What is a gut microbiome? How does it effect different health conditions? How does prebiotics and probiotics differ in the gut?.
The gut microbiome consists of bacteria, archaea, viruses, and complex cells which carry out complex metabolic functions, and genetic dispositions. It is basically our gut flora, our microbe that resides in our intestines. Recent research in 2010, has found and only estimates there are over 38 trillion organisms that reside in our gut microbiome. (Metagenics) These certain organisms and the majority which abide on gastrointestinal tract are not destructive. Out of these incredible numbers over 1000 has been recognized as different strains of bacteria, and contain over 3 million types of microbiome genes, more so than our normal human genes which make up only 150.
The human microbiota is found to be the most essential in nearly all human mechanics, including digestion, energy metabolism, inflammation, neural conditions, cortisol levels which control our stress levels and adrenals, immunity, and many more.
Conditions which are identified with poor gut microbiota are many may include:
- Neurological and nervous disorders, anxiety, stress, ASD.
- Respiratory disorders
- Metabolic conditions, obesity, insulin resistance. diabetes, poor energy reserves, fatty liver disease.
- Breakdown of our Immune system, autoimmune conditions, arthritis, colds, influenza, allergies, asthma.
- Digestive disorders
The factors are many that influence our gut microbiota:
- external influences, environment.
- Antibiotics, medications.
- Lifestyle factors.
The balance of the gut microbiota is the key to our wellbeing. When it is under stress, or not working efficiently, evidence has shown that health issues and diseases arise.
Probiotics and prebiotics in combination is the key to optimal performing gut microbiota. There are over 100 different strains of probiotics, more are still yet to be discovered. There are many probiotics that may sound the same, but they all differ quite significantly, they all do specific roles for different health conditions, and there effect on the gut microbiota cells. It is important when choosing probiotics, that you use the right strain for particular conditions, even different combination strains are important.
Prebiotic foods also play a role in supplying important bacteria in the large intestine or colon and are needed in support with the probiotic, a good source would include, artichokes, chicory root, onions, garlic, grass-fed butter, ghee, and legumes.
One of the oldest quotes is from Hippocrates:
"All diseases do begin in the gut".
Need any more advice or would like an appointment regarding your gut, I would be happy to get it going again with the right probiotic, treatment plan and food choices.
hreiner AB, Kao JY, Young VB. The gut microbiome in health and in disease. Current opinion in gastroenterology. 2015;31(1):69-75. doi:10.1097/MOG.0000000000000139.
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