MICROBIOME AND HEALTH
by Don Pearson, Technical Director BioBrew Ltd
The gut microbiome produces an enormous number of metabolic products and other compounds that directly interact with our physiological pathways. The immune system monitors the status of the gut microbiota and causes other tissues in the body to adjust their physiological processes.
The set of compounds produced by the gut microbiome depends on the composition of that microbiome. The microbiome, and its metabolite are conversely influenced by diet. Metabolic changes in the microbiome can lead to the production of toxic products.
Some people are affected by health challenges related to poor immunity (over or under stimulation) and inflammation. Diet plays a large role in managing these issues, because of interactions between the gut microbiota and immune system.
Dysbiosis (a gut microbiome that is disadvantageous to the host) can be caused by multiple factors including
- the use of antibiotics
- psychological stress
- physical stress
- (Hawrelak and Myers, 2004)
Dysbiosis can lead to the following conditions
- disruption of the epithelial barrier, increasing our susceptibility to infections.
- inadequate immune reactions to the gut microbiota
- chronic inflammation
- tissue damage.
The consequences of this dysbiosis can be found throughout the body. This is caused by interactions with the immune system triggering dysfunctions in other organs. These abnormal interactions may lead to allergies and may even lead to autoimmune disorders (Honda and Littman, 2016).
A healthy interaction between our immune system and the gut microbiome is crucial for the maintenance of our health. Imbalances in the gut microbiome may lead to the development of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. This is why it is important to take good care of our gut. This starts with what we eat and the intact probiotic fermentations we consume.
Hawrelak, J.A., Myers, S.P., (2004) “The Causes of Intestinal Dysbiosis: A Review” Altern. Med. Rev. 9 180–197.
Honda K, Littman DR. (2016). The microbiota in adaptive immune homeostasis and disease. Nature. 2016 Jul 7;535(7610):75-84. doi: 10.1038/nature18848.