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Gut Health

Introducing The Gut Stuff: Q&A with the Mac Twins

Introducing The Gut Stuff: Q&A with the Mac Twins
precisionbiotics
Writer and expert20 days ago
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Identical twin sisters Lisa and Alana Macfarlane, affectionately known as the Mac Twins, have become renowned figures in the realm of wellness and nutrition. With backgrounds in broadcasting and a shared passion for health, they have combined their expertise to educate and inspire others on the importance of gut health.

Armed with their infectious energy and insatiable curiosity, the Mac Twins have made it their mission to demystify the gut and empower individuals to take control of their well-being. Through their innovative approach, they aim to break down complex scientific concepts into digestible nuggets of information, making gut health accessible to all.

Join us as we sit down with the Mac Twins for an insightful Q&A session, where they'll share their wisdom, debunk common myths, and provide practical tips for optimal gut health. Get ready to discover the fascinating world within your gut and unlock the key to overall wellness with The Gut Stuff!

LISA AND ALANA
What motivated you to get involved with PrecisionBiotics?

We first came across the product when we visited John Cryan and Ted Dinan (who wrote the Gut Brain Axis chapter of our book!) at Cork University. By chance Alana then got chatting to Katy Sorensen – Precisionbiotics Global Medical Lead, at a conference in Milan in February and realised there was a lot of synergy between the companies to educate our audiences!

What inspired you to start The Gut Stuff, and what motivated you to share your journey with others?

We became ‘gut activists’ after taking part in Twin Research at Kings college (under Tim Spector), once we realised what our guts actually were (!) and how important the gut microbiome was to health we couldn’t help but want to shout it from the rooftops!

How has your personal experience with gut health influenced your approach to educating others about it?

We were just like everyone else, our knowledge about gut health before was ZERO. So I think sharing our journey and the ‘lightbulb moments’ that made us so passionate about it has helped how we relay the information we get from the incredible scientists and clinicians in a way EVERYONE can understand!

What are some common misconceptions about gut health that you aim to dispel through your work?

People are still confused about what their gut actually is (My beer belly? My Stomach?), then when you start to talk about ‘the microbiome’ it can be overwhelming so just getting everyone on the same baseline is fundamental to our mission.

Could you share some simple yet effective tips for maintaining a healthy gut microbiome in everyday life?

Educate yourself on what it is and why it’s important this helps to change behaviour, gut health is about simple swaps over a long period of time so we need the motivation to do that – there’s no quick fix yet, unfortunately!

What role do you believe diet plays in gut health, and are there any particular foods you recommend for optimal gut health?

We believe diet plays a key part in looking after your gut microbiome, it’s also something we have control over unlike how or where we’re born! Our key pillars for gut health when it comes to diet are “up your fibre “(30 grams per day) “plant variety” (30 different plants per week) and “try ferments” (think kefir and sauerkraut!)

How do you navigate the balance between promoting evidence-based information and the influx of trendy or unproven gut health products and practices?

We try to counteract the nonsense out there by teaming up with the best experts in the space to bring the credible evidence based education, but also tips and recommendations that are affordable and accessible to everyone!

Can you discuss any surprising or lesser-known connections between gut health and other aspects of well-being, such as mental health or immune function?

There have been many ‘lightbulb moments’ for us as we said earlier, but when we found out our guts were physically linked to our brains (via the vagus nerve) that blew our minds! More science comes out daily with the gut being linked to another health indicator or disease which is fascinating for the field but we must be careful not to sensationalise the science.

In your experience, what are some of the most impactful changes people have reported after implementing gut-friendly habits into their lives?

It’s so far ranging and personalised – which we think is the beauty of it! Improved skin, sleep, mood, energy, reducing symptoms, the list is endless!

Finally, what are some practical strategies our followers can implement to support their gut health while managing busy schedules and lifestyle demands?

Don’t be overwhelmed and try to change everything at once, as we said before, simple swaps over a long period of time is our ethos for gut health, think things like, ‘this week I’m going to focus on keeping the skins on my veggies’ or ‘getting out in nature’ everyday! We’re certainly not asking you to change who you are or restrict yourself from fun or things you enjoy, but to add stuff into your lifestyle that’s thinking about your health AND also the ecosystem living inside you!

LISA AND ALANA
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