More than half of Brits have made decisions by trusting their gut

Six in 10 Brits have trusted their gut to make life-changing decisions – including whether to start a relationship, buy a house, and accept a job,

Other major decisions include whether to book a particular holiday and whether to get divorced or remain married.

But it’s not just the big decisions they rely on their instincts for – 38 per cent of the 2,000 adults polled also depend on their gut to guide them when making small everyday choices.

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Despite the reliance on it, 35 per cent are ‘clueless’ about what the gut is and what it does. Many of those polled admit they know more about Netflix, the offside rule, TV show ‘Traitors’, and Taylor Swift than they do about this part of their anatomy.

Commissioned by Herbalife, the study found almost 45 per cent consider gut health to be a priority – however, 72 per cent don’t take any supplements to support its function.

Dr Richard Allison, nutritionist for the global health and wellness company, said: “As the research shows, Brits ‘trust their gut’ for a lot of decisions – big and small. But surprisingly they know very little about one of their most important organs in our bodies. The gut not only helps digest food to support a healthy digestive system, but its function aids our bodies physically and also has a significant impact on our day-to-day mental health.”

The gut – which typically refers to the organs in the gastrointestinal tract, including the stomach, intestines, and colon – plays a vital role in the healthy functioning of the human body, yet 18 per cent have no idea where in the body it’s located.

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And 95 per cent don’t know how much serotonin the average human gut produces – with the answer fittingly, around 95 per cent.

The driving force

Meanwhile, just five per cent know approximately 70 per cent of the body’s immune cells are in the gut.

More than seven in 10 (72 per cent) correctly identified the gut as the organ which provides all other organs with life-supporting nutrition, although 15 per cent incorrectly believe the heart does this. Carried out through OnePoll, the study also identified widespread lack of understanding surrounding probiotics – live bacteria and yeasts which are good for the digestive system.

Some mistakenly believe probiotics are naturally contained within pasta (five per cent), ice cream (four per cent), coffee (four per cent), fried chicken (four per cent) and even cake (three per cent).

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Dr Richard Allision, nutritionist for Herbalife, makers of Microbiotic Max, a food supplement containing probiotics, said: “Our busy lifestyles mean that we’re prone to skipping meals and eating on the go."

But the member of the Sport and Exercise Nutritionist Register (SENR) believes supplements formulated with a combination of live bacteria and fibre are "an easy way to nourish your gut effortlessly.", and added this combination "helps fight off the less friendly bacteria and boosts immunity against infections.”

Top 10 things Brits know more about than gut health

  1. Mobile phone apps
  2. Netflix
  3. My football team
  4. The offside rule
  5. The Royal Family
  6. Air fryers
  7. TikTok
  8. Traitors
  9. EastEnders storylines
  10. Taylor Swift

Dr Richard Allison’s top five ways to keep your gut healthy

  1. Introduce a new type of fruit or vegetable each week
  2. Chew your food, minimum of 15-20 times
  3. Avoid large meals three hours before bed
  4. Have fibre-rich food everyday
  5. Stay hydrated, drink plenty water throughout the day
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