Spotlight on the gut biome

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Spotlight on the gut biome

Just as no two persons DNA is alike, neither are their microbiomes, made up of trillions of trillions of micro-organisms, including bacteria and fungi. Mostly found in the lower intestine (the colon) these communities of cells are thought to be as heavy and as vital as your brain and outnumber all other cells in a body combined.
Microbiomes change and evolve from birth. An expectant mothers’ microbiomes are boosted during pregnancy ready to transfer to the baby as they leave the womb. Current thinking suggests babies born by cesarean section miss out on some of these critical microbes passed on through a mother’s vagina, making them vulnerable to obesity, allergies and asthma. In the first 2-3 years of life it continues to change quickly - primarily due to bacteria in breast milk - then more slowly dependent on long-term diet, stress and drugs, including antibiotics.
 
Why the growing interest in microbiomes?
  • It provides greater understanding as to why some people react to certain foods, e.g. tomatoes, dairy and gluten, while others don’t.
  • The average adult hosts 100 trillion microbes. Research shows the more diverse the colony of microbes, the lower a person’s risk of disease and allergies.
  • Many researchers have found a direct link between the gut microbiome and disease believing it plays a part in how individuals react to certain drugs and treatments including chemotherapy, antibiotics and steroids.
  • A balanced microbiome improves immunity, digestion, nutrient absorption, skin health, mood and reduces inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.
  • Development of new tests, similar to DNA testing increase the ability to provide targeted treatments.
 
Just as no two persons DNA is alike, neither are their microbiomes, made up of trillions of trillions of micro-organisms, including bacteria and fungi. Mostly found in the lower intestine (the colon) these communities of cells are thought to be as heavy and as vital as your brain and outnumber all other cells in a body combined.
Microbiomes change and evolve from birth. An expectant mothers’ microbiomes are boosted during pregnancy ready to transfer to the baby as they leave the womb. Current thinking suggests babies born by cesarean section miss out on some of these critical microbes passed on through a mother’s vagina, making them vulnerable to obesity, allergies and asthma. In the first 2-3 years of life it continues to change quickly - primarily due to bacteria in breast milk - then more slowly dependent on long-term diet, stress and drugs, including antibiotics.
 
Why the growing interest in microbiomes?
  • It provides greater understanding as to why some people react to certain foods, e.g. tomatoes, dairy and gluten, while others don’t.
  • The average adult hosts 100 trillion microbes. Research shows the more diverse the colony of microbes, the lower a person’s risk of disease and allergies.
  • Many researchers have found a direct link between the gut microbiome and disease believing it plays a part in how individuals react to certain drugs and treatments including chemotherapy, antibiotics and steroids.
  • A balanced microbiome improves immunity, digestion, nutrient absorption, skin health, mood and reduces inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.
  • Development of new tests, similar to DNA testing increase the ability to provide targeted treatments.
 
Getting the microbiome balance right.
Having the right community of microbiome is important. If it’s off it can create problems. For those suffering from obesity gut microbes can influence appetite, production of gases, efficiency of using food, and impact on the immune system and inflammation. Interestingly, studies have also shown different populations have different microbes making some lean while others obese.
Where mood is concerned, there’s been a lot of talk about mood food and how eating certain things raises the mood. The same is true about a persons microbiome given the vagus nerve is a two-way highway running from the brain to various organs in the body, including the gut. 
Having the right community of microbiome is important. If it’s off it can create problems. For those suffering from obesity gut microbes can influence appetite, production of gases, efficiency of using food, and impact on the immune system and inflammation. Interestingly, studies have also shown different populations have different microbes making some lean while others obese.
Where mood is concerned, there’s been a lot of talk about mood food and how eating certain things raises the mood. The same is true about a persons microbiome given the vagus nerve is a two-way highway.

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