Six weeks ago, I had the awesome pleasure of attending a Kale Brock event in Perth called the Gut Summit. I stumbled across his advertisement on Facebook by accident and thought this was right up my alley.
Anything gut related has me frothing at the mouth as they say. So I paid for the tickets (a couple of months before the event) and somehow managed to avoid finding out anything about the Gut Summit, until I was sitting in the auditorium.
You can imagine how foolish I felt, when I discovered the host of the event, was actually the filmmaker of The Gut Movie itself.
I sunk even further into my seat when the very charismatic Kale, asked for a show of hands from the >300 people in the crowd, who had watched his movie.
I pledged, I would be first out the door at the lunch intermission, to buy the DVD off Kale himself. After listening to the scientific evidence presented by the Medical and Naturopathic experts, who spoke on the gut microbiome and its direct effects on our total well being, I raced home after the summit to watch The Gut Movie.
Why did Kale Brock direct The Gut Movie?
Kale Brock is a dynamic, Australian journalist and filmmaker, with a self professed passion for all things to do with health and well being. Brock, an Indigenous Australian of Barngarla descent, is also the author of two health books; The Gut Healing Protocol and The Art Of Probiotic Nutrition.
In “The Gut Movie”, Brock puts his journalistic and directorial talents into creating a documentary that investigates the human microbiome.
Brock’s ultimate goal is to discover whether the ‘optimal microbiome’ does indeed exist.
So he travels from Australia to Namibia to live with The San, an ancient hunter-gatherer people, living traditionally from the land.
For a base-line assessment, Brock engages the talents of Molecular Geneticist and co-founder of SmartDNA, Dr Margie Smith, who analyses a sample of Brock’s own “poo” before he leaves Australia.
Dr Smith says” your poo can tell you a lot about your gut health”. The Gut Movie, intertwines the journey between the stunning scenery of the Namibian desert and the San tribe, back to Australia where you will listen to input from the health experts.
Whilst he is living with the San tribe, Brock has the special privilege to live as a San tribe member, eating their indigenous diet and drinking from their water sources.
For me, it was a great joy to watch Brock experience these cultural differences with the San tribe, as it brought back, memories from my own extraordinary journey to Africa in 1996.
I also particularly enjoyed watching those awkward moments, when Brock uncomfortably has to take microbiome samples of The San’s ‘poo’, to gauge the significant differences in microbiota present across our cultures.
On return to Australia, Brock gives a post African experience sample of his own and we all wait with bated breath to hear the results from Dr Margie Smith.
You can here his podcast below:
What role does the microbiome play in your health?
The word microbiome gets touted about, but very few people know exactly what this means. The microbiome is simply defined as: the collective groups of microbes (composed of bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses) that live inside and on the human body.
You have approximately 10 times as many microbial cells as you do have human cells. The mind boggles to picture this.
In recent years, scientists have come to realise that the diversity of your microbiome and the metabolites the bacteria produce, play the most significant role in your health.
A poor microbiome has been linked with a myriad of lifestyle diseases, such as allergies, autoimmune diseases, metabolic diseases like diabetes, CVD stroke, some cancers, Neuro developmental disorders, autism, anxiety and obesity
Scientists have even discovered that a certain type of bacteria found on the human skin, can both kill off harmful bacteria and release a substance that protects us from skin cancer.
Having a diverse range of good bacteria is important for our mental state as well.
90% of our neurotransmitters (happy hormones) are actually manufactured from the metabolites produced by our commensal gut bugs.
Scientists are now referring to our gut as the second brain!
So, “if our gut is not in great shape, then our mind is not in great shape” says Dr Damien Kristof.
In the Gut Movie, you will also discover information about the effects of antibiotics, the environment and the oral contraceptive and its major impact on the gut microbiome and ultimately your moods.
The poo results?
Well, I won’t spoil the punch line, but needless to say, Brock experiences significant changes that makes us all question our current western diet.
The good news is, we can easily improve our gut microbiome by improving our diet. Dr Smith confirms that you can ” change your diet and within 24 hours you will have changed the major players in your gut”.
By increasing the amount of fibre, fermented foods and lots of organic vegetables you can significantly improve your microbiome.
I highly recommend, ordering yourself a copy of The Gut Movie and sit down with a platter of cut up raw veges and watch this with your families. My only criticism of this movie is, I would have loved for it to have been longer! More, More More.
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