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  • Dr. David Della Morte Canosci

HEALTH STARTS FROM THE GUT: MICROBIOTA.

Microbiota are strongly related to health and the immune system. They consist of a set of bacterial cells, viruses and fungi present throughout the intestines and are influenced by several factors. First and foremost, by diet and lifestyle.


Occasionally, other factors that can alter the microbiota can be antibiotic or pharmacological therapies. Even before we’re born, the health of the mother during the first months of pregnancy can have a significant effect on our microbiota.


Also, the method of childbirth and nutrition of the baby (i.e. breast-feeding or formula milk).


The balance of intestinal flora should be a priority for our well-being, since they carry out a number of activities that affect the state of our health:

  • Protective functions: flora are very useful because they protect the intestinal mucosa from harmful microorganisms, supporting the immune system and providing potentially antibiotic substances.

  • Immunomodulatory functions: they are fundamental to the defense measurement of the activation level of the system itself.

  • Structural functions: they are essential in preserving the integrity of the intestinal mucosa and in maintaining a healthy intestinal structure.

  • Metabolic functions: including the production of vitamins and regulatory substances such as short-chain fatty acids.


How to support gut microbiota

To ensure balanced gut microbiota, one must consume plenty of probiotics. These are positive bacteria contained in certain foods and supplements that thrive in the intestines.


They are even more effective when taken with prebiotics, non-digestible organic substances capable of inducing the healthy proliferation of probiotic bacteria.



To ensure balanced gut microbiota, one must consume plenty of probiotics. These are positive bacteria contained in certain foods and supplements that thrive in the intestines.


They are even more effective when taken with prebiotics, non-digestible organic substances capable of inducing the healthy proliferation of probiotic bacteria.


Prebiotics, however, must survive the digestive processes of the first segment of the digestive tract (up to the small intestine).


They act as a fermentable nutrient substrate for the gut microflora, positively manipulate microbiotic flora to the advantage of symbiotic flora (i.e. bifidobacteria, lactobacilli) and, in general, stimulate positive health effects.


The most studied and known prebiotics are oligosaccharides, in particular inulin, which is industrially obtained mainly from chicory root and fructooligosaccharides (FOS).


Fermenting thanks to gut microflora, prebiotics create lactic acid and short-chain carboxylic acids, which, due to their acidity, produce an environment favorable to symbionts and hostile to pathogenic microorganisms; the latter if present in excessive quantities, facilitate inflammation of the mucosa, with negative consequences on the entire body.


Furthermore, prebiotics help to better absorb nutrients, water, and some minerals in ionized form, especially magnesium and calcium.


Studies have also shown that they are useful in decreasing the plasma concentration of cholesterol and triglycerides.

The recommended doses range from from 2 to 10 grams per day. They are recommended to those who follow a diet low in fruits and vegetables, suffer from gastrointestinal disorders, or are recovering from antibiotic therapy.


They can be found in live lactic ferments and in some vegetables. The fibers in these foods then become nourishment for probiotics, which encourage healthy digestion.


What foods support microbiota?

To promote the balance of microbiota and strengthen immune defenses, the most useful nutrients are:

  1. Fiber

  2. Whole grains

  3. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids (such as those of extra virgin olive oil or dried fruit)

  4. Antioxidants in fruit



Since they possess oligosaccharides, it is recommended that you regularly consume the following:

  • Garlic, asparagus, oats, bananas, artichokes, chicory, onions, wheat, leeks, soy, and lots of fruits, vegetables, and legumes, due to their prebiotic contents.

Foods that naturally contain probiotics include, among others:

  • Unpasteurized yogurt and cheese, sauerkraut, pickles, and unpasteurized vegetables in oil. You can increase the amount of probiotics you consume by taking specific supplements, primarily live beneficial yeasts contained in pills, powders or liquids, of different types for different functions.

On the contrary, a diet rich in sugar and high in fat is harmful to gut microbiota.

At Palazzo Fiuggi, food is considered and treated as a real medicine. We provide the proper portions and help you find ways to consume the nutrients that are best for your body.


With Palazzo Fiuggi’s nutrition programs, you can discover what is the best diet for you.