Monday, June 17, 2024

Why Is The Human Microbiome Important

Must read

How Does Fmt Treat The Microbiome

Why is the gut microbiome important?

FMT treats the microbiome by re-establishing balance of bacteria within the gut. It works by transferring healthy microbes from the donor to the recipient. In some cases the good bacterium is used to stave off the bad bacteria and in other cases the good bacteria simply helps repopulated lost bacteria.

Is There Science Behind This

Science, yes. Magic, no. This method requires regular practice if you want to make lasting, long-term changes to the ways that you think and feel. The good news is that both guided imagery and bilateral stimulation are widely practiced and well-established practices. However, I recommend that if you are still struggling after repeated listening, you find a qualified trauma therapist to continue the work you have already started.

Where Do These Microbes Come From

Three-quarters of your microbiome can be traced back to your mother. The womb is a sterile place, free of microbes . But when we exit via the birth canal, were bathed in vaginal microbes.

This literal baptism of bacteria may be vital to a healthy start in life babies who are born through caesarean section are more likely to develop allergies, asthma, coeliac disease and obesity later in life.

We also ingest around a million microbes in every gram of food, and our diet has a direct impact on which species thrive in our gut microbiome. If we change diets, from meat-eater to vegetarian, for example, the gut bacteria changes accordingly.

Similarly, as we go through life, moving from one environment to another, were exposed to microbes from different people and places.

Every home has a distinctive microbiome that comes from the people who live in it. Just 24 hours after moving into a new home weve colonised it with our microbes.

And those who grow up in a household with pets are exposed to a far bigger array of microbes, which is no bad thing.

Scientists suspect that a lot of common modern allergies, such as hay fever, are triggered by an immune system that didnt learn to live with such microorganisms at an early age.

Staphylococcus epidermidis

You May Like: Does Xanax Help With Ibs

Microbiomes Across The One Health Spectrum

The One Health concept stresses the ecological relationships between human, animal, and environmental health . Applying the One Health approach to the microbiome requires examination of both pathogenic and non-pathogenic microbial transfer between humans, animals, and the environment . These transmission relationships are shown in Figure 1. Understanding the implications of microbiome relationships between the environment and the health of the humans and animals inhabiting it opens the potential for innovative and holistic approaches to diagnosis, treatment, and intervention .

Figure 1. The use of the cutlery, zoo, and city vector icons is licensed under the CC BY 3.0 from,, and Thibault Geffroy of the Noun Project, respectively. The dog, pregnancy, balance scale, biohazard, and cat vector icons were taken from Wikimedia Commons and/or have been released into the public domain.

The Human Gut Microbiome In The Context Of More Distant Ancestors: Mammals

Human Microbiome: How It Works and Diet for Gut Health ...

The association between diet and phylogeny among primate microbiomes echoes the larger patterns of diversity among vertebrate gut communities, as evidenced by looking at convergence of dietary transitions and microbiomes across mammals . Transitions to herbivory seem to have especially large effects on the microbiome. Mammals with independently evolved herbivorous diets host similar microbiota. Additionally, some of the same genes and pathways that differ in abundance between herbivorous and carnivorous microbiomes also rapidly shift in corresponding directions in humans who change from vegetarian to omnivorous diets . Interestingly, insectivory has also been associated with some degree of convergence in mammalian microbiomes .

Fig. 2.

Read Also: Why Does Lettuce Give Me Diarrhea

Toward Predictive Models Of Microbial Transfer

Predicting and potentially manipulating transfers of microbes between humans, animals, and the environment depends on an understanding of the factors that allow or inhibit transfers. This objective parallels the role of predictive modelssuch as human exposure modelingin exposure science, with the added complication that the exposures in question are biological entities with their own complex ecological and evolutionary dynamics.

Several recent advances have applied ecological insights to predict the response of microbiomes. For example, an understanding of the role of niche competition in microbial establishment allowed Kearney et al., to engineer a microbe’s establishment in the human gut by matching the strains known metabolic capabilities to construction of a niche through addition of seaweed to the diet . Predictions of microbial competition or cooperationbased on positive or negative co-occurrence patternssuccessfully predicted which microbes would increase alpha-diversity in Nematostella vectensis . A similar approach has been applied in predicting zoonotic viral infections. Risk factors for the emergence of zoonotic viral infection from mammal hosts include the phylogenetic relatedness of the host to humans, animal taxonomy , and range overlap with human populations .

