20+ Gut Health Statistics & Facts (2022)


Gut health statistics

In this article, I have compiled some interesting gut health statistics along with everything necessary you need to know to improve your gut health.

Quick fact: Do you know the Gut Health Industry Market size is predicted to increase to $89.9 billion by 2030 from $44.4 billion in 2022? And the year 2022 has seen the highest rise in gut health consciousness by 52%.

Crazy numbers, right? There are more 🙂

Ever wondered why men and women think differently? Apart from other reasons, our gut microbiome also dictates some differences between the two genders.

Therefore, your gut is not just a major controller of your digestive processes, but it is also known as your second brain. Moreover, it also plays an important role in your immune function and determines your physique as well.

And this is not all; there’s a lot more to it that I have discussed in the subsequent sections. So, keep reading to find out all about it!

Latest Gut Health Statistics & Facts 2022

Since you have got an idea of the importance of the gut in our body so, here are some of the most significant gut health statistics that you’ll be amazed to learn about.

 1. 70-80% of your immune system is in your gut.

(Source: NCBI)

70-80% of your immune system is in your gut

What Hippocrates said so long ago that ‘All disease begins in the gut’ is proven right by science now.  It is true because over 70% of our immune system is present inside our stomach.

That’s because your immune system is located in your digestive tract. And that’s where the majority of your body’s bacteria live. These bacteria are essential for human health because they help us digest food and synthesize vitamins, and they also play a role in immune function.

Your gut flora can be damaged by antibiotics, infection, stress, or a poor diet, leading to an imbalance in the gut flora and allowing bad bacteria to overpopulate. This can cause problems such as intestinal inflammation, leaky gut syndrome, food allergies and intolerances, and even autoimmune diseases.

Therefore, any disease-causing microbe has to jump over the first fence of defense in the gut before it can enter your system and successfully conquer your health.

2. Only 1 in 4 adults prioritize their digestive health.

(Source: IFIC)

Only 1 in 4 adults prioritize their digestive health

The International Food Information Council (IFIC) conducted a 2022 gut health and probiotic survey on 1000 individuals, which showed that although a 48% majority realize the importance of digestive health for them, other aspects of their health sit at a higher priority.  

Compared to this, 24% of the pie chart is dominated by people who ACTUALLY pay attention to their gut health.

Interestingly these adults were aged less than 45 years, had a college degree, and were earning around $7000 every month.

3. 2022 has seen a rise in gut health consciousness by 52%

(Source: foodinsight.org)

2022 has seen a rise in gut health consciousness by 52%

According to the 2022 food and health survey, compared to 2021, 2022 has seen a 13% increase in consumers making healthy food decisions.

To elaborate on this, only 39% of consumers followed a diet and eating pattern in 2021. 

Whereas in 2022, most of 52% of consumers are focusing on clean and mindful eating.

4. Gut Health Industry Market size is predicted to increase to $89.9 billion by 2030

(Source: Grand View Research)

Gut Health Industry Market size is predicted to hit to $89.9 billion by 2030

The global digestive health products market is expanding evermore.

According to the Grand View Research report for the period of 2020-2030, in 2021, global digestive health products accounted for $44.4 billion, which is predicted to increase to $89.9 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 8.2%.

Digestive Health Product Market

Here the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is the average rate of growth in the revenue generated between two given years.

5. The Probiotics Market is reported to be worth $91.1 billion by 2026

(Source: Markets & Markets)

The Probiotics Market is reported to be worth $91.1 billion by 2026

Gut health products and supplements like probiotics are also topping the global market trends.

The Markets and Markets report forecasts an increase in the global probiotics market from 65.9 billion in 2022 to $91.1 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 8.3%,

6. About 11.3% of the U.S. population suffers from a digestive disease.

(Source: CDC.gov)

According to the statistics on digestive disease in the United States provided by CDC, in 2018, 37.2 million Americans visited the doctor due to digestive concerns.

Moreover, in 2018, 5.9% (14.8 million) of American adults were diagnosed with an ulcer.

7. 2 out of 3 Americans have neglected their gut health

(Source: NCBI)

2 out of 3 Americans have neglected their gut health

According to a 2018 study, two-thirds (61%) of the 71,812 surveyed Americans suffered from at least one digestive symptom in the past week. Among all the symptoms, the most common concern was heartburn or acid reflux which was suffered by one-third (30.9%) of Americans in the past week.

This was followed by abdominal pain, which occurred in nearly a quarter (24.8%) of Americans in the last seven days.

After that, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation were the next most common concern among one-fifth of Americans.

8. IBD is more prevalent among U.S. women.

(Source: Statista)

According to Statista, more than 3.1 million Americans were diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or colitis in the year 2015-2016. Out of these, 60.9% of the patients were women, while only 39% were men.

