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What is the microbiota
What is the microbiota

What is the microbiota

Author:
Date: July 06, 2021

By microbiota we mean the population of bacteria, fungi, viruses and protists that live with us in our organism in a symbiotic way (without causing damage), in fact we are 90% composed of microbes and only 10% of human cells, instead the microbiome term refers to the genetic makeup of the microbiota.

The human microbiota is based on mutualism or a cooperation between different types of organisms that brings an advantage to each one.

This multi-fold and multi-structured population has its own autonomy (it is in any case in direct and constant interaction with our brain). This split, even if still integrated, involves the uncertain assignment of the title of "first brain" between these two entities.

The term intestinal flora is not entirely correct or better, before it was because the bacteria were classified in the plant kingdom and bacteria are not only present in the intestine, even in the mouth, nose, etc.

How does it work

The microbiota is constantly exchanging parts of genetic material (transposons) with our cells.

What does this mean ??? That our concept of genetic heritage loses its meaning thus becoming the sum of the material present exclusively inside our cells plus that of the microbiota, called microbiome (see above).

In any case, do not be afraid, no one will turn into a giant bacterium ... in fact the 2 kits are optimally balanced, a perfect balance between human genes and the genes of the bacteria that colonize it. (approximately 99% of the genetic makeup is of bacterial origin).

Microbiome and obesity

In obese subjects it was observed that the proliferation of a type of bacteria, known as Firmicuti, greatly increased the intestinal absorption of nutrients by drastically reducing the calories excreted with the feces, this wants us to understand that in the treatment of obesity, we should not limit ourselves. to decrease the caloric intake but to dedicate time to modify the microbiome of the subject trying to favor the establishment of a population of microbes able to accumulate a smaller quantity of the calories introduced with the diet.

  • In humans, there are between 500 and 10,000,000 different species of microorganisms
  • Most of these microorganisms are bacteria, followed by fungi and viruses
  • the majority of bacteria are anaerobic (narrow or facultative).
  • The best known intestinal bacterium in humans is Escherichia coli.

Main functions

  • breakdown of substances that our system is unable to dismantle, such as cartilage and cellulose molecules.
  • synthesis of substances such as vitamin K (essential role in blood clotting)
  • assimilate otherwise indigestible components of our diet, such as plant polysaccharides

Genesis

We are not born with the developed microbiota, but it is formed during the first days of life.

Each individual has a peculiar microbiota, despite the fact that a small number of species shared by all have been identified that would constitute the phylogenetic nucleus of the human intestinal microbiota.

  1. At birth, the digestive tract of newborns is sterile and is immediately colonized by the microorganisms it comes into contact with from the mother's reproductive and fecal tract
    • Birth with traditional delivery -> the newborn comes into contact with microbes that immediately provide him with the ability to metabolize breast milk, as well as to have adequate immune defenses.
    • Birth by caesarean section -> a good chance of presenting digestive problems and poor development of the immune defenses.
  2. Afterwards, the newborn will come into contact with bacteria that come from breastfeeding, the environment, and food.
  3. In the next two / three years, the child's microbiome will undergo changes based on the environment that surrounds it and the contacts it will have with plants, animals, people, food and so on.

Composition

  • 80% of the bacteria cause fermentation e.g.
    1. Lactobacillus
    2. Bifidobacteria
  • 20% causes the putrefaction of the remains eg:
    1. Escherichia
    2. Bacteroides
    3. Eubacteria
    4. Clostridium

Most of these bacteria are useful or harmless as constituents of the human microbiota in equilibrium of eubiosi importantism to remember and yet the fact that taken individually they can be very dangerous or deadly in other areas.

  1. probiotics (in favor of life): these are strains of microorganisms that when ingested improve the balance (eubiosis) of the human microbiota
  2. A prebiotic, on the other hand, is a non-digestible food with beneficial effects on health through the selective stimulation of the growth or activity of a specific (or small number) group of colon bacteria.

 

Foods to be preferred:

  • legumes (chickpeas, beans, lentils)
  • whole grains (oats, quinoa, amaranth, spelt, millet, barley, etc.)
  • fruit (kiwi, apples, plums, figs, etc.)
  • dried fruit (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, etc.)
  • vegetables (with particular regard to asparagus, carrots, garlic, leeks, onions, tomatoes, peas, Brussels sprouts, beets, fennel, artichokes)
  • probiotics (kombucha tea, milk or water kefir).


Foods to avoid or severely limit:

  • cooked meat
  • refined flours
  • sugar
  • animal fats
  • additives
  • preservatives
  • artificial sweeteners.


Regarding the foods to avoid / prefer, let's remember that to be healthy a varied and balanced diet is recommended, do not stop eating a food in particular only because it is written here ... everything if in the right doses you can eat without causing unpleasant effects .




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