When someone asks, “What is a gut microbiome?” other words that comes to mind are “gut flora” or “gastrointestinal microbiota.” For the typical American diet, what we eat has much to do with our gut health. These microbes create small molecules that transfer through the blood stream and affect the way our bodies store and utilize nutrients. They help with regulating our appetite and controlling weight and, if you can believe this, we are actually more bacteria than human. There are nearly 40 trillion bacteria cells, compared to 30 trillion human cells.3 Interestingly, every person has a unique make-up of microbes, which can affect everything from immune function, risk of disease, and weight.
Immune Function: As we continue to age the use of antibiotics and changes in diet can cause an imbalance in gut microbes, causing a trigger to throw off one’s immune system and its response to stressors. When you are born and pass though the birth canal, you’re instantly exposed to the first glimpse of gut microbiome, which sets the tone of the mucosal and systemic immune function for the long term. There have been studies that have shown the interactions between gut microbes and the immune system. This has led to the discovery that specific microbial components strongly contribute not only to the regulation of energy metabolism but also to glucose and lipid homeostasis.1 Think of it like this; microbes in our gut have advanced with us from the start forming relationships that promote a balanced immune system, efficient immune responses, and protection against pathogen colonization, basically the foundation that you need for healthy immune functions.
How Your Gut Microbiome Affects Your Health
Risk of Disease
Having a healthy gut microbiome is essential for preventing diseases. They have been conducting studies at John Hopkins regarding the composition of gut changes in different disease states. Research was recently published in May where scientists studied the shift of gut bacteria of mice that developed colitis. They found that Lactobacilis johnsonii was common and accounted for nearly 30 percent of bacteria in some of the mice. When the mice developed colitis, the bacteria amount almost doubled.2
Also, one study that showed a link between the gut microbiota and the severity of myocardial infarction. The rats were administered lactobacillus rhamnosus and showed an improvement in left ventricular function after myocardial infarction.4
Only time will tell where there will be more research that will influence the way that we look at the gut and different disease states. Can you imagine what we will know by 2040?
Since the human gut consists of several trillion microbiomes, it only makes sense that it’s extremely beneficial to maintaining a healthy weight. A study has stated that one of the most important risk factors affecting obesity is the influence of the gut microbiome. Amsterdam is investigating whether transferring feces from lean to overweight people will lead to weight loss. I know we are close to the day where scientist who work with the gut microbiome will inspire a new generation of tools to treat and prevent obesity.
Maintaining a Healthy Gut Microbiome
If you are interested in helping maintain a healthy gut microbiome, Persona Nutrition offers a plethora of supplements, some being beneficial to help combat issues that might improve maintaining a healthy gut microbiome. Supplements that I recommend are Probiotics, Digestive Enzymes, and Ginger. A probiotic can help with supporting energy and immune function which can also help with the absorption of food. Digestive enzymes can be shown to help with nutrient absorption and ease digestive discomfort. Ginger also supports healthy digestion, relieve occasional upset stomach, and may improve indigestion.
You can get these supplements at Persona Nutrition in our convenient Digestion Relief Essential Packs, or take our quick assessment https://www.personanutrition.com/start-the-assessment/] for personalized vitamin recommendations based on your health and lifestyle.
Take care of yourself and take care of your gut. You only have one body, so treat it well.
- Duparc T , Plovier H , Marrachelli VG , et al. Hepatocyte MyD88 affects bile acids, gut microbiota and metabolome contributing to regulate glucose and lipid metabolism. Gut 2017;66:620–32. Accessed April 24th 2019
- Fields, Helen, The Gut: Where Bacteria and Immune System Meet. John Hopkins Medicine. 2015. Accessed April 24th
- Sender R, Fuchs S, Milo R. Revised Estimates for the Number of Human and Bacteria Cells in the Body. PLoS Biol. 2016;14(8):e1002533. Accessed April 24th 2019
- Lam V, Su J, Koprowski S, Hsu A, Tweddell JS, Rafiee P, Gross GJ, Salzman NH, Baker JE. Intestinal microbiota determine severity of myocardial infarction in rats. FASEB J. 2012;26:1727–1735. Accessed April 24th 2019