How can I improve my gut health?

Is gluten-free all it’s made out to be? How can stress-busting techniques help keep your guts happy? All will be answered in this entertaining, easy-to-swallow podcast episode.  


Anna will be getting to grips with your guts with Alastair Windsor, specialist colorectal surgeon at HCA UK’s The Princess Grace Hospital and London Digestive Centre. They will be joined by TV presenter and former Blue Peter star Zoe Salmon who shares her own experience of IBS, a condition that affects one in five people in the UK. 

Gut Fact

Your mental state affects the state of your gut. Being nervous or stressed can trigger your bowels and what’s going on in your gut can also affect the rest of your body too. Alastair explains the gut-brain axis and how the two can be linked.

IBS Fact

IBS affects one in five people in the UK. Former Blue Peter television presenter, Zoe Salmon tells us about her first experience of irritable bowel syndrome at 16 and how she has adapted her life to cope.

Probiotics Fact

Some live bacteria in over-the-counter probiotics are killed before they actually reach the gut. So you need to do your research on which probiotics are strong enough to survive stomach acid before buying. Alastair says that while probiotics can help some people, they do little for you if you’re healthy with a stable microbiome.

Gluten diet Fiction

Everyone will benefit from cutting gluten out of their diets. Alastair explains if you don’t have an intolerance, there is no great benefit to cutting gluten out altogether.

What to do next

Guests in this episode

Mr Alastair Windsor

Mr Alastair Windsor, consultant colorectal surgeon at The Princess Grace Hospital and London Digestive Centre, both part of HCA Healthcare UK.


Alastair Windsor is widely regarded as a leader in the field of colorectal disease.


Alastair has a very busy clinical practice in many aspects of colorectal surgery including; colorectal cancer, keyhole surgery and endoscopy, Crohn’s and colitis, diverticular disease, prolapse and incontinence, IBS and proctology.


He has a specialist research and clinical interest in abdominal wall surgery and is head of the abdominal wall unit at UCL Hospital. He is also a founder member of Surgical European Crohn’s and Colitis Organization.


He has more than 150 publications and book chapters and remains a committed surgical trainer and educator.

Zoe Salmon

Zoe Salmon is a former Blue Peter television presenter from Bangor, Northern Ireland where she still lives.  She was the daring "try anything once" host, a job she thoroughly enjoyed. 


Zoe first shot to the limelight as Miss Northern Ireland in 1999.  More recently Zoe took part in Channel 4's The Island with Bear Grylls, as part of special series for Stand Up 2 Cancer.  She married her long-term boyfriend William Corrie in a beautiful ceremony in Barbados.


In 2016 after appearing on The Island..., Zoe opened up publicly about her battle with IBS – a condition she had been living with since she was 17. Zoe has since been vocal about her struggles with IBS and how she has managed to control her attacks.

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