9. U.S has the largest chunk of IBD sufferers in the world.

(Source: Statista)

According to Statista, Inflammatory Bowel disease (IBD) is most prevalent in the U.S. compared to other select countries in North America and Europe.

This is evident from the fact that in 2020, around 2.5 million Americans were suffering from this digestive disease. Consequently, the numbers are projected to increase to 3.5 million by 2030.

Compared to this, New Zealand has the least prevalence of IBD, with just about 37 thousand patients in 2020.

10. More than 40% of the world population has Functional Gastrointestinal diseases

(Source: gastrojournal.org

Nearly half of the world is burdened with some GI disease. These digestive disorders statistics worldwide were compiled in this 2021 global study.

And according to it, more than 40% of the world population has Functional Gastrointestinal diseases (FGIDs). However, Turkey and India surprisingly have the lowest FGIDs with less than 10% prevalence.

11. Gastrointestinal diseases hit women more (46.5%)

According to the worldwide survey, 46.5% of the adult female population are diagnosed with at least one FGID compared to just 34.2% of males.

12. Bowel disorders are more prevalent in women.

Similarly, the survey mentioned above also shows that around the world, more women (5.2%) are diagnosed with IBS as compared to men (2.9%).

Conversely, the IBS subtype pattern of both genders also varies. Women are more likely to have IBS type C compared to D.  In comparison, men are more likely to have IBS type D compared to C.

13. Your body has as much bacteria as human cells.

(Source: Nature)

Recently two researchers from Israel, Ron Milo and Ron Sender came up with a new bacterium-to-cell ratio of 1.3:1 and debunked the previously believed approximation of 1:10.

According to them, an average 1.7 meters tall, 70 kg man in his 20’s or 30’s may be crowded with about 30 trillion human cells and 39 trillion bacteria in his body. However, these numbers may flip in favor of human cells after defecation.

14. Your gut can dictate your brain’s script.

(Source: NCBI)

Your gut can dictate your brain’s script

Recent research has shown that the gut microbiota can produce the CNS neurotransmitters such as GABA, noradrenaline, and dopamine.

These travel through the gut-brain connection and control your mood and behaviors, and may even cause neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s.

15. A happy tummy can tune up your mood.

Research has found that dysbiosis in the intestinal microbiome may cause stress, depression, and anxiety.

But fret not; just treating yourself to a dark chocolate bar that feeds the good bacteria in your gut will help to light up your mood instantly.

16. Your gut has more bacteria than one teaspoon of soil

(Source: USDA)

Your gut has more bacteria than one teaspoon of soil

According to the Human Microbiome Project, your gut microbiome represents about 1 trillion microbes from approximately 300 to 500 bacterial species.

Compared to this, according to the USDA, there are between 100 million and 1 billion bacteria in 1 teaspoon of productive soil. 

Moreover, the colon houses the most microbes, whereas the small intestine has the least microbial cells.

17. The secret of youthfulness lies in the gut.

(Source: NCBI)

A 2021 study performed on over 9000 individuals identified two factors that drive healthy aging and increased survival in individuals above 80 years of age. One of them is the continuous drift towards a unique gut microbiome composition.

And the second is the subsequent depletion of the bacterial genera Bacteroidetes

18. Your gut microbiome holds the key to weight loss.

Your gut microbiome holds the key to weight loss

This 2019 review concluded that obese individuals have a higher ratio of firmicutes to Bacteroidetes. Hence, the obese microbiota may lead to higher deposition of fatty tissue and weight gain without any changes in diet.

You know, the gut microbiome is a complex ecosystem of microorganisms that inhabits the gastrointestinal tract. It’s now well-known that the gut microbiome plays a crucial role in human health, including weight loss.

There are countless microbial species living in the gut, and each person has a unique gut microbiome. The composition of the gut microbiome can be affected by many factors, including diet, lifestyle, age, and environment.

Our research have shown that when the gut microbiome is imbalanced (known as dysbiosis), it can lead to weight gain and obesity. Conversely, when the gut microbiome is healthy and balanced, it can help promote weight loss.

19. Your gut microbiome shapes your stool characteristics

(Source: NCBI)

According to this 2019 study, the richer your microbiome, the lesser will be your stool frequency.

Moreover, an abundance of Prevotella species causes loose stool, while the greater Ruminococcaceae-Bacteroides genus makes the feces hard.

20. Your gut controls your sexual desires.

(Source: NCBI)

Your gut controls your sexual desires

This 2021 study showed that a healthy gut is responsible for the libido in women. The results revealed that an abundance of Ruminococcaceae species makes women horny.

