Your body has trillions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi in it. Collectively they are known as the microbiome.
While certain bacteria are associated with illness, others are of great importance to your immune system, heart, weight and many other health aspects.
What Is the Gut Microbiome?
Your 'gut microbiome' is consists of trillions of microorganisms (Bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microscopic living things) or microbes for short, and their genetic material that live in your intestinal tract. These microorganisms, consisting mainly of bacteria, play a critical role in your health and well-being. They live in your digestive system and play a key role in digesting the food you eat, and they also help to absorb and synthesize nutrients.
Though there are several different types of microbes living inside you, the most studied are bacteria.
The human gut microbiome includes up to 1,000 species of bacteria, and each of them plays a different role within your body. Most of them are very important to your health while others can cause illness.
How Gut Microbiome Affect Your Body
The gut microbiome starts affecting your body as soon as you're born.
When you pass through your mother's birth canal, you are first exposed to microbes. However, recent research indicates that while within the womb, babies can come into contact with some microbes.
As you grow, your gut microbiome is beginning to diversify, meaning it is beginning to contain several different species of microbials. A greater diversity of microbiome is considered good for your health.
The gut microbiome affects the body by controlling the digestion of food, immune system, central nervous system and other body functions from birth and throughout life.
It Affects Gut Health
The microbiome can also affect gut health and may play a role in intestinal diseases like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, certain healthy bacteria in the microbiome can also improve gut health.
May Affect Brain Health
The gut microbiome can influence brain health by generating chemicals in the brain and interacting with the nerves that are linked to the brain.
May Affect Your Weight
An imbalance of healthy and unhealthy microbes is sometimes called gut dysbiosis, and it may contribute to weight gain but probiotics can potentially restore gut health and help reduce weight.
May Help Control Blood Sugar and Lower the Risk of Diabetes
May Benefit Heart Health
Some bacteria in the gut microbiome can produce chemicals that can block arteries and cause heart disease. Probiotics can also help lower cholesterol and heart disease risk.
To Sum It Up
Your gut microbiome consists of trillions of viruses, fungi and other bacteria.The gut microbiome plays a very important role in your wellbeing, helping with digestive control and improving your immune system and many other health aspects.
An imbalance in the intestines of unhealthy and healthy microbes may lead to weight gain, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and other conditions.
Eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fermented foods to help you develop healthy microbes in your intestines.