New Delhi: Millets reign supreme as gut health assumes most important aspect of the latest preventive and curative healthcare approach. This fact was writ large on Symposium on ‘Gut Health and Life Style Disorders’ organized by Celiac Society of India in India Habitat Centre on January 20. As gut health is best served by millets, it was the centre of all conversation during symposium which was rightly underpinned by the tag line- Millets for the micro biome: your way to wellness.

Iconic figure among gut health advocates, renowned clinical dietician Ishi Khosla was the presiding deity of the symposium. Introducing gut health as being be all and end all of wellness, Mrs Khosla set the tone. She eulogized millets as centre of gut health universe. Mrs Khosla gushed saying ‘once poor men’s grain millet is now a gourmet grain. Grain changer is a game changer.’ No wonder then that Ishi Khosla’s latest book The 4G-Code to Good Health was seen as prized catch in almost everyone’s hand in the event. This book is being looked at as being Bible of gut health. Call her book ‘Geeta’ of gut health if you will, in the present eco system of ancient Indian culture retrieving its pride of place.

Ishi Khosa‘s pet gut point is that all diseases occur in the gut and you can defeat them only in the gut. She said that gut health assuming mainstream recognition augurs well for PM Modi’s dream of Healthy India. She carries the conviction that PM Modi’s millet will do the magic.

Meenakshi Lekhi, Union Minister of State for External Affairs packed a punch in the symposium as she underlined ancient food system and body type approach of Ayurveda as panacea. She also exemplified PM Modi as an icon of good health despite doing over 18 hours of work daily. She said she learnt from PM Modi lifestyle- work balance and how life style can be managed easily. Calling Ishi Khosla a crusader, Dr Harsh Mahajan, renowned radiologist said that the concept of gut biome for good health can be traced back to our Veda scriptures. Hiroshi Hamada, MD of Yakult (pro biotic for gut health) India, Dr Anupam Sibbal, group director, Apollo Hospitals, Navin Dang, medical doctor at Dr Dangs lab LLP and last but not the least, renowned gastro expert and Director, Institute of liver and billiary sciences Dr S.K.Sarin shed light on the importance of gut health.   

The symposium was well equipped with experts to answer any question like why is there a sudden rise in allergen free diet. Why is everybody talking about gut-health and is the trend going to sustain? Are you unable to join the dots about you general health and grain sensitivity?

The event was Celiac Society of India (CSI)’s second edition of its flagship event. Experts there agreed that the importance of gut health is crucial to address the epidemic of nutritional deficiencies & chronic degenerative diseases including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancers, autoimmune diseases & even mental health issues. There is increasing awareness about gut health & increased understanding of food sensitivity both among public & medical professionals. The recognition that gut is the second brain and that 2/3 of the immune system lies is the gut is an important realization. Hippocrates the father of modern medicine rightly said that bad digestion is the root of all evil & that death sits in the bowels.

Ishi Khosla said, ‘Through our initiative we envision better awareness about this connection & set the tone for good health.

The purpose of the symposium is to highlight gut-related disorders as a mainstream health issue & focusing on the fact that all diseases begin in the leaky gut. Micro & macro nutrients are absorbed in the gut; even inflammation starts in the gut. The major disrupter of our gut microbiome balance is our food. Commonly eaten grains are the most common contributors. If we look at statistics,  Celiac disease has increased many fold since 1970 .

She further said, ‘All the confusions got cleared as global experts addressed under-diagnosed food sensitivities & the correlation with leaky gut our microbiome & inflammation. The symposium showcased the importance of our ancient anti – inflammatory gut friendly grains – millets, and their role in modern-day lifestyle related diseases.

Aligned with the International Year of Millets 2023, the symposium was attended by medical professionals, nutritionists, scientists, students, patients, caregivers, chefs, industry experts, regulatory agencies.

The experts also highlighted the importance of millet cultivation and the benefits of their consumption. Not only are millets gluten free, they also serve a lot of nutritional, environmental, and agricultural benefits for humans and the planet alike. They are  fibre rich, micronutrient rich, hypoallergic, drought resistant & eco friendly. This group of small-seeded grasses, which was cultivated for thousands if years, holds the potential to impact public health and food security.

The symposium also hosted an expo of health food companies & other health related products. Live demonstrations on millet cookery were also showcased to train people to incorporate millets in their diets.