shocking things that disrupt gut health

10 Things You'd NEVER Expect to Destroy Your Gut Health

The world is waking up to the fact that our gut health is essential for regulating mental well-being, weight control, skincare, and gastrointestinal issues. While following a healthy gut diet plan, getting a microbiome testing kit, and taking personalized probiotics can improve intestinal flora, these steps are just the beginning. There’s more to gut health than feeding beneficial bacteria. It’s also about saving your intestinal fora from things that may damage them.

As humans, we live a life of convenience. Our fast-paced lives mean we are always short on time. Therefore, we live in a world of to-go containers, zapped meals, and medications. While convenient for our day-to-day lives, these conveniences are inconvenient for the longevity of our gut health. Let’s take a look at 10 things you’d never expect to destroy your gut health!

Poor gut health and a life of convenience

For the 60 to 70 million people suffering from gastrointestinal disorders, most of these cases didn’t happen overnight 1. Poor gut health is typically an amalgamation of a lifetime’s worth of decisions.

Unfortunately, our lifestyles are set up to make us into more productive human beings, not healthier human beings. With fast food restaurants on every corner, artificial ingredients added to “healthy foods,” and pesticides tainting our crops, our system is set up for failure.

Thankfully, the world is catching onto many of these issues. Consumers are becoming increasingly interested in organic foods and follow a healthy gut diet plan.

How Ombre works

That is why Ombre helps your gut wellness in three distinct phases:

1. Microbiome testing – Determine which stomach bacteria you have

2. Targeted probiotics – Take clinically backed to address your symptoms

3. Personalized food recommendations – Discover which foods you should avoid and foods you should eat

Knowing your stomach bacteria, diversifying your intestinal flora, and following a healthy gut diet plan are all the first steps to correcting your gut health.

To achieve optimal gut health, there are few changes you need to make in your everyday life.

Unfortunately, some of these changes will be inconvenient. Others may require you to replace items around your house. This list is by no means a reason to throw everything in your house. It’s to create food for thought.

When these items do run their course in your household, and it’s time to replace them, perhaps you might make a different decision. Every little step you take toward optimal gut health is one step closer to a quality life.

things you would never expect to compromise gut health


Don’t get us wrong! There is a place in this world for antibiotics. We need them…just not as much as they’re being prescribed. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 47 million unnecessary antibiotics are prescribed each year 2.

The problem with prescribing too many antibiotics is that viruses are tricky. Viruses sort of work like our immune system in that they plan ways to survive.

Sometimes they will infiltrate bacteria and get along, other times viruses will off them. Therefore, viruses that keep getting greeted by antibiotics are learning to become antibiotic-resistant. Therefore, a superbug can come and wipe all of our intestinal flora in the future!

The other tricky with antibiotics is actually why our CEO, Richard Lin, found Thryve in the first place. Richard needed a round of antibiotics, and these meds did their job. Antibiotics wipe out harmful bacteria…and beneficial bacteria too.

As a result of this empty nest, the evil birds flocked in first. They stuck their claim and wouldn’t let the good birds in. Opportunistic bacteria winning the war landed Richard in the hospital for months in a quest to heal his gastrointestinal distress. Finally, Richard discovered probiotics and reclaimed his gut health from the damage of antibiotics.

Recent research suggests taking probiotic supplements for gut health regularly may lower the need for antibiotic use 3.

“Given the potential public health risks of widespread antibiotic misuse, innovative strategies for addressing this problem are urgently needed. “This publication is proof-of-concept that taking probiotics on a regular basis deserves consideration as a way to reduce the over-prescription of antibiotics.”

– Prof. Daniel Merenstein MD, Georgetown University School of Medicine

If you are being prescribed antibiotics, please have an open discussion with your doctor. In the case where your doctor says antibiotics are a must, please supplement with probiotics.

Bottled water

Humans have a plastic issue. We rely on this synthetic material for everything. From food storage to carrying our groceries to building our cars, plastic rules the world. It’s also starting to rule our bodies.

While all forms of plastic are a cause for concern, there’s one we should be worried about the most worried about is Bisphenol A (BPA).

Research indicates that BPA mimics estrogen in our body. While estrogen is essential for humans to function properly, many people (namely men) don’t need any added exposure. Perhaps, this is part of the reason for the rise in infertility?