In contrast, an abundance of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species correlates with a lower sex drive.

How to improve gut health?

Since you now know that just by taking care of your gut, you can protect yourself from different ailments and improve your quality of life.

So, here are some tips on how you can boost your gut health:

Cut down on sugar

Sugars should be synonymous with sweet poison as they feed the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut, which causes a decline in gut health.

Moreover, research also proves that gut dysbiosis caused by artificial sweeteners like sucrose, sucralose acesulfame, potassium, etc., that are added to most processed foods may lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer.

So, follow the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 and try to limit your sugar intake to no more than 10% of your total caloric intake. 

For a 2,000-calorie/day diet, this translates into 200 calories or about 12 teaspoons of sugar per day.

Load up on probiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria or yeast that help to increase the microbial diversity of the good microorganisms in your gut microbiome.

You can start by adding at least one probiotic-rich food to your everyday diet. For example, it could be yogurt, kimchi, kefir, cheese, pickled foods, kombucha, miso, sauerkraut, or tempeh.

These fermented foods are rich in microbial species like Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Saccharomyces, Streptococcus, Enterococcus, Escherichia, and Bacillus.

And these species may help to prevent infections, improve skin, relieve mental illnesses like depression and anxiety and promote efficient digestion and nutrient absorption.

Eat more prebiotics 

Prebiotics like fiber is a kind of growth supplement for the friendly bacteria in your gut.

Therefore, a thriving diversity of good bacteria like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species in the gut will help to keep the numbers of harmful bacteria in check.

You can spot prebiotic foods by their high fiber, starch, antioxidant, and nutrient content. These may include garlic, asparagus, banana, apple, oats, or cocoa.

Maintaining your gut with prebiotics will enhance your overall health because it helps to regulate your bowel movements and prevent constipation. Additionally, it enables the colon microbiota to enhance mineral absorption from there.

Last but not least, it helps to ease gut inflammation and prevents chronic diseases.

Increase your activity level

A recent 2022 study has reported that a higher activity level changes gut microbiota composition, metabolite concentration, and Short Chain Fatty acids (SCFAs) levels.

Here the mentioning of SCFAs holds importance because they promote better gut health by regulating the intestinal barrier integrity, gastrointestinal secretions, and gut motility.

Moreover, higher step counts increase the gut diversity by three microorganisms at the family level and 11 microorganisms at the genus level.  Research has found that aerobic exercise increases intestinal Bacteroides in the study participants.

You can also restructure the aging-induced alterations in microbial composition and redeem the proper functioning of the gut with regular exercise.

However, you need to get tied to a consistent exercise routine for long-term gut health benefits.

Get more sleep

If you are someone who misses out on a lot of sleep, then you may have realized that lack of sleep can upset the gut and lead to digestive issues. A 2020 review explains that sleeplessness can cause an overgrowth of specific gut bacteria, which may lead to metabolic disturbances and whose end products may cause fatigue.

Therefore, try to follow the National Sleep Foundation guidelines and get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night for a healthier gut.

Observe intermittent fasting

The development in research has revealed that intermittent fasting can promote the growth of gut-healthy bacteria.

You can see the evidence in a recent 2022 study that was conducted on volunteers who observed a month of intermittent fasting in which they refrained from food for approximately 16 hours a day.

Strikingly, among the many changes that fasting dictated on the gut microbiome, the most notable one is the upregulation of the bacteria Akkermansia muciniphila.

The results showed that fasting increased A. muciniphila by 83% in young individuals. Comparatively, it increased by 74% in the middle-aged cohort.

And, for the non-fasting cohort, the upregulation of this bacteria was just 20%.

Here, the A. muciniphila bacteria is of importance because it strengthens the gut mucosal lining, which protects against gastric acid. Additionally, it may also prevent colon cancer and is a major producer of the compound propionate which reduces gut inflammation.

Visual Infographic on Gut Statistics



Conclusion

To conclude, your gut plays a pivotal role in maintaining your overall health.

And when I say this, I LITERALLY mean that a healthy gut will lead to a happier mood, an active brain, a fit body, and a disease-free heart. So, start looking after your gut from today by introducing minor changes in your food, like adding some probiotics and prebiotics in it or opting for a more active lifestyle.

These gut health facts and statistics show the importance of gut health and how you can improve yours.

Brenda L. Mosley

Hi, Brenda here, I have been a health advocate and writer with 10 years of experience in health and nutrition. I also hold a BS in Nutrition Science and am based in Massachusetts with my family. My mission is to impact the world using my health and nutrition experience by sharing, writing, and educating on the internet - and offline too when possible. When I'm not busy writing or engaging in health forums and groups - you'll find me spending time with my 3 kids, eating, or reading literary fiction books.

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