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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].


SYNOPSIS

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].