The Microbiome: Looking After Your Gut is Highly Beneficial

Amancay Tapia
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Our bodies are home to a large variety of microorganisms that contain bacteria and viruses.These organisms- the microbiota- together with the collection of genomes from these microorganisms is known as the microbiome.The microbiome is key for our body immunity and nutrition.

NewsBreak spoke to M.D and Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner, Dr Amel Seghouani about the microbiota. She told us, “our bodies are ruled by micro-organisms" .

According to the doctor, future medicine will certainly rely on a better understanding of the symbiotic relationship between humans and their own bugs. 

Mrs Seghouani says that the number of microorganisms present in the human microbiota is considered to be slightly higher than that of human cells in the body. "Around 10,000 species of microorganisms occupy the human microbiota, and there may be more than eight million unique genes associated with several microbiomes in our bodies." 

A main reason why some have already classified the microbiome as an organ in its own right.

"Microorganisms inhabit many parts of the human body; including the gastrointestinal tract, skin, or saliva, among others, but the vast majority live in the colon. Each of these microbiomes is distinct depending on the location in the body, and the relationship is usually positive", the doctor says.

The microbiome is key to the state of our health as it helps to regulate the immune system and the metabolism. It also protects against infection, provides important nutrients, helps our body to break down food, and maintains intestinal integrity.

The main focus of human microbiome research has been studying the bacteria in the gut. The gut microbiota represents the largest and most diverse community in the human microbiome. 

Dr Amel is positive about the better understanding of the negative effects of antibiotics on the gut flora and the importance of taking care of our microbiome through whole food, exercise and regular contact with nature.

‘The colonisation of the intestine by the bacteria living in the human body, starts at birth and is influenced by vaginal or C-section birth. Nevertheless, the microbiota changes with exposure to various environmental factors as we grow up including hygiene, diet, geographical locations, and host genotype”.

To keep our microbiome healthy, we need to understand the role that ‘prebiotics and probiotics” play. Probiotics are foods or supplements that contain live microorganisms that are considered beneficial for our health. Prebiotics, are mainly high fiber foods that act as food for human microflora, with the intention of improving the balance of these microorganisms.

Doctor Seghouani says that "foods sources are the first and best way to start consuming probiotics and prebiotics, however, they can also be taken as supplements to help top up our microbiome." 

Those on necessary antibiotics, can help the microbiome with a yeast probiotics called Saccharomyces Boulardii, to avoid bad micro-organisms colonisation during the treatment.

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