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7 Things You Didn’t Know About Gut Health: A Functional Medicine Toronto Fact List


Your gut is home to countless amounts of bacteria –over 100 trillion, in fact! So, did you know that functional medicine from our Toronto clinic can help maintain the health of your unique microbiome?

The significance of gut health is far-reaching – when your intestinal health changes, your overall functioning can alter, too. This can affect how your body systems function, affecting your metabolism, the formation of inflammation, and immune function. So, when you take your microbiome into consideration for reaching health goals, it can offer beneficial effects.

Understanding how to modify your current health and lifestyle factors (i.e. exercise, dietary intake of whole foods, etc.) can contribute to gut health improvements. The Toronto Functional Medicine Centre (TFMC) lists facts about gastrointestinal health below, and how to contact us for core tests. 

Facts to note about your gut health

  1.     Your gut microbiome resembles a bustling ecosystem of naturally thriving bacteria, fungi, and more. Though small in size, gut microbes – which are the contents of the gastrointestinal microbiome – help protect the body from harmful pathogens.Eating a balanced diet and ensuring your fibre intake is sufficient can encourage a healthy gut status.
  2.     When you’re born, you’re exposed to microorganisms via the birth canal and from consuming breast milk. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health further explains, “Exactly which microorganisms the infant is exposed to depends solely on the species found in the mother.” Then, as you mature, your daily diet and lifestyle alters your gut environment with beneficial or detrimental bacteria.
  3.     The microbiome contains symbiotic and pathogenic microbes. Symbiotic microbes contain a wide range of healthy components and pathogenic ones contain risky factors that may promote disease conditions. For a body with optimal health conditions, these microbes can live in harmony without issues. But this stability can be disturbed by viruses, poor eating habits, frequent antibiotic use, and such; when this happens, an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria can form. This can make the body vulnerable to chronic disease issues, such as diabetes and IBD.
  4.     When long-term health goals include dietary changes, this can promote amendments to your gastrointestinal health. The Institute for Functional Medicine reported that a study of patients with obesity led to positive changes in their microbiota. For one year, these patients ate a low-fat/high complex carb diet or the Mediterranean diet. At the end of the study, researchers implied that “… long-term consumption of either diet exerts a protective effect on the development of type 2 diabetes due to an increasing abundance of Roseburia genus and F. prausnitzii[bacteria] respectively,” the Institute confirmed.
  5.     Your microbiota helps optimize immune function by disintegrating potentially harmful compounds. It also supports the synthesis of nutrients, such as amino acids, vitamin K, and B vitamins.
  6.     The gut lining is responsible for producing around 95% of serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects your mood, sleep, memory, and learning; it also plays a role in sexual health. Serotonin is released from the gut, then freed into your bloodstream and sopped up by platelets. It’s no wonder that scientists discuss the gut’s role in brain health as a gut-brain axis, which is a network that bridges a path between the gut and brain.

Suggested reading: Using Nutraceuticals To Support Mood With Functional Medicine From Toronto

  1.     A functional medicine practitioner (i.e. a naturopathic doctor or medical doctor who practices this health model) can help revitalize your gastrointestinal health. We do this at the TFMC, and we can offer a lab test to measure microbiome health including SIBO small intestine bacterial overgrowth. This gut health test may be advised for certain chronic conditions, too, such as fibromyalgia, IBS, or celiac disease, as poor gut health can exacerbate these conditions. We use the results from this test to tailor your therapies to include oral supplements (i.e. prebiotics, probiotics, herbal antimicrobials etc.), revamp lifestyle factors, and potentially customize doses of nutrients for adjunctive IV drips. 

We could go on about this topic, but we have limited space here! Please book a visit with us to discuss the status of your current gut health. We can recommend functional lab tests and tailor functional medicine therapies for your personal needs.

A sneak peek into our approach to wellness

Our clinic, the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre (TFMC), is located in the Yorkville neighborhood, and we provide in-person and virtual consultations for the convenience of our patients.

Our functional medicine testing services include a wide variety of tests that may not be available through conventional medicine practices. Along with testing gut bacteria, we offer core tests for food sensitivities, DUTCH testing for hormone imbalances, and the metabolomix test a personalized nutritional assessment to measure for nutritional deficiencies.

Customized treatment plans are designed by the TFMC with the integrative functional medicine model, which recognizes the distinctiveness of each patient’s biology. Our health practitioners have experience adapting therapies for various conditions, including digestive issues, inflammatory conditions, chronic pain, autoimmune conditions, and other concerns. 

When you become a TFMC patient, you have the option to add IV therapy to your comprehensive treatment plan. This treatment modality is available as adjunctive support, which should be administered with regular oral supplements and functional medicine therapies. Dosages are customized using functional medicine principles. As we are an integrative medicine clinic, we may combine different treatment modalities in treatment plans, such as Western medicine, naturopathic medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, holistic nutrition, acupuncture, herbal medicine, hormone replacement therapies (i.e. bioidentical hormones), and other therapies.

You have the potential to transform your current gut health! Our personalized approach to wellness could offer you a positive outlook on wellness – call 416-968-6961 to request gut health testing with functional medicine from Toronto.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. You should always consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of information you have read from the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre website or other affiliate media.



Appleton J. The Gut-Brain Axis: Influence of Microbiota on Mood and Mental Health. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2018 Aug;17(4):28-32. PMID: 31043907; PMCID: PMC6469458.

Carabotti M, Scirocco A, Maselli MA, Severi C. The gut-brain axis: interactions between enteric microbiota, central and enteric nervous systems. Ann Gastroenterol. 2015 Apr-Jun;28(2):203-209. PMID: 25830558; PMCID: PMC4367209.

de Vos WM, Tilg H, Van Hul M, et al, Gut microbiome and health: mechanistic insights, Gut 2022;71:1020-1032.

Ferranti EP, Dunbar SB, Dunlop AL, Corwin EJ. 20 things you didn’t know about the human gut microbiome. J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2014 Nov-Dec;29(6):479-81. doi: 10.1097/JCN.0000000000000166. PMID: 25290618; PMCID: PMC4191858.

Health, Nutrition, & the Role of the Microbiome” from the Institute for Functional Medicine, viewed on February 1, 2024.

Microbiome” from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), reviewed July 7, 2023, viewed on February 1, 2024.

The Microbiome” from the Nutrition Source, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, viewed on February 1, 2024. 


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