Microbiota and Microbiome

What is Microbiota and Microbiome?

While microbes were thought to be health-damaging microorganisms for decades, many medical studies in recent years have shown the presence of trillions of microorganisms in our bodies striving to protect our health. In this community called microbiota, there are up to 100 trillion bacteria and their weight can reach 2-3 kilograms. 2 to 3 percent of our body weight consists of microbiotas. In fact, the number of microbiota bacteria is 10 times higher than the number of our own cells.

The genetic material owned by the microbiota is called the microbiome. However, these two terms are often used in the same sense. The number of genes in the microbiome is 150 times greater than the number of genes in the human genome. In other words, our body has more bacterial cells and genes than our own cells and genes. The microbiota is briefly summarized as the internal ecosystem of our bodies. Microbiota can be found in 18 different places in the body. The intestines are where most of the bacteria is found. The intestinal microbiota develops while in the womb. During pregnancy, bacteria pass from mother to baby. Bacterial transmission from the mother continues during childbirth, under normal vaginal delivery and breastfeeding. We also get a lot of bacteria from what we eat, drink, our environment and the people we contact. These microorganisms may sometimes be good and sometimes be bad. A healthy human body is heavy on the number of good bacteria. (80% to 20%).

What Diseases Does Disruption of Microbiota Lead to?

Weakness of the intestines, damage or disruption of the intestinal flora for various reasons leading up to chronic diseases, obesity, and aging. The microbiota plays an important part in the performance of various body functions such as digesting food, helping support the immune system, the production of some vitamins, gut health, inflammation prevention and in the protection of the ideal body weight, brain activity, etc. 

With the disruption of microbiota, many diseases such as allergies, sinusitis, bronchitis, chronic fatigue, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, neurological diseases such as migraines, depression, anxiety disorder, asthma, Autism, various cancers, Celiac disease, colitis, diabetes, eczema, acne, rosacea, skin diseases such as urticaria, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), diseases of the immune system may occur.

Microbiata and Nutrition

The digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients could be considered as one of the main tasks of the intestinal microbiots. Some bacteria in the intestines help break down complex molecules in meat and vegetables. Microbiota bacteria feed on the foods we consume.  For the survival and reproduction of these bacteria, it is very important to consume appropriate nutrients. When the balance of this bacterial community is disrupted, significant digestive problems arise.

Another task of the microbiota is to maintain the health of the intestinal wall cells. It is also possible that intestinal bacteria affect the feeling of hunger and fullness through their metabolic activities. The more various foods are consumed, the more the intestinal bacteria vary. Some studies show that bacterial imbalances increase weight, especially in people with high amounts of “Firmicutes bacteria”. It was also found that people with metabolic syndrome receiving probiotic support also had a decrease in triglyceride levels and other risk factors related to heart diseases. 

The intestinal cell wall is very thin and contains immune system cells. 75-80 percent of our immune system is controlled by the intestines. For this reason, it is now a known fact that many autoimmune diseases can be associated with hidden digestive system problems. When the microbiome balance is disrupted, the immune system also begins to be stressed. 

Nowadays, it is possible to identify all known bacteria in the feces using a new generation sequencing method. Colonization resistance of complex individual microbiota, digestive processes, absorption of nutrients and vitamins, as well as precise diagnosis of immunity can be achieved as a result to this method. Anaerobic bacteria that cannot be reproduced in culture by molecular biology testing can also be comprehensively detected at the highest technical level. By analyzing a person’s bacterial balance with such microbiota analyses, it is possible to recover from existing diseas and prevent diseases that are likely to occur with various personalized nutrition and lifestyle recommendations.

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