The problem with BPA is that these synthetic ingredients can leach into foods, water, and permeate through our skin. One study found that 72% of 455 common household containers (including hypodermic syringes and food processor containers) released an alarming number of estrogen-like compounds into the drinks, medications, and foods they held 4.

Cell phones

Cell phones are more than just a means of communication. They’re also a way to avoid talking to strangers while waiting for a bus. However, these convenient devices may pose a gut health threat.

The world is preparing to go 5G, but there is a growing concern for the effects that electromagnetic fields (EMFs) have on our bodies.

In 2011, 77% of Americans owned smartphones. Today 95% do 5. This increase only means there are more EMFs floating around. And while we’re making this big step to 5G, we still don’t know the long-term effects of cell phones. However, preliminary reports are frightening.

One study found the EMFs found in our everyday electronic devices actually stimulate our intestinal flora. In particular, EMFs facilitate the growth of E.Coli 6. When there are too many gut bacteria, E.Coli, in the system, you may exhibit symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Dental work

Open wide! Our dental health may be having an adverse effect on our gut health. Anything you introduce to your mouth is going to enter your system, including the materials used in your dental procedures.

The greatest cause of concern for your gut health lies in your fillings. Most silver fillings are a combo of:

  • Copper
  • Silver
  • Mercury

These heavy metals are three of 23 heavy metals that “in small amounts they are required for maintaining good health but in larger amounts they can become toxic or dangerous 7.”

One study about the effects of heavy metals on gut health found that these toxins can alter intestinal flora 8. This study focused on arsenic, arsenic, cadmium, and nickel. While these heavy metals aren’t used to craft dental fillings, those three are also named as the 23 heavy metals that “that are of concern for us because of residential or occupational exposure.” You are the company you keep.

Every time we chew, it wears away at our filling. Therefore, these heavy metals are continually entering our system. That’s why research suggests if you have more than eight fillings, you may have elevated levels of mercury in your blood 9.

“Gluten-free” foods

We’ve already become well-acquainted with the horror stories of gluten. That is why so many people are turning away from the world’s number one allergen. While gluten-free products may say they’re gluten-free, your gut health (and science) disagrees.

One study examined 22 genetically gluten-free grains for gluten. Yet, all contained some traces of gluten. In fact, 32% had so much gluten, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wouldn’t classify the product as gluten-free 10.

As the study concluded, “Gluten contamination of inherently gluten-free grains, seeds, and flours not labeled gluten-free is a legitimate concern.” No, really. The reason for these alarming stats is cross-contamination. Therefore, gluten is in our environment and being blown about with the wind. Furthermore, gluten-free manufacturers are operating in gluten-tainted facilities.

Indoor air pollution

Sick of your co-workers? Well, they’re making you sick. In fact, the whole workplace is. Our office is a breeding ground for illness. For one, you’re in closed-quarters eight hours per day for five days per week. With poor ventilation in many office buildings, we sit amongst stagnant air and germs.

On top of human bacteria, we are then exposed to chemicals. There are heavy-duty cleaning supplies, chemicals from copy machines, and the overuse of hand sanitizer always in use in closed office spaces.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranked indoor pollution one of the top five environmental risks to public health 11. Seeing as we spend 90% of our day indoors, our gut health is under constant attack and may need the extra strength of probiotics.


There is a lot of controversy surrounding the safety of microwaves. It’s not the same as conventional cooking, which transfers heat from within one object to the outside of another, which then penetrates within. Microwaves use radio-like waves to generate heat from water in the food. Excited particles within then cook your food.

Using radiation to cook food raises a cause for concern in wellness circles. When you cook you’re food, it’s still cooking. Therefore, you are still consuming active radio waves that may come into contact with intestinal flora.

Conventional science dispels that theory. However, research does show that microwaving foods may retain nutrients as compared to more extended cooking methods 12. In the same breath, the analysis indicated that microwaves do lessen the nutritional value of vegetables, a food source the Standard American Diet (SAD) is already lacking.

Speaking of, the microwave is a gateway for processed foods. TV Dinners and high in preservatives, artificial ingredients, and empty calories. Relying on a microwave allows us to lessen our nutritional intake. Therefore, it’s not a cooking method conducive to a healthy gut diet plan.


