Did you know
Your gut microbiome is pivotal in maintaining your health and managing your weight?
Our gut microbiome is pivotal in maintaining our health and managing weight.
The micro-organisms that inhabit our tracts help protect you from pathogens, help digest certain foods, provide you with micro-nutrients, and participate in the barrier function of your gut…
What is the
Picture a bustling city on a weekday morning, the sidewalks flooded with people rushing to get to work or to appointments.
Now imagine this at a microscopic level and you have an idea of what the microbiome looks like inside our bodies, consisting of trillions of micro-organisms of thousands of different species.
These include not only bacteria but fungi, parasites, and viruses. In a healthy person, these “bugs” coexist peacefully, with the largest numbers found in the small and large intestines but also throughout the body.
The microbiome is even labelled a supporting organ because it plays so many key roles in promoting the smooth daily operations of the human body.
In a healthy body, pathogenic and symbiotic microbiota coexist without problems.
But if there is a disturbance in that balance — brought on by infectious illnesses, certain diets, or the prolonged use of antibiotics or other bacteria-destroying medications — dysbiosis occurs, stopping these normal interactions. As a result, the body may become more susceptible to disease.
‘Microbiota’ is the term used to describe all these thousands of different microscopic organisms living in or on your body.
The composition of microbiota is specific to each individual.
The microorganisms that inhabit our tracts are called the gut microbiota. These microorganisms help protect you from pathogens, they help you digest certain foods, they provide you with micronutrients, and they participate in the barrier function of your gut.
When you consider that the number of microorganisms in your gut microbiota is more than ten times the number of cells in your body, it goes some way to explaining their importance.
Knowledge of the importance of a healthy gut goes back to ancient times. In 400 BC, Hippocrates stated: ‘Death sits in the bowels’ and ‘Bad digestion is the root of all evil’.
More than 2,000 years, science has proved Hippocrates right. A balanced gut microbiota influences many aspects of human health, including your gut barrier function, immune system, metabolism of sugars, proteins and fats, gut-brain-signalling (neurological, behaviour), elimination of toxins and production of energy. It also helps shape and mature the gastrointestinal tract in early life and supports a balanced renewal of the intestinal cells later in life. (Sommer F, Bäckhed F. The Gut Microbiota–Masters of Host Development and Physiology. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2013 Apr;11(4):227-38.).
The beneficial effects of your gut microbiota are highly dependent on its composition/diversity. We all have a genetic component to our gut microbiota. But environmental factors including diet, drugs and weight also have a big influence.
This means that it is important to keep a balanced gut microbiota to help your body be able to increase its defence and protection capacities.
One common effect of an unbalanced gut microbiota can be a disturbance of the gut barrier that makes the gut mucosa more leaky. (The gut microbiome in cardiometabolic health. Gene Medicine 2015;7:33.)
When the function of the gut barrier is disturbed, the gut permeability increases and become unbalanced, meaning more components and toxins pass from the gut lumen into the body.
The most powerful influence on your gut microbiota is diet. Indeed, eating poor quality food (high in fat and low in fibre) will negatively influence the diversity of bacteria in your gut and the function of the gut microbiota, especially when combined with long-term sedentary habits. This in turn can affect health by creating an unbalanced gut microbiota.
Supplementation with pasteurised Akkermansia can help ensure a well-balanced gut microbiota. If you join the Akkermansia Program when it is launched, we will give you nutritional tips and recipes for a varied diet, as well as exercises to follow for a healthy body.
Your gut microbiota will thank you!
Want to dig a little deeper?
Here’s some further reading that we’ve collated for you
Gut microbiota — at the intersection of everything?
Over the past decade, numerous studies have found an association between the gut microbiota composition and many diseases…
Human gut microbiome: hopes, threats and promises
Although gut microbes have been explored for several decades, investigations of the role of micro-organisms that reside in the human gut has attracted much attention…
Gut Microbiota and Host Metabolism: From Proof of Concept to Therapeutic Intervention
In this review, we discuss various studies and models that helped identifying the microbiota…
Gut microbiome and health: mechanistic insights
Understanding the complexity and the molecular aspects linking gut microbes to health will help to set the basis for novel therapies…
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