Experts highlight the correlation between aggressive hygiene practices and poor gut health, good food and good health
Dubai-UAE: 13 February, 2018 – As the world population currently increases to 4.3 births every second, adding economic, environmental and social pressure to our planet, and with an unprecedented occurrence of autoimmune diseases and obesity, addressing health and healthcare issues is becoming increasingly critical. This was the key message put forward by Dr. Robynne Chutkan, a pioneer in the field of integrative gastroenterology and the founder of the Digestive Center for Wellness, on day two of World Government Summit (WGS 2018) in Dubai today.
During her session, entitled ‘The Microbiome: Bidding Farewell to Medication', Dr. Chutkan explained how, following the huge shift of people from farm to factory, autoimmune diseases have increased drastically. Studies into the sky rocketing rates of asthma and eczema in children show that those from larger families, exposed to higher number of microbes from siblings and increased access to nature, have lower rates of autoimmune diseases, compared to those children from affluent households who live in a more sterile environment.
“We see that countries with more aggressive hygiene practices, with wide spread chlorination of water and antibiotics in food have a far higher rate of autoimmune diseases. We are literally scrubbing away our essential microbes and ruining our own ecosystems, and our ability to prevent and fight diseases,” said Dr. Chutkan.
Dr. Chutkan went on to explain how, while antibiotics have revolutionized the practice of medicine saving millions of lives every day, increased use of antibiotics is strongly linked to the development of autoimmune diseases and obesity. “Just five days of broad spectrum antibiotic use will remove one third of gut bacteria.
Those missing microbes never come back in the same robust way as they were there initially. By addressing the overuse of antibiotics, we can reduce the occurrence of autoimmune disease and obesity. And through focusing on our diets, improving our microbiomes and immune systems, we will have less need for antibiotics and will positively influence the likelihood of developing autoimmune diseases and obesity.”
She continued: “The future of healthcare in the age of the microbiome will include an increase in health and wellbeing; these invisible organisms can positively impact the cost of healthcare worldwide.”
Dr. Chutkan's address was followed by Adam Melonas, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Chew LLC, a food innovation lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who discussed the topic of ‘Good Food for Good Health'.
On the importance of educating people about the intrinsic connection between food and health, Melonas said: “When we think of educating people about food, we need to change the word ‘diet' and substitute it with ‘lifestyle'. We need to encourage people to start listening to their bodies again. Feeling good shouldn't be rocket science, yet there are 100 million users of antacids per month in the United States, who take pills to silence their bodies when they are telling them that something is bad for them through heartburn.”
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the World Government Summit 2018 runs from February 11 to 13 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai. The landmark event convenes more than 4,000 participants from 140 countries, including heads of state and governments, as well as top-tier representatives of 16 international organizations.
Hosting more than 130 speakers across 120 interactive sessions, WGS 2018 features six distinct forums that examine the challenges of vital sectors for the future with a view to finding the best resolutions for the greater global good. Furthermore, over 20 specialized global reports spanning key sectors and topics of the summit are being launched during the event.