Each individual microbe is just a microbe and may not be taken into account. But in the aggregate, the microbiota is drawn to the status of a full-fledged organ: it has a certain weight (on average, about two kilograms – this is like the heart and liver combined), its bulk is quite clearly localized (in the intestines) and it performs quite specific functions in the body. It used to be thought that it was only digestive (“helps the intestines”), but recent research shows that the scope of the new “organ” is much wider. At a minimum, it is involved in the formation of immunity and affects the nervous system.
Bacteria and disease
If until now you thought that the bacteria in the intestines are only responsible for the frequency and consistency of the stool, then you were wrong. The main types of bacteria living in the intestines are representatives of Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Actinobacteria. Let’s say these are the main “ruling parties”. The rest can join them, rally against them or pretend that they are not interested in them at all …
If the balance of various bacteria is maintained, we are likely to feel good. A change in the balance of power can lead to the development of various diseases. Therefore, monitoring the composition of your microbiota is a valuable method of prevention and, one might say, is becoming fashionable and a must have for a healthy lifestyle. Yes Yes. Wealthy citizens, if nothing hurts them, once or twice a year check the balance of power in their own intestines (take tests) and, if conflicts are planned, change their diet.
Of course, in each case, according to your analysis, you should be advised by a doctor. But from the most general regularities, we can note the following:
- The risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) is associated with an increase in the level of Escherichia coli and a decrease in Faecalibacterium prausnitzii.
- Protection against type 2 diabetes mellitus decreases with a decrease in the proportion of Akkermansia muciniphila.
- Excessive strengthening of the positions of Enterobacter cloacae contributes to the development of obesity and metabolic syndrome.
- Bacteria belonging to the genera Proteus and Providencia are able to process the components of animal products in such a way that substances that contribute to the development of atherosclerosis are formed in your body.