When we talk about microbiota, we refer to a group of microorganisms that can inhabit different parts of the body such as the skin, mouth, vagina, etc. Therefore, the term intestinal microbiota refers to the set of microorganisms that inhabit the intestines.
What significance does it have within the human body and what interest does it have for health experts? Next, we tell you.
What is the gut microbiota?
Also known as intestinal florathe intestinal microbiota is considered by some experts as a “new organ” that performs fundamental functions for maintaining good health.
As already noted, the intestinal microbiota is the population of microbes that are hosted in the intestine. In fact, it includes 100 trillion microorganisms, among which there are at least 1000 species of bacteria with about 3 million genes.
Gut microbiota can weigh up to two kilograms e only one-third is common among humans, the remaining two thirds are specific to each person. In this line, as described by a article published by Journal of Gastroenterology of Mexicothe Human Microbiome Project has identified only 30% of the gut microbiota.
Their alterations are called dysbiosis and are associated with various diseases. Furthermore, it is believed that these could shed light on complex issues such as obesity and asthma.
There are also indications that it is related to gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome and celiac disease. Therefore, as shown by a study developed at the National Institute for Human Genome Research: currently scientists are working to decipher its genome and understand the extent of the influence of this new organ.
Origin and development
- The microbiota begins to develop from the moment of birth; as the intestines of the fetus are sterile inside the womb.
- Its composition in the child depends on the way he is fed. And their development is believed to stabilize around 3 years of age.
- Then it continues to evolve throughout life. However, Your balance can be affected by multiple factors. and, for this reason, the microbiota of an elderly person is so different from that of a young adult, or from that of a child.
On the other hand, the a study developed in 2017 by several researchers from the Lodz University of Technology (Poland) found that prebiotics and probiotics have a positive influence on the microbiota. These are found in fermented foods and support the growth and activity of certain good bacteria by serving as nutrients for them.
The importance of the intestinal microbiota
Some experts consider the gut microbiota a “metabolic organ” for the influence it exerts on the functions of nutrition, regulation of the immune system and systemic inflammation. That’s why these features are currently under investigation.
It has been verified that the microbiota helps the body digest some substances that the small and large intestines are unable to process. It also influences the production of some important substances, such as vitamins B and K, and helps maintain the integrity of the intestinal mucosa.
On the other hand, acts as a natural barrier against pathogens; therefore it is essential in the functioning of the immune system. Similarly, it is also believed that there is a close relationship between this imbalance and Crohn’s disease.
Updated new discoveries about your research
The characteristics of the diet and genetic factors have a decisive influence on the composition of the intestinal microbiota. Indeed, A study conducted with mice showed that just one day of dietary change also transformed the microbiota in the animals. And, in general, the mice given a Western diet quickly gained weight.
Also, early in life, there is a significant difference between the microbiota of breastfed babies and those receiving formula. So these results indicate that this factor has an important impact on the development and balance of the microbiota in the future:
- In the first two years of life, bifidobacteria predominate.
- From the age of 3, the microbiota begins to diversify and reaches its maximum complexity in the adult organism.
Finally, it is important to note that ANDIn 1989, Strachan demonstrated that there was a reduction in the microbial load in developed countries thanks to high hygiene standards; thereby accelerating the rise of immune diseases. However, we’ll have to stay alert to new research to see how the hypotheses play out. Do not miss it!
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