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Why the Microbiome of the Gut Is Vital to Your Health

Trillions of microbes, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, call your body home. The term "microbiome" is used to describe all of these microorganisms.

Some bacteria are linked to illness, but others have major effects on your immune system, cardiovascular system, and even how much you weigh.

Learn more about the gut microbiota and its significance to your health by reading this informative article.

The term "microbiome" is often used to describe the bacteria that live in one's digestive tract. Microorganisms, or "microbes," are any organism less than a millimeter in size, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and so on.

Your skin and digestive tract are home to trillions of these germs.

The cecum is a "pocket" of the large intestine that houses the vast majority of the bacteria that make up the gut microbiome.

Inside your body are numerous sorts of germs, but bacteria have received the most attention.

The human body is home to both human and bacterial cells, but the bacterial count is significantly higher. About 40 trillion bacteria cells coexist with your 30 trillion human cells. You're basically a bacterium in human form 1,2.

Furthermore, the human gut microbiome contains up to a thousand distinct bacterial species, all of which have important functions. However, some of them may actually be harmful to your health, even as the majority are essential 3.

These microorganisms may add up to about the same weight as your brain, which is to say, a couple of to five pounds (one to two kilograms). As a unit, they serve as an additional organ in your body and have a significant impact on your overall health.

What Happens to Your Body Is There Any Way to Tell?

Over millions of years, humans have adapted to share their environments with bacteria.

Bacteria and other tiny organisms have evolved to perform crucial roles in the human body. Defending one's life without the aid of one's gut flora is a tall order.

When you're born, your gut microbiota starts having an effect on your health.

When you are born, you are subjected to a barrage of germs and bacteria. However, recent research reveals that prenatal exposure to certain bacteria may occur [4,5].

Your gut microbiome, the collection of microbes that live in your digestive tract, becomes more diverse as you age. A more varied microbiome is thought to be beneficial to health [7].

Intriguingly, the variety of bacteria in your digestive tract is influenced by the foods you eat.

The expansion of your microbiome has numerous physiological effects, such as:

  • Bifidobacteria are the first bacteria to colonize a baby's intestines, where they help break down breast milk. Babies can absorb the growth-promoting carbohydrates in breast milk [8,9].

  • Fiber digestion: when certain bacteria break down fiber, they produce short-chain fatty acids that are beneficial to digestive health. High fibre diets have been linked to reduced chances of developing type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and some types of cancer [11,12,13,14,15,16,17]

  • The gut microbiota also regulates the activity of your immune system. The gut microbiome can modulate the immune response to infection by communicating with immune cells [18,19].

  • The gut microbiota may potentially influence the CNS, which regulates brain function, according to recent studies [20].

As a result, the gut microbiome can disrupt vital biological systems and have a significant impact on health in a variety of ways.

The microbiome in the gut regulates the functioning of the digestive system, immune system, and brain from the time of birth and throughout a person's entire life.

Weight Gain Could Be Caused By Your Gut Microbiome

Your intestines are home to thousands of species of bacteria, the vast majority of which are beneficial to your health.

However, it might be unhealthy to have an abundance of some microorganisms.

Intestinal dysbiosis refers to an imbalance between good and bad bacteria that may have a role in excess weight [21].

Several high-profile research have revealed that the gut microbiota of an obese twin is completely different from that of a healthy twin. This proved that there was no heritable component to observed microbiome diversity [22.23].

It's interesting to note that mice fed the same diet but given either the thin or fat twin's microbiota gained more weight.

These results suggest that dysbiosis in the microbiome can contribute to obesity.

Weight loss and a healthy microbiota are both aided by probiotics. Despite this, research suggests that probiotics' effects on weight loss are likely fairly modest, with people shedding less than 2.2 pounds (1 kg) [24].

In conclusion, probiotics have the ability to restore gut health and aid in weight loss in cases where dysbiosis has contributed to weight gain.

There Is an Effect on Digestive Health

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are two digestive illnesses that may be influenced by the microbiome [25,26,27].

People with IBS may suffer from gas, bloating, and abdominal pain because of intestinal dysbiosis. This is due to the fact that the microorganisms produce gas and other substances, which contribute to the sensations of intestinal discomfort [28].

But there are microbes in the microbiome that are beneficial to gut health as well.

Probiotics and plant based yogurt contain live cultures of beneficial bacteria like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli that can close the shunts between intestinal cells.

Some of these species can even stop potentially harmful bacteria from attaching to the gut lining [29,30].

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms can be alleviated by consuming probiotics containing Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli [31].


A balanced microbiome in the intestines regulates overall wellness by exchanging messages with intestinal cells, breaking down certain nutrients, and blocking pathogenic bacteria from colonizing the intestinal tract.

Improved cardiac function may be a result of changes in the gut microbiome.

It's intriguing that the gut microbiome may also influence cardiovascular health [32].

The gut microbiota was recently linked to increased levels of "good" HDL cholesterol and triglycerides in a study of 1,500 participants [33].

Trimethylamine N-oxide, which is produced by some harmful species in the gut microbiome, has been linked to cardiovascular disease (TMAO).

The molecule TMAO has a role in atherosclerosis, which can cause cardiovascular problems like heart attacks and strokes.

