The microbiome is the genetic material of all the microbes. These include bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses. Microbiomes is the matrix of this material inside the human body.
Microbiomes consists of trillions of microorganisms also called microbiota or microbes of thousands of different species. In a healthy person, these ‘bugs’ coexist peacefully, with the largest numbers found in the small and large intestines, but also throughout the body.
the benefits of microbiota
Microbiota stimulate the immune system. There do this by breaking down potentially toxic food compounds, synthesize certain vitamins and amino acids. This includes the B vitamins and vitamin K. The key enzymes needed to form vitamin B12 are only found in bacteria and not through eating plant or animal food products.
from symbiosis to dysbiosis
When there is a disturbance in that balance–brought on by infectious illnesses, certain diets, prolonged use of antibiotics, destroying medications or other bacteria–dysbiosis occurs. This can interrupt the healthy balance of the microbiome.
Sugars like table sugar and lactose (milk sugar) are quickly absorbed in the upper part of the small intestine. But, more complex carbohydrates like starches and fibres are not as easily digested and may travel lower into the large intestine. There the microbiota help to break down these compounds with these digestive enzymes. (Nutrition Source)
bringing fermentation into the holistic health picture
The fermentation of indigestible fibres causes the production of short chain fatty acids (SCFA) that can be used by the body as a nutrient source. Further, SCFAs also play an important role in muscle function and the prevention of chronic diseases including certain cancers and bowel disorders.
how to improve your microbiome
- eat fermented food
- take probiotics
- eat prebiotic fibre
- eat less sugar and sweeteners
- reduce stress
- avoid taking antibiotics unnecessarily
- exercise regularly
- get enough sleep
- avoid smoking
- eat a vegetarian diet
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