The health of your gut microbiota is the basis of your health. What is the gut microbiota? How is it related to health, disease, and obesity? Keep reading to find out the answers to all your questions about the gut microbiota.
What Is The Gut Microbiota?
The gut microbiota is formerly known as the gut flora. It is the microbe population living in your intestine.
It contains tens of trillions of microorganism, including 1000 different types of bacteria. The entire microbiota can weigh up to 2 kg, or 4.4 lbs. Your gut microbiota is like a unique ID card inside your body. Two-thirds of your gut microbiota is unique to you, whereas the remaining one third is common to most people.
One-third of our gut microbiota is common to most people, while two-thirds are specific to each one of us. In other words, the microbiota in your intestine is like an individual identity card.
A newborn’s gut microbiota largely depends on their mother as their digestive tract is colonized by the mother, for example, through their vagina, skin, and breast. Starting the third day, the composition of their microbiota is dependent on how they are fed. Breastmilk is superior to formulas as they not only contain more nutrients but are dominated by bifidobacteria. By age 3, children’s microbiota becomes more stable and more similar to adults’. However, the microbiota never stops changing. (1)
Gut Microbiota Functions
- Helps to digest food
- Allows proper digestive functioning
- Helping the production of vitamin B and K
- Helps fighting harmful microorganisms
- Functions as a barrier to protect the immune system
Dietary Tips To Improve Microbiota
The food you eat plays an essential role in your gut microbiota health, diversity, and functioning, which is very important for your overall health and well-being.
It is important to eat an overall nutrient-rich diet with lots of greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes.
Prebiotics are absolutely crucial. They are a type of fiber that gets fermented in your stomach feeding probiotics, the good bacteria to support your health. Prebiotic-rich foods include onion, garlic, tomatoes, plums, apples, asparagus, and leek.
Probiotics are absolutely essential to help keep balance in your gut and fight harmful invaders. Probiotic-rich foods include kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha. Most people can also benefit from taking a high-quality probiotic supplement. (1, 2)
Examples of beneficial probiotics:
- L. Acidophilus
- L. Rhamnosus
- L. Plantarum
- L. Casei
- B. Lactis
- B. Longum
- B. Bifidum
- B. Breve
Gut Microbiota And Obesity
If your gut microbiota becomes out of balance, it has a difficult time digesting food. A compromised gut flora can lead to inflammation in the body, diabetes, difficulty losing weight, body fat, and obesity. (3, 4)
Gut Microbiota In Health And Disease
An unhealthy diet and toxic overload can result in a compromised gut microbiota can lead to inflammation in the body, which can lead to disease. An unhealthy gut microbiota can also lead to Candida overgrowth and leaky gut which can lead to various diseases, including autoimmune diseases, thyroid conditions, mental health issues, and cancer. (5, 6, 7, 8)
Microbiota and Microbiome
The gut microbiota consists of a wide variety of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other single-cell live animals living inside the intestine. The microbiome is the name used for all the genes inside the microbial cells. (1, 8)
Bad gut bacteria types
- E. Coli
- Clostridium perfringens
I hope this article gave you a good understanding of what the gut microbiota is. If you have any questions, share them in the comment section. We would love to hear from you.