Your body is full of fungi, viruses, and bacteria. Together these tiny little bugs are called a microbiome. While some of them are connected to diseases, others are very important to your immune system, weight, and heart, as well as other areas of your health.
What is Gut Microbiome?
Microscopic living things, such as fungi, viruses, and bacteria exist mainly on your skin and inside your intestines. Inside of your intestines, these microbes live inside of your intestines. Bacteria is the most studied of the microbiome that lives inside of you.
There are approximately forty trillion bacterial cells in your body and roughly thirty trillion human cells. Of these numbers, there are about one-thousand species of bacteria in your gut microbiome. Each of these species has a different role in your body, and each role is vital to your overall health, and some cause diseases.
How Does Your Gut Health Affect Your Body?
Without the gut microbiome, it would be extremely difficult for you to survive. This microbiome affects your body from the moment you are born. Your first exposure to these microbiome occurs as you pass through your mother’s birth canal.
As you grow, your gut microbiome starts to diversify and begins to contain different types of microbial species. The higher diversity of microbiome is considered to be good for your health. The foods you eat are what affects the diversity of your gut bacteria. It will affect your body in a number of ways as your microbiome grows including:
· Digesting fiber: One of the functions of the gut bugs are to consume the fibers that we humans cannot. They create a by product called buterayte that is a short chain fatty acid that feeds the rest of the colony.
· Absorption of micronutrients: Most commonly known for the role it plays in the synthesis of vitamin B12 in the colon, gut bacteria also help facilitate the synthesis of thiamin, folate, biotin, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid. Gut bacteria also play a role in helping the body meet its daily requirement of vitamin K.
· Help control brain health: Research shows the gut microbiome affects the central nervous system, which in turn controls brain functions.
· Digesting breast milk: There are some bacteria which begin to grow inside our intestines when we are babies, called Bifidobacteria. These bacteria digest the healthy sugars found in breast milk are important for growth.
· Helps to control your immune system: Gut microbiome controls how your immune system functions. By communicating with immune cells, the microbiome in your gut is able to control how your body responds to infection. Many auto-immune diseases can be associated with the wrong type of bacteria living inside of you.
· Feces: Mostly made of water (about 75%). The rest is made of dead bacteria that helped us digest our food, living bacteria, protein, undigested food residue (known as fiber), waste material from food, cellular linings, fats, salts, and substances released from the intestines (such as mucus) and the liver.
Did you know that one round of antibiotics can set your gut colony back 6 months?! Thus the importance of a good quality probiotics or beneficial bacteria on a regular basis.
These are some of the reasons that explain the importance of gut health. One example of how these gut microbiome can affect your health is their role in intestinal diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Abdominal pain, cramps, and bloating that can be experienced in people can be tied back to gut dysbiosis. These symptoms can occur due to microbes, which produce a lot of gas and other chemicals, that will contribute to intestinal discomfort.
On the other hand, healthy bacteria in the gut microbiome is able to improve your gut health. When you have a healthy gut microbiome, it controls your gut health and overall health. With your gut health communicating with your intestinal cells, it will help digest certain foods, and prevent disease-causing bacteria from sticking to your intestinal walls.