Prebiotic Interactions With The Microbiome

Dietary prebiotics have been defined as a selectively fermented ingredient that results in specific changes in the composition and/or activity of the gastrointestinal microbiota, thus conferring benefit upon host health . This definition has been subjected to debate as it focuses largely around the need for selective metabolism. An alternative definition which includes the mechanism of action has been established recently in a consensus statement . The expert panel revised the definition of a prebiotic as a substrate that is selectively utilized by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit. This updated definition still requires a selective microbiota-mediated mechanism to be defined as a prebiotic.

Fermentation of dietary prebiotics in the gut involves metabolic cross-feeding where the products of fermentation by one or more bacterial species provide the substrate for other bacterial species . This complex cooperative activity of the gut microbiota is essential for good health . Bacterial fermentation of amino acids and proteins, which occurs mainly in the distal colon, generates a range of metabolites, many of which have a toxic potential. These include hydrogen sulphide, branched-chain fatty acids , phenol, indole, p-cresol, indoxylsulfate, p-cresylsulfate, and ammonia . Even if also present in the healthy colon, it must be noted, however, that we currently have a very poor understanding of the concentrations of microbial metabolites in the human colon .

Recommended Reading: Does Xanax Help With Ibs

Microbes In Us And Their Role In Human Health And Disease

Final outcomes from the most comprehensive analysis to-date of humans and their microbiomes definitively link microbes and microbial activities with health problems.

There is a mighty but invisible kingdom of microbes present within your body. Small yet incredibly powerful, these thousands of species and trillions of inhabitants live in all parts of your body and make up the diverse human microbiome. These microbiomes support and maintain your health but also, when the microbiome is disturbed in some fashion, have been linked to hundreds of ailments such as cancers, and autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases.

Hence it is not surprising that the human microbiome is an important avenue of health research. It is one with crucial implications for our health, as a slew of recently published papers in Nature from phase two of the Human Microbiome Project suggests.

Normal Microbiota As Host Defense

Metabolon – Why is the Microbiome Important to Human Health?

The human microbiome is now recognized as a major host defense against bacterial pathogens by providing colonization resistance, maintaining a balance of commensals to pathogens, and by priming the immune system .5 Altering or disrupting the normal microbiota by antibiotics facilitates the expansion of enteric pathogens as Clostridium difficile and Salmonella typhimurium or selection of antibiotic-resistant members of the microbiome. Similarly, changes in human physiology, for example, exposure of skin to elevated temperatures and humidity, chronic stress, host immune suppression, or active behavioral changes, such as smoking, can cause a commensal-to-pathogen switch. Recent studies have demonstrated that certain resident microbiota can resist pathogen colonization and infection. For example, matched volunteers were inoculated with Haemophilus ducreyi into the arms, and the subsequent infection either resolved or resulted in formation of abscesses; characterization of the skin microbiome before, during, and after the experimental inoculation showed that the microbiomes of those with pustule formation and of those with resolved infection were distinct and influenced the course of the H. ducreyi infection.6

Michael J. Orlich, … Sarah Jung, in, 2017

Also Check: Why Does Lettuce Give Me Diarrhea

What Is The Gut Microbiome

Bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microscopic living things are referred to as microorganisms, or microbes, for short.

Trillions of these microbes exist mainly inside your intestines and on your skin.

Most of the microbes in your intestines are found in a pocket of your large intestine called the cecum, and they are referred to as the gut microbiome.

Although many different types of microbes live inside you, bacteria are the most studied.

In fact, there are more bacterial cells in your body than human cells. There are roughly 40 trillion bacterial cells in your body and only 30 trillion human cells. That means you are more bacteria than human .

Whats more, there are up to 1,000 species of bacteria in the human gut microbiome, and each of them plays a different role in your body. Most of them are extremely important for your health, while others may cause disease .

