Gut Microbiome

Context: A recent study conducted by researchers from a Japanese university compared the gut microbiota of older healthy individuals in two Japanese cities. The findings indicate a potential connection between gut microbiota and longevity.

image 85

About Gut microbiome

  • Also known as gut microbiota or gut flora.
  • It is the microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbes, that reside in the gastrointestinal tract, particularly in the large intestine.

Composition of gut microbiome

  • Microbial colonization of the human gut begins at birth.
  • The types of microorganisms in our gut can differ depending on where they are in the digestive system. 
  • The colon, which is part of the large intestine, has the most microorganisms compared to any other part of our body.
  • Factors such as diet, lifestyle, medications (especially antibiotics), stress, and certain diseases can influence the composition and diversity of the gut microbiota. 

Role of gut microbiome in our bodies

  • Digestion and Nutrient Absorption: Certain bacteria in the gut help break down dietary fibers and other complex carbohydrates that our body cannot digest on its own. They produce enzymes that break down these compounds into simpler molecules that can be absorbed and utilised by our bodies.
  • Immune System Function: A balanced and diverse microbiota helps maintain a healthy immune system, protecting against pathogens and reducing the risk of autoimmune diseases.
  • Metabolism and Energy Regulation: Studies have shown that the composition of gut microbiota can influence our metabolism and energy balance. Imbalances in the gut microbiota have been associated with metabolic disorders such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.
  • Synthesis of Vitamins and Beneficial Compounds: Some gut bacteria are capable of producing vitamins, such as vitamin K and certain B vitamins, that our bodies cannot produce on their own. 

Brain-Gut Axis: The gut microbiota communicates bidirectionally with the brain through the gut-brain axis. This connection influences various aspects of brain function, including mood regulation, stress response, and cognitive function. One particular metabolite(a substance formed in or necessary for metabolism), butyrate, has emerged as a crucial element in promoting brain health through the gut-brain axis.

More about Brain Gut Axis

  • Butyrate is produced when “good” bacteria in gut help the body break down dietary fiber in large intestine (colon). It’s one of several short-chain fatty acids, which are named for their chemical structure.
  • Butyrate being the single most demarcating factor between the longest living and the shortest life span.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 20 MB. You can upload: image, document, archive, other. Drop files here

Online Counselling
Table of Contents
Today's Current Affairs
This is default text for notification bar