You have 10x the number of microbe cells in you than your own human cells. That means 99% of the genes housed in your body come from microbes. In voting terms, that is a ton of influence on your life. Newsflash! If you can influence the microbes, you have great influence on your entire being.

The microbiome’s role includes detoxification, protection and regulation of other body systems such as hormone and energy distribution networks, the immune system, and the brain, for its cognitive functions. It also provides you nutrients like folates, vitamin K, biotin, riboflavin (B2), cobalamin (B12), and possibly other B vitamins .

Role of a healthy microbiome

  • Affects how we store fat
  • Detoxification
  • Energy production
  • Converts food into available nutrients
  • Works with our immune system
  • Affects our mood – happy, sad or depressed
  • Produces vitamins 
  • Reduces inflammation

Did you know about the human genome  project?

  • Completed in April 2003
  • In the cells of the human body, there are 26,000 functioning genetic units
  • In the cells of the human microbiome there are 100 trillion bacteria providing 4 million distinct bacterial genetic units. 
  • 95% of the bacteria are located in the large intestine
  • Human physiologic and behavioural complexity increasingly linked to diversity of microbiome

A healthy microbiota includes several families of bacteria. This is like having a county that is dominated by the Smith and Jones families, with some smaller families from the Johnson, Black and Nelson households. In total this region has about 100 trillion residents. You might also like to know that 70% of the residents live in town (the large intestine) and 30% live in the suburbs (other parts of the intestinal tract). 

Over all, these families support one another in community and tend to keep each other in check. Just like humans living in their communities. The good ole’ neighbourhood watch keeps an eye on things. If you are from the “Smith” phyla, you have brothers, sisters, parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents.  Within your family there are several members with different first names. 

There are seven common healthy gastrointestinal microbe strains. For the geeks in the crowd, the bacterial gut microbiome is mostly made of microbes from the families of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes.  There are also members of the Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Fusobacteria, and Verrucomicrobia phyla families, but they are not as abundant .  Seventy percent of the families in your microbiome are from the phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, and thirty percent from the families of ProteobacteriaVerrucomicrobiaActinobacteriaFusobacteria, and Cyanobacteria 

The exact microbiome composition varies from person to person. 1057 individual types of microbes have been identified and cultured in the human microbiota. Each of us has our own unique combination of about 160 different ones . They are mostly bacteria, but can also include fungi, protozoa and viruses. Think of the microbiome like your finger print. Very unique. 

However, there are times when we get visitors we don’t want. Over and above the healthy microbiome, or the residents of the region, there are vagrants that come in and disrupt the natural balance. The variety and balance of gut bacteria is often different in people with chronic inflammatory conditions. 

Okay, so there’s three different 70/30 splits we just talked about. Let’s clarify:

70% of your immune is in your gut. 

70% of your microbes are in your large intestine

70% of the microbes that exist belong to two out of seven of the phyla or families of bacteria. 

Research continues to reveal that there is no single bacterium to blame for a disease but from changes to the entire microbiome. Since 70% or more of our immune system in is our gut, several diseases that result from a microbiome shift are autoimmune in nature.  If not kept in check, imbalances can cause issues. Some examples are below.

Examples of gut microbes linked to disease: 

  • Klebsiella : Ankylosis Spondylitis
    • CtirobacterKlebsiellaProteus: Rheumatoid Arthritis
    • Yersinia: Grave’s disease & Hashimotos disease (AutoImmune Thyroid)
    • S.Pyrogenes: Rheumatic Fever
    • Camphylobacter jejuni: Guillian Barre Syndrome
    • E.coliProteus: Auto immunity in general[LMB7] 

The microbiome acts much like any other organ in the body; it takes in nutrients for the purpose of living; conserving and distributing energy. It can repair and rejuvenate when it is damaged. When damaged beyond repair it may die off. 

The health of your GUT makes deep impacts on the health of your entire body. Growing evidence supports this, When Hippocrates said, it all begins in the gut he was smarter than even he might have imagined. That was about 2450 years ago. Has the human condition ever really changed? Not really, it’s still so very true. Modern science confirms the gut is related to so much.

Common gastrointestinal symptoms

  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain, bloating or cramping

Common coexisting mood disorders

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Attention Deficit Disorder

Common coexisting conditions related to gut health

  • Cognitive decline
  • Eczema
  • Rosacea
  • Psoriasis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • SLE/Lupus
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Polymyalgia
  • Hypothyroidism

Get the bottom of the matter

Do you experience any of these health issues listed above?  If you care to get to the bottom of the matter (so to speak), let’s talk. After we review your health concerns in an initial intake appointment, I can drop ship a stool analysis kit directly to you. You can then collect samples in the convenience of your own home. With the prepaid courier pouch, ship them direct from your home to the lab. In about three weeks we will have another appointment where we can discuss your test results. Knowing what’s in your microbiome is a perfect place to start a plan to improve the health of the rest of your body.


References

Eckburg PB, Bik EM, Bernstein CN, Purdom E, Dethlefsen L, Sargent M, Gill SR, Nelson KE, Relman DAScience. 2005 Jun 10; 308(5728):1635-8.Frank DN, St Amand AL, Feldman RA, Boedeker EC, Harpaz N, Pace NR. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Aug 21; 104(34):13780-5.

Galland L. The Gut Microbiome and the Brain. Journal of Medicinal Food. 2014;17(12):1261-1272. doi:10.1089/jmf.2014.7000.

Lankelma J.M., NieuwdorpM., de Vos W.M. ,  Wiersinga W.J. The gut microbiota in internal medicine: implications for health and disease. Neth. J. Med., 73 (2015), pp. 61-68

LeBlanc, J.G., Milani, C., de Giori, G.S., Sesma, F., van Sinderen, D., Ventura, M., 2013. Bacteria as vitamin suppliers to their host: a gut microbiota perspective. Current Opinion In Biotechnology 24(2):160e168.

Qin J., Li R., Raes J., Arumugam M., Burgdorf K.S.,, Manichanh C,, Nielsen T. et al., A human gut microbial gene catalogue established by metagenomic sequencing. Nature, 464 (2010), pp. 59-65

Qin, J., Li, R., Raes, J., Arumugam, M., Burgdorf, K.S., Manichanh, C., et al., 2010. A human gut microbial gene catalog established by metagenomic sequencing. Nature 464(7285):59e65.

Qin J.  et al. A human gut microbial gene catalogue established by metagenomic sequencing.  Nature, 464 (2010), pp. 59-65

Rajili_c-Stojanovi_c, M., de Vos, W.M., 2014. The first 1000 cultured species of the human gastrointestinal microbiota. Fems Microbiology Reviews 38(5):996e1047.

Schippa S, Conte MP. Dysbiotic events in gut microbiota: impact on human health.2014 Dec 11; 6(12): Nutrients.

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