Stress is killing us, literally. It is a primary culprit in so many of our health problems including mental wellness and gastrointestinal disorders. Yet, we accept stress as part of being human. We need to change that mindset.

Research suggests stress triggers our immune cells to go wild. They want to know what is causing us to feel so stressed. Our immune cells’ first response is to start inflammation. Inflammation kills off the bad guys, anti-inflammatories take care of the inflammation, and all is well. With stress, the flame keeps getting relit.

Eventually, inflammation starts to burn the cells along our gut lining. In turn, this causes toxins from our small intestine to enter our bloodstream. Stress is literally eating us up inside, and it creates conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.

Teflon pans

Research indicates that the blood samples of 96% of United States residents have elevated levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). This is the main ingredient in most of our cooking ware, namely non-stick skillets and Teflon pans.

PFOA can also be found in:

  • Computer parts
  • Coffee cups
  • Clothing
  • Car parts
  • Flooring

Unfortunately for us, research shows that PFOA disrupts immune cells. Seeing as a majority of our immune cells are made in the digestive tract, PFOA negatively impacts our gut health. In fact, research links this immune disruptor to ulcerative colitis 13.

Furthermore, Stockholm University’s Unit for Biochemical Toxicology released a report saying, they couldn’t pinpoint a low-enough dose of PFOA that didn’t have an impact on immune cells 14.


Tuna is a great way to get a lot of protein…and mercury. When you are buying tuna, please be careful of which type you are buying. White or albacore tuna has three times the mercury level (0.32 parts per million of mercury) as compared to light tuna (0.12 parts per million of mercury) 15.

If you are going to buy light tuna, look on the label for words such as “gourmet” or “torno.” That means the tuna was made with yellowfin, which has even higher mercury levels.

If you are using canned fish in your healthy gut diet plan, opt for canned salmon. It has much lower mercury levels. Plus, salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Those who follow the typical SAD are low on these crucial fats.


  • 1 “Digestive Diseases Statistics for the United States.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 Nov. 2014, www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/digestive-diseases.
  • 2 “CDC Newsroom.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0503-unnecessary-prescriptions.html.
  • 3 ISAPPscience. “Scientific Analysis Shows Probiotic Use Is Associated with Fewer Antibiotic Prescriptions.” EurekAlert!, www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-09/isaf-sas091418.php.
  • 4 Bittner, G. D., Yang, C. Z., & Stoner, M. A. (2014). Estrogenic chemicals often leach from BPA-free plastic products that are replacements for BPA-containing polycarbonate products. Environmental health: a global access science source, 13(1), 41. doi:10.1186/1476-069X-13-41.
  • 5 “Demographics of Mobile Device Ownership and Adoption in the United States.” Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, 5 Feb. 2018, www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/.
  • 6 “Evaluation of the Effect of Radiofrequency Radiation Emitted From Wi-Fi Router and Mobile Phone Simulator on the Antibacterial Susceptibility of Pathogenic Bacteria Listeria Monocytogenes and Escherichia Coli.” SAGE Journals, journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1559325816688527.
  • 7 Jaishankar, M., Tseten, T., Anbalagan, N., Mathew, B. B., & Beeregowda, K. N. (2014). Toxicity, mechanism and health effects of some heavy metals. Interdisciplinary toxicology, 7(2), 60–72. doi:10.2478/intox-2014-0009.
  • 8 Richardson, Joshua B., et al. “Exposure to Toxic Metals Triggers Unique Responses from the Rat Gut Microbiota.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 26 Apr. 2018, www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-24931-w.
  • 9 “Have More than Eight Dental Fillings? It Could Increase the Mercury Levels in Your Blood.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 27 Sept. 2016, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160927143042.htm.
  • 10 Thompson, Tricia, et al. “Gluten Contamination of Grains, Seeds, and Flours in the United States: a Pilot Study.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20497786.
  • 11 “Why Indoor Air Quality Is Important to Schools.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 25 Oct. 2018, www.epa.gov/iaq-schools/why-indoor-air-quality-important-schools.
  • 12 Harvard Health Publishing. “Microwave Cooking and Nutrition.” Harvard Health, www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/microwave-cooking-and-nutrition.
  • 13 Steenland, K., Kugathasan, S., & Barr, D. B. (2018). PFOA and ulcerative colitis. Environmental research, 165, 317–321. doi:10.1016/j.envres.2018.05.007.

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