Choline and L-carnitine, substances found in red meat and other animal-based foods, are converted by some bacteria in the microbiome to TMAO, which may raise cardiovascular disease risk factors [34,35,36[

Other bacteria in the gut microbiome, especially Lactobacilli, may help lower cholesterol when taken as a probiotic [37].


Some of the bacteria that live in your digestive tract create compounds that have been linked to atherosclerosis and heart disease. Cholesterol and cardiovascular disease risk may be lowered, however, with the help of probiotics.

It may aid in glucose regulation and reduce diabetes risk.

The likelihood of developing type 1 and type 2 diabetes may also be affected by the composition of bacteria in the gut.

Some 33 newborns with a high hereditary risk for developing type 1 diabetes were analyzed in a recent study.

Researchers discovered that a sharp decline in the microbiome's diversity precedes the development of type 1 diabetes. The study also discovered an increase in the prevalence of certain pathogenic bacterial species prior to the onset of type 1 diabetes [38].

A different study discovered that people's blood sugar levels could differ substantially even when they consumed the same items. Some of the bacteria that live in their digestive systems may be to blame for this [39].


The composition of microbes in the digestive tract has been linked to both improved glucose regulation and a reduced risk of developing type 1 diabetes in children.

Consequences for Brain Function Could Be Serious

It's possible that the microbiome in your gut has some positive effects on your brain.

To begin, some bacteria species can promote neurotransmitter synthesis in the brain. Take the antidepressant neurotransmitter serotonin, which is produced primarily in the digestive system [40,41].

Second, there are millions of nerves that run from the intestines to the brain.

As a result, the gut microbiota may also affect brain health by modulating the transmission of signals along these nerves [42,43].

It has been established in a number of studies that the types of gut bacteria found in the digestive systems of persons with various mental health issues differ from those found in the systems of healthy people. This data implies that the microbiome in the gut may have an effect on brain function [44,45].

However, it is not known if these variations are the result of fundamentally dissimilar diets and lifestyles.

Some probiotics have been demonstrated in preliminary research to alleviate signs of depression and other mental health problems [46,47].


One theory suggests that the gut microbiome can influence brain health by creating substances involved in brain function and by connecting with nerves leading to the brain.

What Can Be Done to Boost the Microbiome in One's Stomach?

Among the many strategies for fostering a healthier gut microbiome are:

  • If you eat a wide variety of foods, your microbiome can become more varied, which is a sign of a healthy digestive tract. In example, the high fiber content of legumes, beans, and fruit might encourage the colonization of beneficial Bifidobacteria [48,49,50,51].

  • Incorporate fermented foods into your diet. Lactobacilli, the beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kefir, can help lower the population of disease-causing species in the digestive tract [52].

  • Artificial sweetener consumption should be kept to a minimum. Aspartame, a common artificial sweetener, has been proven to raise blood sugar through encouraging the growth of Enterobacteriaceae and other pathogenic bacteria in the gut microbiome [53].

  • Consume meals rich in prebiotics, a special form of fiber that promotes the development of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Artichokes, bananas, asparagus, oats, and apples are all examples of foods that are high in prebiotics [54].

  • Don't stop breastfeeding before six months: When a baby is breastfed, the microbiota in their digestive tract is given a significant head start. Breastfed infants had higher levels of beneficial Bifidobacteria than their bottle-fed counterparts, especially after six months of breastfeeding [55].

  • Whole grains, they say: Fiber and good carbs like beta-glucan found in whole grains are fermented by healthy bacteria in the digestive tract and have positive effects on body weight, cancer risk, diabetes, and other diseases [56,57].

  • Consider adopting a plant-based diet: Disease-causing microorganisms, such E. coli, as well as inflammation and cholesterol levels may all be lowered by switching to a vegan diet [58,59].

  • Consume polyphenol-rich foods. Red wine, green tea, dark chocolate, olive oil, and whole grains are all good sources of polyphenols since they contain these plant chemicals. The microbiome breaks them down to feed good bacteria [60,61].

  • Probiotic supplements should be taken: To assist reestablish a healthy gut microbiome following dysbiosis, probiotics are used. What they're really doing is "reseeding" it with beneficial bacteria [62].

Just in case you really need to take an antibiotic, though: The widespread destruction of both beneficial and harmful bacteria in the gut microbiome by antibiotics has been linked to both increased body mass and increased resistance to antibiotics. Antibiotics should only be used when absolutely necessary [63].

For a thriving microbiome, diversify your diet with fermented foods and foods high in fiber. Antibiotics and probiotics both have their uses.

In Conclusiveness

The germs that live in and on your digestive tract number in the trillions.

The microbiota in your gut are crucial to your health, as they aid in digestion, boost your immune system, and support a wide range of other bodily functions.

Weight gain, Type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol may all be linked to an improper balance of microorganisms in the gut, which can lead to a variety of other health problems.

Eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fermented foods to encourage the growth of beneficial microorganisms in your digestive tract.

By Dr. Sepi Sefy PhD whom specialises in Herbal Medicine of Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese & Western Herbal Medicine, alongside of Yoga, Nutrition and Phytotherapy.


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