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The ugly side of the #guthealth trend…

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It really is amazing to see the power of the gut starting to be recognised across the world  BUT with that comes the bandwagon effect… enter the spread of false information, along with fad products and even books filled with quackery, all to make a quick buck.

The reality is, whether it’s your neighbour, hairdresser, favourite artist or DJs, everyone has their own personal experience of nutrition and gut health, which means it’s all too tempting to hand out advice.

Sadly some people have a way of positioning themselves as ‘experts’ and giving the impression of credibility, even when they’re totally unqualified. They might say they’re backed by or have spoken to registered dietitians and scientists, but do they really get everything reviewed by ‘nameless experts’?

Unlike registered clinicians, people aren’t legally obligated to tell the truth. Some even claim to be associated with a university but keep in mind anyone can be a study participant.

The truth is gut health is complex and it’s easy to misinterpret or oversimplify the science, so much so that it’s at best meaningless, or at worst outright dangerous.

I haven’t studied and worked my butt off as a dietitian and research fellow in the gut health field for 10+ years to let unqualified jokers try hijack the real science and manipulate it for their own profit. I am protective of you guys, you deserve the facts not the fads!

So please protect yourselves, always check your sources and seek out highly trained professionals. Here are some questions to keep in mind.

  • What are their credentials? Are they a registered dietitian or registered nutritionist themselves with specific qualifications or training in gut health, or are they just trying to exploit the trend?

  • Are they making broad claims or giving advice without explaining the science or mentioning a clinical study?

We can’t completely stop junk info from being shared (we have freedom of speech after all!) but we can demand better and be smarter with who we listen to. Don’t take advice at face value and always be curious.