5 Facts You Should Know About Microbiome and How It Works

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In addition to the fact that the body gets most of the nutrients and minerals it needs to function through the digestive system, researchers and medical experts believe that almost all illnesses begin in the gut. As if that’s all, your intestinal lining contains millions of bacteria and other microorganisms that play a wide range of functions to ensure your wellbeing. Collectively, this is known as intestinal flora, gut microbiota, or microbiome. Apart from being a major component of the immune system that helps keep diseases at bay, these friendly microorganisms assist in digestion and absorption of essential nutrients from the food you eat. Even though we’ll be focusing more on gut microbiota in this article, the human skin also has a fair share of friendly microorganisms living on it in their millions!

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Source: pixabay

Now, the general state, health, and levels of your microbiota can have a huge impact as far as your overall well being is concerned. As you will discover if you stick around to find out more about microbiome here, a healthy microbiota will go a long way in ensuring proper digestion and metabolism while keeping your immune system in tip-top shape. This is why, from obesity to inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, diabetes, asthma, and even cancer, an unhealthy microbiome is associated with a wide variety of acute and chronic illnesses.

Without further ado, here are 5 facts you should know about your microbiome and how it works.

It’s a huge and diverse territory
For starters, the gut of the average human being contains a variety of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa, living in unison in one ecosystem. However, the majority of this community consists of bacteria. On this note, the microbiome consists of hundreds of bacterial species, which when counted cell-to-cell, could total up to 39 trillion. Considering that your body consists of roughly 37.5 trillion cells, this means that literally more than 50% of your body is made up of bacteria! The good thing is that collectively as gut flora, these bacteria and microorganisms play a plethora of roles that are critical to the proper functioning of your body and overall well-being. In addition to regulating immune functions, some of these bugs are responsible for regulating the production of vitamin K as well as some B vitamins, for instance. Gut bacteria such as lactobacillus not only promote healthy digestion, they also help ward off gut pathogens. It’s even more interesting that none of us are actually born with these healthy bugs in the gut. Rather, we acquire them during the initial stages of development. However, there’s a considerable level of microbes that pass from mothers to their newborns during birth, which explains the difference in microbiota composition in C-section babies.

Your diet can support a healthy microbiome (or not)

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Source: pixabay

To optimize your metabolism, strengthen your immune system, and promote your well-being, gut flora require energy, which is obtained from the food you take. They depend on certain nutrients to reproduce as well, to maintain optimal balance. This only adds to the fact that you are actually what you eat since what goes into your belly will determine whether or not your microbiome stays healthy. For instance, grains, veggies, pulses, fruits, and other foods that are rich in prebiotic fiber have been seen to promote the healthy growth of gut microbiome species like faecalibacterium and bifidobacterium. These bacteria can also be found in abundance in live culture yogurts and supplements.  For a healthy digestive tract that promotes your overall well being, it’s important to take more foods that promote a healthy balance of gut flora.

Lifestyle habits can affect your Microbiota
By now, you already know that your lifestyle habits can make or break your health. It also occurs that practices like smoking cigarettes or the overuse of alcohol can put a toll on your gut health. This is mostly because these substances contain toxins that disrupt the balance and diversity of the healthy gut microbiome. Cigarette smoking, especially, is a no-go zone as far as gut health and overall well-being are concerned. As for alcohol, on the other hand, studies have shown that when consumed in moderation, red wine can specifically help improve digestive health.

It works like an organ
In layman’s terms, an organ is a collection of tissues and cells that in unison, play several critical roles or perform specific functions that are crucial in the proper functioning of the body. The failure of one organ can hinder the proper functioning of another organ, often leading to certain health concerns. Well, even though the gut microbiome cannot be called an organ since it’s not exactly of human origin, this collection of bugs in the gut plays a plethora of roles throughout the body, roles that are critical to man’s survival, good health, and wellness.

Your microbiome health can always be restored
In the human body, nothing is more resilient than the gut. Alcohol, medication, and acidic foods are just a few of the many substances we take into the gut and introduce toxins that disrupt its integrity. Unfortunately, the gut microbiome is what hurts the most. Actually, antibiotic medications have specifically been found out to cause the most chaos as far as gut microbiota health is concerned. After a considerable amount of time on antibiotics, the composition of the user’s microbiome may quickly change, resulting in an imbalance. Luckily, these little healthy bugs are wired to multiply pretty quickly when supplied with the right nutrients and conditions. Even while still under the same antibiotics, simply taking the right foods, probiotics, or supplements, as earlier explained, could see your gut flora balance restored within a matter of days.

Bonus fact – Your microbiome composition can help tell if you’re fit or not
It also happens that your gut flora composition can be used to predict your weight as either skinny or overweight – and the results are 90% accurate!

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Source: pixabay

In a nutshell, maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is essential in many ways. Your gut composition can affect your ability to fight disease and your metabolism. It can have an effect on your cognitive and mental health. Your overall well-being depends on your microbiome and the best you can do is take good care of it.

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Summary
Title
5 Facts You Should Know About Microbiome and How It Works
Description
In addition to the fact that the body gets most of the nutrients and minerals it needs to function through the digestive system, researchers and medical experts believe that almost all illnesses begin in the gut.

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