Updated: Sep 26, 2021
What is the gut microbiome?
The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is the residence of trillions of microorganisms that include bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses or known as the microbiome.
The benefit of microorganisms in our gut
Microbiome stimulates the immune system, breaks down potentially toxic food compounds, and synthesizes certain vitamins and amino acids, including the B vitamins and vitamin K. For example, the key enzymes needed to form vitamin B12.
The gut microbiome could be a new fingerprint to identify your health status
The composition of every person’s microbiome is unique as a fingerprint, shaped by early life, diet, and environmental exposures over time. But it is our genetic background that influences how bacteria actually function in the human gut. What’re more, bacteria themselves express different genes and make proteins that may predispose certain individuals to gut inflammation or other conditions.
Gut microbiome possible link with obesity
The metabolic activities of the gut microbiota facilitate the extraction of calories from ingested dietary substances. This may provide a physiologic explanation for the observation that some obese patients do not seem to overeat.
Recent data from microbiome analysis found a relationship between nutrition, gut microbiota, and a number of human diseases including obesity.
Children of normal weight had higher Bifidobacterial and lower Staphylococcus aureus concentrations at ages 6 and 12 months than did children who became overweight/obese. These results suggest that differences in the microbiota precede overweight/obesity.
The association between microbiome and obesity also investigate in adults, 12 obese individuals compared with five lean volunteers. Obese individuals had more Firmicutes and nearly 90% fewer Bacteroidetes than lean individuals.
The Gut Microbiome and Brain Health
While the digestive tract and the brain seem far apart in your body, they are actually connected via a 24/7 direct line of biochemical communication, set up by special nerve cells and immune pathways. It’s called the gut-brain axis. Researchers are now discovering that a disrupted microbiome, in certain contexts, may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions that cause dementia.
The researcher found that people living with Alzheimer’s disease have a unique, and less diverse, a community of gut microorganisms than their healthy counterparts. Specifically, the microbiomes of people with Alzheimer’s disease showed specific increases and decreases in common gut bacteria especially decreases in Bifidobacterium, an important inhabitant of the healthy human gut.
Gut dysbiosis, when your gut microbiome is imbalanced
Your symptoms will depend on where the bacteria imbalance develops. They may also vary based on the types of bacteria that are out of balance. Common symptoms include bad breath (halitosis), upset stomach, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, vaginal or rectal itching, bloating, rash or redness, fatigue, having trouble thinking or concentrating, anxiety, depression.
What are the causes of gut microbiome imbalance?
A healthy microbiome is a diverse microbiome. A rich community of varied species protects against one dominating and causing trouble in our gut and beyond. Alterations in the microbiota can result from exposure to various environmental factors, including diet, toxins, drugs, and pathogens.
Possible causes of altering the gut microbiome include
Process food which high in sugar fat and food additive
Toxic chemical consumption, such as lingering pesticides on unwashed fruit
Heavy alcohol drinking
Medications, such as antibiotics, Proton pump inhibitor
High levels of stress or anxiety, which can weaken your immune system
Gut microbiome, how to restore
Stop using unnecessary antibiotic
Avoid long term use of proton pump inhibitor
Eat more prebiotic ( fiber )
Eat more probiotics ( ferment food such as natto, kimchi, cheese)
Supplement probiotic ( optional )
Drink less alcohol
Avoid toxin contamination in food such as pesticide, insecticide