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Why Your Gut is Important

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We know that gut health is important. It’s the reason why we constantly see articles focusing on the type of best foods, health supplements and habits that support gut health. You may refer to our past articles for more information on taking care of your gut.

Why is gut health important? Indeed, we know that the gut is an important system responsible for digesting our food and absorbing important nutrients. Our gut can only function properly when it is healthy, and an unhealthy gut can cause undesirable side effects such as an upset stomach. Even worse - we may fall victim to digestive disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

You may be surprised by the importance of your gut.

A healthy gut doesn’t only digest food and absorb essential nutrients. It is the foundation of your overall health. Your gut is where important nutrients and medicine are processed for use by other parts of our body. Most of all, it is closely tied to other key aspects of your physical health and mental wellbeing.

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The role of your gut in processing medicine

Many drugs that we can purchase over-the-counter or from doctors are orally administered, meaning through the mouth. These drugs may come in the form of tablets, capsules, lozenges, etc. This is even the case for kids who drink oral suspensions. Drugs are supposed to be effective in curing the ailments as prescribed, but they are effective because of the gut.

The role of the gut is to “process” the drugs for use by our bodies. When the drug is ingested and goes through the gut, the trillions of bacteria in the gut (i.e gut microbiome) will interact with the ingested drug. These interactions can change the drug’s structure and make them more soluble and effective¹.

The gut can also “activate” inactive drugs known as “prodrugs”. Before consumption, prodrugs are inactive. However, when prodrugs are consumed, the interactions between the body and the consumed drug transforms it into its active form for it to work its magic. In the gut’s context, the bacteria present can make chemical changes to a prodrug’s structure and hence increase the effectiveness of its absorption. It can also alter the drug’s composition and enhance its intended health benefits². Without the gut, our medicine will not be processed for the drugs to take effect.

The gut’s link with our different body parts

The role of our gut does not stop at “digesting food and discarding waste.” It has a much larger effect on our mental health, heart health and even our skin condition.

Ever wondered why we feel hungry, full, or happy after we’ve eaten? This change of emotions is because of the link between the gut and our central nervous system. Substances released by our gut can send different signals to the brain. For example, when we are full, our gut bacteria are triggered to send signals to the brain and alert the brain that they’ve had enough to eat³.

Thus, the gut can also have an effect on our mental health. Clinical studies show that when the gut is inflamed, the barrier between the gut and the brain becomes more permeable, causing unwanted substances to be transported to the brain. These substances can alter the brain function and lead to anxiety and depression⁴.

Aside from mental health, the gut can affect heart health as well due to what we eat. Recent discoveries have shown that the gut can increase cardiovascular diseases when it consumes and digests a compound called Phosphatidylcholine, which can be found in egg yolks⁵.

Finally, the gut can also affect your skin. Depending on what we eat, our gut function and gut health can be affected. As the gut communicates with our tissues and organs in a bidirectional manner, any imbalances in our gut microbiome can also affect our immune response and lead to skin diseases and alterations⁶.

Imbalance aside, there is an association between constipation and acne vulgaris, a chronic skin disease resulting in a lot of acne on the skin. In a scientific study that investigated gastrointestinal findings among patients with acne vulgaris, 40% of participants reported constipation as a complaint. Though the explanation for this is not set in stone, preliminary evidence suggests that those with difficulties passing stools produce more sebum and manifests in the form of acne⁷. Thus, our gut health is crucial for our overall health and well-being. Our gut serve as our body’s headquarters, communicating with all parts of our body, taking in nutrients and processing medicine. Our gut thus requires adequate nutrients and a well balanced digestive flora for it to support and carry out our bodily functions.

You can look out for our next article, where we will share about what you need to keep your gut healthy!


  1. Weersma, R.K., Zhernakova, A. and Fu, J. (2020). Interaction between drugs and the gut microbiome. Gut, 69(8), pp.1510–1519.

  2. ‌Wilson, I.D. and Nicholson, J.K. (2017). Gut microbiome interactions with drug metabolism, efficacy, and toxicity. Translational research : the journal of laboratory and clinical medicine, [online] 179, pp.204–222.

  3. ‌Gabanyi, I., Lepousez, G., Wheeler, R., Vieites-Prado, A., Nissant, A., Wagner, S., Moigneu, C., Dulauroy, S., Hicham, S., Polomack, B., Verny, F., Rosenstiel, P., Renier, N., Boneca, I.G., Eberl, G. and Lledo, P.-M. (2022). Bacterial sensing via neuronal Nod2 regulates appetite and body temperature. Science, 376(6590).

  4. ‌Clapp, M., Aurora, N., Herrera, L., Bhatia, M., Wilen, E. and Wakefield, S. (2017). Gut microbiota’s effect on mental health: the gut-brain axis. Clinics and Practice, [online] 7(4).

  5. ‌Wang, Z., Klipfell, E., Bennett, B.J., Koeth, R., Levison, B.S., DuGar, B., Feldstein, A.E., Britt, E.B., Fu, X., Chung, Y.-M., Wu, Y., Schauer, P., Smith, J.D., Allayee, H., Tang, W.H.W., DiDonato, J.A., Lusis, A.J. and Hazen, S.L. (2011). Gut flora metabolism of phosphatidylcholine promotes cardiovascular disease. Nature, [online] 472(7341), pp.57–63.

  6. ‌De Pessemier, B., Grine, L., Debaere, M., Maes, A., Paetzold, B. and Callewaert, C. (2021). Gut–Skin Axis: Current Knowledge of the Interrelationship between Microbial Dysbiosis and Skin Conditions. Microorganisms, [online] 9(2).

  7. Bowe, W.P. and Logan, A.C. (2011). Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis - back to the future? Gut Pathogens, [online] 3(1), p.1.

Disclaimer: The article content is intended for informational or educational purposes only, and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals. The disclaimer also provides that no warranties are given in relation to the medical information supplied in the article, and that no liability will accrue to Miraco Nutripharm Pte Ltd or any affiliated authors in the event that a user suffers loss as a result of reliance upon the information.


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