The functions of the intestinal microbiome and associated diseases.
- Functions of the gut microbiome
- Associated diseases
The intestinal microbiota represents all the bacteria resident in the intestine and which have a symbiotic relationship with our body. It consists of communities of bacteria, viruses, and fungi with a greater complexity than the human genome, possessing 3.3 million genes unique while the genome has about 23,000 genes.
1. THE FUNCTIONS OF THE INTESTINAL MICROBIOME
- Convert carbohydrates into short-chain fatty acids to produce energy (SCFA)
- It helps the body absorb nutrients such as calcium and iron
- They keep the pH balanced
- They maintain the integrity of the intestinal mucosa
- It neutralizes pathogens and compounds that can cause cancer
- It metabolizes drugs
- They produce digestive enzymes
- It synthesizes vitamins from the B complex and vitamin K
- It synthesizes hormones
- Modulates gene expression
- It modulates the activity of the immune system
- Regulates the tone of lipid metabolism and insulin homeostasis
These functions can be optimally fulfilled when there is a balance between probiotic and pathogenic bacteria (also known as opportunistic flora). The health of the entire organism depends on the balance of the intestinal microbiome.
2. ASSOCIATED DISEASES
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
It is one of the frequent gastrointestinal problems characterized by inflammation and subsequent development of mucosal lesions. It includes two major forms, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, which are distinct relapsing chronic inflammatory disorders of the bowel. The pathogenesis of IBD is mainly caused by the disruption of normal intestinal microbial communities.
Loss of belonging bacteria species Firmicutes and the abundance of some Gammaproteobacteria impair the mucosal immune response to normal bacterial flora and disrupt the regulatory functions of T lymphocytes, which play a key role in inducing chronic intestinal inflammation leading to the development of IBD.
The most prominent change in microbial diversity associated with IBD is the decreased abundance of Firmicutes species that includes the loss of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii , a bacterium that maintains the inflammatory homeostasis of the gut with its potential anti-inflammatory effect.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
It is characterized by a variety of symptoms, among which the most prominent are abdominal pain or discomfort, diarrhea, constipation. Although the etiology is multifactorial, recent understanding of the pathology of IBS has shown that variations in the gut microbiota may play a critical role in the intestinal inflammation associated with irritable bowel syndrome.
Patients with IBS show an increase in bacterial species Firmicutes ( Ruminococcus, Clostridium and Dorea ), a loss of species Bifidobacterium and Faecalibacterium spp. and an abundance of Firmicutes Bacteroidetes.
Celiac disease (CD)
It is another systemic inflammatory bowel disease characterized by pro-inflammatory responses following tissue damage in response to gluten proteins present. The gut microbiota plays a profound role in regulating the pathogenesis of BC.
Obesity and associated inflammatory disorders, as well as the metabolic abnormalities known as the metabolic syndrome composed of hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, insulin resistance/diabetes mellitus, obesity, and hepatic steatosis, are currently considered the major threats to human civilization. Although lifestyle and genetic factors are also considered influential determinants of obesity, recent research on the gut microbiota has suggested that it is a key environmental factor influencing the metabolic syndrome.
Diet-induced disruption of gut microbial composition results in an increase in the ratio of Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes as well as a marked reduction in bacterial diversity.
Allergic diseases are global health problems affecting over half a billion people worldwide. Several genetic, molecular and environmental risk factors are associated with the development of allergies, including the gut microbiota.
The gut microbiota is considered a crucial environmental factor that plays a key role in regulating the severity of allergic diseases
A recent study showed that the loss of bacteria such as Bifidobacterium, Akkermansia and Faecalibacterium, along with an abundance of fungi such as Candida and Rhodotorula in neonates, may predispose to allergic susceptibility by influencing T-cell differentiation.
Other studies show that dysbiosis also plays a key role in the onset and pathogenesis of several inflammatory autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), type I diabetes, and Crohn's disease.
Profile test max it is a perfect study to find out if there is a dysbiosis and the precise causes that led to this imbalance in the whole body.