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Chlorinated Water & The Microbiome

For much of my young adulthood I struggled with digestive and skin issues, from eczema to constipation, to intestinal pain and bloating.  I remember going to see a naturopath when I was in my early 20’s to try to figure out what was going on. At that time there wasn't as much research as there is today and there were very few naturopaths. Today we are so fortunate to have access to cutting edge research, information, high quality supplements and dietary alternatives. 

There are numerous factors that contribute to gut health including diet, lifestyle, stress levels, exercise and now the most recent studies show a link between drinking and bathing in CHLORINATED water and gut health!!

To highlight the link between chlorine and gut health, I’ll briefly explain the role of the microbiome: 

What is the microbiome ?

The microbiome is the collection of microorganisms that live inside your large intestine—tiny microscopic bacteria, viruses and fungi. There are over a thousand species of bacteria in your body and roughly 40 trillion bacterial cells in your body, making the microbiome a huge influence on your health.

Why is a healthy microbiome important for optimum health?

Research shows that your brain and your gut are in constant communication through your nervous system and blood molecules.  Having a diverse group of “good” bacteria and “bad” bacteria in your gut keeps everything in balance. 

When your microbiome is balanced, beneficial bacteria helps control your digestion, your immune system, and your brain health, among other things. They also multiply, so the bad bacteria (which would put you at risk of Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or irritable bowel syndrome) doesn’t have space to grow.

Maintaining a healthy bacterial balance is the key to a healthy digestive system.

We now know that drinking and showering in chlorinated water causes microbiome imbalances:

Recent studies show that regular exposure to drinking and bathing in chlorinated water negatively impacts the quantity of good and bad bacteria in the gut. 

“It is possible that chlorination-induced shifts in the gut microbiota could be causal to gastrointestinal [GI] epithelial structure and function, as many of the bacteria significantly altered by chlorination have previously been linked with gut permeability and inflammation,”wrote the study authors.

When you ingest or absorb chlorine consistently over time, the chlorine goes to work doing its job of killing the good and the bad bacteria in your gut creating an imbalance. 

When an imbalance in your microbiome occurs you may experience digestive issues like IBS, constipation, bloating  or diarrhea.

If you suffer from digestive issues and have tried everything, consider the type of water you’re using, not just for drinking, but for cooking, bathing, coffee and tea. 

Removing 99% of the chlorine from your shower/bathing water is simple, easy and cost effective with an easy to install shower filter. 

As always, we’re here to help. Please reach out with any questions !

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