Altogether, these microbes may weigh as much as 25 pounds , which is roughly the weight of your brain. Together, they function as an extra organ in your body and play a huge role in your health.


The gut microbiome refers to all of the microbes in your intestines, which act as another organ thats crucial for your health.

What Is Microbiome And Why Its Important

Over the years, technological innovations have paved the way towards advancing the medical field. Among the breakthroughs concerning health and medicine is the concept of microbiomes. These are microorganisms living inside the digestive tract. They are linked with roles involving hereditary traits, defense against diseases, and overall immunity, which makes them a generally vital aspect in staying healthy.

There are several reasons why microbiomes are important in maintaining optimal health and well-being. These include the following:

It protects the body against diseases

A microbiome plays a crucial role in maintaining a strong immune system. The immune system serves as a defense mechanism against all kinds of diseases. Some illnesses that can be prevented with a healthy microbiome are as follows:

  • Allergies

These occur when people are exposed to something that is typically risk-free, but causes the immune system to overreact. The gut microbiome is vital in regulating allergic reactions. Various forms of allergic responses are found to be potentially remedied through the moderation of microbiomes.

  • Diabetes

A research conducted in 2017 by the Institute for Advanced Biosciences of Keio University in Japan provided proof that improving the gut microbiome is important in managing diabetes. It was found that by maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet, people can lower the risk of increasing their insulin levels.

  • Cancer
  • Eczema
  • Heart disease
  • Have an intake of probiotics

Read Also: Bananas And Bloating

What Makes A Healthy Microbiome

How do you know if a microbiome is in disarray? Is a gut without a particular species unhealthy? And in comparison to what?

Defining what is normal or healthy for a human microbiome is important, and this may differ widely between countries, regions, communities, cities, and whether someone is young or old, rich or poor, outgoing or solitary.

This is a further challenge to the dream of personalised medicines for everyone, but in the meantime here are some tips to improve your gut microbiome.

Jargon buster

Antibiotic This is a medicine that inhibits the growth of, or destroys, microorganisms. The antibiotics are actually produced by bacteria themselves as a form of survival .

Dysbiosis ;This is a disruption to the harmony of symbiosis, where the microbial community shifts in a way that harms its host. The phrase is often applied to the human gut microbiome, where it describes a condition caused by too few beneficial bacteria and an overgrowth of bad bacteria, yeast, and/or parasites.

Microbe ;Single-celled organisms so tiny that millions can fit into the eye of a needle.

Microbiota ;Microbiota refers to a set of microscopic organisms. Microbiome originally referred to their genomes all the DNA of these organisms but is now sometimes used in place of microbiota

Probiotic ;A substance that stimulates the growth of microorganisms.

Importance Of The Human Microbiome Project

The Microbiome: How it is Important in Health and Disease

The human microbiome makes up about one to two percent of the body mass of an adult. It has been likened to a body organ. But, unlike say a heart or a liver, the importance and function of the microbiome is just starting to be appreciated.

It has long been known that bacteria are involved in certain body processes, such as digesting food and producing vitamins, but the microbiome appears have a much broader impact on our health than was previously realized. The community of microbes in an individual may influence the susceptibility to certain infectious diseases, as well as contribute to disorders such as obesity and diabetes. It may also contribute to the development of some chronic illnesses of the gastrointestinal system such as Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Some collections of microbes can determine how one responds to a particular drug treatment. The microbiome of the mother may even affect the health of her children.

A more complete understanding of the diversity of microbes that make up the human microbiome could lead to novel therapies. For example, it may be possible to treat a bacterial infection caused by a “bad” bacterial species by promoting the growth of the “good” bacteria. Microbiome transplants are already being used to combat certain illnesses, such as Clostridium difficile infections, to establish more healthful bacterial populations.

