Microbiome & Health
Everyone’s got a personal collection of microbiotas. You could think of yours as your unique internal pet—at up to 3 percent of your body mass requiring nurturing and feeding. In turn, your microbiota provides essential services: extracting energy from food, absorbing, and generating vitamins and amino acids, and forming barriers against infective invaders. New studies are showing your microbiota might also fight diabetes, obesity, and cancer; stimulate your immune system; break down toxins; and boost your overall health.
The gut microbiota has a crucial role in metabolic health, but researchers are only just determining the mechanisms underpinning this effect. Studies have found that a specific class of bacteria that degrades mucin in the gut lining and can have beneficial effects on metabolic disorders, has a key role in systemic glucose metabolism. These classes of bacteria modulate glucose metabolism by altering the gene expression of certain key biomolecules in the ileum.
Everyone’s microbiome appears to be unique and is readily modified by diet, its multiple microorganisms seem to have overlapping roles, and applied microbiome interventions could revolutionize the way we think about gut bacteria in relation to weight loss, immunity, disease, and the creation of essential nutrients.