The Microbiome

What is it?

The gut microbiome is a vast community of bacterial species residing symbiotically in our gastrointestinal tract (intestines).

  • Trillions of bacterial cells (over 1013 cells)
  • Thousands of species
  • About 10X more bacterial cells in the human body than mammalian cells
  • Approximately 2X genomic information than mammalian genes
  • Constitute approximately 1-2kg of our body weight

Microbiome7

 

Healthy Bacteria Unhealthy Bacteria
Lactobacillus lactis,

L. acidophilus,

L. fermentum,

L. reuteri

Clostridium difficle
Bifidobacteria longum

B. infantis

B. bifidum

Escherichia coli
Clostridium cluster IV Salmonella
Roseburia spp. Enterobacter family
Many More! Serratia family

Where are they found? What do they do?

They reside in very specific ecological niches in the gastrointestinal tract allowing them to closely interact with the host (us) biology. The presence of the gut microflora is critical for the proper absorption of nutrients, vitamin synthesis (including B and K) and the break-down of fiberous tissues for the production of health-promoting metabolic products like the short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). The SCFAs are the fermentation products of certain classes of bacteria that contain enzymes to breakdown fibers indigestible to humans. Butyrate, propionate and acetate are the major health-promoting SCFAs and their sustained concentrations in human blood circulation have been linked to reduced gastrointestinal and metabolic diseases.

 

Enterotypes

Each human being has a unique microflora signature. The relative populations of our gut microflora is dependent on several aspects including: birth method (vaginal vs. cesarean), length of time breast-feeding, exposure to microbes during childhood, antibiotic usage and dietary habits. Based on the latter (diet), three distinct classifications based on the types of of bacteria present have been made. These are known as enterotypes and they are age, gender, body weight and location-independent.

  • Class I: high Bacteriodes (high protein and animal fats)
  • Class II: few Bacteriodes but elevated Prevotella (high carbohydrates)
  • Class III: high Ruminococcus

Unhealthy Microflora leads to disease:

Without a diverse population of bacterial species, humans would succumb to a whole host of diseases. It has been clinically proven that imbalances (dysbiosis) in the gut microflora contributes to the onset or aggravation of:

Gut Diseases Energy Diseases
Other
Diseases
Brain
Diseases
Crohn’s disease
Metabolic
syndrome
Auto-immune
disease
Depression and anxiety
Colorectal
Cancer
Obesity Cancer Schizophrenia
Irritable bowel syndrome Diabetes
Rheumatoid
arthritis
Autism
Leaky gut syndrome Alzheimer’s disease