my gut? Check out the British Gut Project

Just a really quick blog to let you all know about the British Gut project. It’s a subject that fascinates me and numerous studies have shown that factors affecting gut microbiota can have a huge impact of whether certain people get eczema, allergies and asthma.

The Great British Gut Project

The British Gut project

Basically you sign up, it costs about £75 minimum to take part, you get a sample toolkit in the post and you send off your poo to be analysed.

It’s really so easy to do. You get two cotton buds which need only a tiny sample on the end of each so you don’t need to collect a proper stool sample or anything.

What is a little more daunting is the food survey which did take me some time to complete. Make sure you put aside at least half an hour for this, if not more.

When you get your sterile sample kit in the post you must register, complete the survey and send it back pretty sharpish after taking the sample.

Thanks to my allergy dietitian Liane Reeves at Oxford Radcliffe hospital for putting me onto this. It’s just one of the presents I’m giving myself this year for generally being awesomer each day 🙂

Check out their website and add your stool sample to the Great British Gut project here:
http://britishgut.org/participate/

You may find out some interesting things about your gut microbiota, what bacteria are living there and potentially this could lead to answers and potential routes to easing any symptoms such as Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), bloating, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence etc. If you have issues with your gut and can afford to take part it’s an interesting research project to get involved with.

Could deficiencies or overgrowths in your gut be causing your food intolerances or stomach cramps?
I can’t wait to find out my results

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About Ruth

Ruth works freelance as a copywriter and writes the What Allergy blog to share information with people who have allergies, eczema, asthma and food intolerances. http://www.whatallergy.com was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs and Ruth also judges regularly for the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Skincare Awards. She also won the Foods You Can People's choice Best FreeFrom blogger award 2014.

Comments

  1. Ruth, I’m a huge fan of probiotics and read every study abstract that I can. Recently in the US there has been a small number of significant studies on probiotics vis a vis the mind/gut connection. Good gut bacteria enable more serotonin even. Previously researchers felt serotonin was mostly made in the brain I think.

    Anyway, my daughter is an Aspie (Aspergers) and only developed anxiety in her early twenties due to some daily stress she encountered for the first time. Anyway I worked over a year to get one med greatly reduced (and will work hard again next year to wean her off it entirely, but even though I have a Power of Attorney I can’t just waltz in and demand the change- long story), and 1-2 eliminated that she really didn’t need.

    At the same time I got her on a daily, ten-strain probiotic (Ultimate Flora). She has been on the latter for several months now, concurrent with the meds changes. So all of a sudden she tells me “Mom, I still get some anxiety, but not it doesn’t last as long”.

    Also, I spent over a hundred once getting my poop analyzed by a Georgia firm and the results came back as two parasites and moderate yeast. All of the latter were causing me to have bloating, diarrhea, constipation, up and down, down and up. It took a full year of eliminating sugar even more and two anti-fungals but now I am pretty tip top, especially for 63. My anti-aging doc then (concierge, cutting-edge, but ultimately too expensive for me) also put me on zypan, which is available on Amazon. It is made by Standard Process and is about $40/bottle. It contains hydrochloric acid in powder form and other things that help you charge thru food/digest. My doc said it would “retrain” my gut. I took it for about 3-4 years but find I mostly don’t need it. People who go on no longer need strong pills for gut issues actually and the reviews on Amazon are pretty amazing.

    The fancy anti-aging/hormone specialist also had me speak to his nutritionist and she convinced me to start reading labels more closely in the grocery store. Now I won’t throw anything in with over 5-7 grams of sugar. In American grocery stores, even Whole Foods, that can be a challenge. I read once that the food companies years ago in a bid to compete just kept adding more and more sugar and salt to their products in order to be “the best tasting”. So the latter imo as JUST as responsible for the obesity problem as those who can’t push away from the table, but I digress….

    I think what is less well known is what types of probiotics to take (it will vary with your age, medical conditions, whether you have autism even!) and how often. In the States they are expensive and not covered by insurance except for the tax benefits of having a flexible spending plan wherein some meds/supplements are deducted pre-taxable income.
    My husband just got over an episode of ulcerative colitis that lasted about four years and claims he doesn’t need probiotics much anymore. I disagree. I have read, but don’t know if it is true that booze kills bacteria, good and bad, and sugar feeds yeast which competes with the good bacteria…..

    • Probiotics do interest me but you have to be careful to get dairy free probiotics if you’re allergic do cow’s milk. Thanks for your comment and great to hear you finally got your gut under control. I am quite interested to hear what’s living in mine, though My digestion has improved massively since I stopped eating raw oats in muesli and instead always cook the oats now. Who’d have thought it could be that simple? And also avoiding too much sugar, as you do and cutting out processed food agrees with my gut. I don’t manage to always stick to that though.

  2. Fascinating stuff! And potentially more interesting than having your DNA sequenced- although a shame the ‘perks’ don’t include some analysis/advice based on your microbiome profile- I realise that has to be regulated and maybe the research is not yet there to do that, but you can foresee a service that would do that – exciting times!

    • I’m hoping that my results will be explained by my allergy specialist… fingers crossed. And yes you’re right. Some advice would be so helpful. But this is a start. This isn’t for the faint hearted. The survey alone is hard work and lengthy but collecting pooh can be a step too far for many. Do it Carly! Add your Poo to the research pool 🙂

  3. Hi, I’m interested in the British Gut Project you mentioned. On their website they say they don’t provide any clinical analysis, they just tell you what’s in your gut. How would I be able to interpret that, I just wondered who I would take the results to to find out what it means and what I can do about it.

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