Recommended Reading: Colostrum To Heal Leaky Gut

Geographical Variation In The Healthy Microbiome

Studies contrasting the gut microbiomes from different countries have identified systematic differences in microbial composition, although it remains challenging to tease apart inter-batch technical effects from inter-population biology. Comparison between the largest cohorts from three continentsMetaHIT , HMP , and Chinese diabetes cohortsfound that the inter-country variation in taxonomic composition significantly exceeded inter-personal variation, which was not solely attributable to technical differences in experimental methodologies . Nevertheless, smaller international studies have also identified geography as one of the major sources of large-scale variation in the microbiome, including between North and South America , Europe and Africa , Korea and Japan , and between rural and urban populations of Russia and China . Among possible drivers of this variation, diet has been suggested as an important contributor , along with other factors including geography, early-life exposures, and genetics . No one study has yet shown any of these factors to be causal in the large observed inter-population differences in healthy microbiomes .

Can Diet Affect Ones Microbiota

In addition to family genes, environment, and medication use, diet plays a large role in determining what kinds of microbiota live in the colon. All of these factors create a unique microbiome from person to person. A high-fiber diet in particular affects the type and amount of microbiota in the intestines. Dietary fiber can only be broken down and fermented by enzymes from microbiota living in the colon. Short chain fatty acids are released as a result of fermentation. This lowers the pH of the colon, which in turn determines the type of microbiota present that would survive in this acidic environment. The lower pH limits the growth of some harmful bacteria like Clostridium difficile. Growing research on SCFA explores their wide-ranging effects on health, including stimulating immune cell activity and maintaining normal blood levels of glucose and cholesterol.

Be aware that a high intake of prebiotic foods, especially if introduced suddenly, can increase gas production and bloating. Individuals with gastrointestinal sensitivities such as irritable bowel syndrome should introduce these foods in small amounts to first assess tolerance. With continued use, tolerance may improve with fewer side effects.

If one does not have food sensitivities, it is important to gradually implement a high-fiber diet because a low-fiber diet may not only reduce the amount of beneficial microbiota, but increase the growth of pathogenic bacteria that thrive in a lower acidic environment.

Recommended Reading: Why Spicy Food Causes Heartburn

Preterm Birth And Missing Bacteria In The Vaginal Microbiome

Preterm birth, a condition where women give birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy, is the second most common cause of neonatal death worldwide. Preterm birth instances also vary significantly by population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2016, the rate of premature birth among African-American women was 14% compared to white women at 9% — a nearly 50% difference.

Because a pregnant womans healthy vaginal microbiome is closely associated with the healthy birth of an infant, the iHMPs first model system, the Vaginal Microbiome Consortium Multi-Omic Microbiome Study: Pregnancy Initiative , sought to characterize the vaginal microbiomes of pregnant women to gauge their risk for preterm birth, with a particular focus on African-American women.

The project enrolled and followed a group of pregnant women that included a total of 45 preterm births and 90 full-term births. By looking at microbiome data, as well as other features, including gene expression, protein and metabolite levels from both the microbiome and the subjects, the researchers came upon something surprising.

However, by the end of the first trimester, the vaginal microbiomes of these women tended to return to a normal, Lactobacillus-dominated community. The researchers now want to know why this microbe effectively disappears from the mothers vagina during the earliest days of her pregnancy.

Microbiome And The Gut

Your Gut Microbiome: The Most Important Organ Youâve Never Heard Of | Erika Ebbel Angle | TEDxFargo

The bidirectional signaling between the gut microbiota, the gut, and the brain occurs via neuronal pathways involving both the central and enteric nervous systems in addition to the circulatory system . The latter includes involvement of the hypothalamicpituitaryadrenal axis, immune system regulators, hormones, bacterial metabolites such as SCFAs, and neurotransmitters .

Preclinical studies have shown effects of the gut microbiota on nociceptive reflexes , feeding, emotional and social behavior , the stress response , and brain neurochemistry . The gut microbiota is essential for normal social development in the mouse and is implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders including autism spectrum disorder . Germfree mice have an exaggerated stress response compared with control animals. These mice also exhibit increased motor activity and lower anxiety-like behavior compared with control mice . Administration of the probiotic L. rhamnosus to mice reduced stress-induced corticosterone levels and anxiety-related behavior . These data strongly highlight the importance of the microbiome-gut-brain axis for normal neurological development and function.

Also Check: Ibs Slang

More articles

Popular Articles