Understanding The Benefits of Microbiota
Friday, 28 February 2020

 Whenever the term "microbes" is mentioned, most people start to think of infectious illnesses. However, not all bacteria are harmful. There are millions of microbes that reside in the human body, and some of them have distinctive benefits.

 The human microbiota (also called the microbiome by some experts), is made up of a wide range of viruses, fungi, bacteria and single-celled organisms that live in the body. It's a symbiotic relationship that benefits both the microbes and the human host, as long as the body is in a healthy state.

While there are still a lot of research initiatives aimed at fully understanding the complex nature of the human microbiome, here are four distinct benefits to the human body.

#1. Nutrition

The microbes in the gut are critical to nutrients intake by humans. They also absorb energy from the food and help break down meats and vegetables into easily digestible parts. Without a healthy gut microbiota, some vegetables and meat are indigestible. Plant cellulose is a great example.

Your gut microbes also affect food cravings and the feeling of being full. Your diet plays a role in the diversity of your gut microbiota. Eating an extensive and healthy range of foods guarantees you a gut microbiota of high diversity. On Microba, you can find a great list of tips on improving the diversity of your gut microbiome.

#2. Disease

An imbalance in your gut microbiome can trigger conditions like ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. These inflammatory bowel conditions are affected by the bacterial health of your gut. Disrupting your microbiome by taking antibiotics can also lead to infections and diseases that are resistant to antibiotics.

A change in diet, or taking probiotic supplements can prevent these conditions by strengthening your microbiota. Your microbiome will help in fighting disease by releasing anti-inflammatory bacteria that combat the harmful bacteria that inevitably show up in your body. That's why you need to look after it.

#3. Immunity

Once a human is born, they start building their immunity. The microbiome is the first level of resistance. As the microbes collected as they journey through their mother's cervix act as the first level of defense. These early microbes act as a quick but efficient response mechanism to any disease-causing factors and organisms.

The onset of allergies and autoimmune conditions happen when the transfer of microbes from mother to child doesn't happen as usual. The absence of a healthy microbiome at that early stage leaves the child vulnerable to infections that can alter the body's genetic make-up for life.

#4. Behavior

The diversity of your microbiota can also affect your brain, which plays an essential role in digestion. Some experts have termed the gut microbiome the "second brain" of the human body. During digestion, some of the molecules released by gut bacteria can trigger a different kind of responses from the nerves linked to the gastrointestinal tract. These responses can come in various forms, depending on the sort of food you just consumed, and the health of your gut microbiome.

Scientists have reported links between the health and diversity of the gut microbiota and psychological conditions such as depression and human autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).

The Bottomline

The human microbiome is one of the most underrated systems in the human body. This is understandable because scientists are yet to understand the complex interactions that happen in the microbiota entirely.

This, however, doesn't change it's importance to the overall health of the human body. It would help if you ate a healthy balance of meals, to develop a diverse microbiome. That way, you can enjoy the full benefits that come from an active human microbiome. 

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