Act on your microbiota

Did you know that your body was inhabited by different microbiota?  

Human microbiota contains trillions of (sidenote: Microorganisms Living organisms that are too small to be seen with the naked eye. They include bacteria, viruses, fungi, archaea and protozoa, and are commonly referred to as “microbes”. ) , including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, playing an important role to maintain you in good health1.
However, the balance of the “microbiota” can sometimes be disrupted, that’s what we call a (sidenote: Dysbiosis Generally defined as an alteration in the composition and function of the microbiota caused by a combination of environmental and individual-specific factors. ) ,2 and it can be associated with several diseases.3
You can act on your microbiota and restore its balance, helping it function properly and play its role in keeping you healthy4.
You may have already heard about “probiotics5, but they are not the only way to modulate your microbiota.

Find out more on how to keep your microbiota balanced!

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    How to balance your microbiota?

    What exactly are probiotics? They were not “officially” defined until the 21st century. However, consumption of these beneficial microorganisms goes back to time immemorial.

    In a nutshell

    • Probiotics are “live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host”
    • By reinforcing the microbiota, probiotics can help it to maintain or regain its equilibrium, acting on our immune defense system by reducing inflammation, protecting us by attacking pathogens or their toxins.

    Although our intestinal flora is probably determined by genes and the environment we live in, there is no doubt that it is affected by our diet. The diversity and quality of our alimentary bolus contributes to the balance in our intestinal microbiota – and undoubtedly also contributes to our overall health

    In a nutshell

    • Dietary practices shape the composition of microbiota
    • It is very probable that changes in dietary habits, if they are long-lasting, play a role in health, opening the door to new treatment possibilities via nutrition.

    Prebiotics are non-digestible dietary fibers that selectively stimulate the growth of beneficial colon bacteria in the host’s microbiota such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. Among prebiotics, inulin and fructooligosaccharides are the most well-known of them.

    In a nutshell

    • Diet is the only source of prebiotics; it’s by eating that you feed your microbiota and thereby influence its diversity and composition. 
    • Prebiotics have great therapeutic potential for diseases associated with  , like infectious intestinal diseases or allergies.

    The equilibrium between “good” and “bad” microbiota bacteria can be disrupted by many different phenomena. This imbalance, known as dysbiosis, can cause many diseases of varying severity. Fecal transplant (also called fecal bacteriotherapy) is a possible therapeutic solution.

    In a nutshell

    • Fecal transplant involves introducing a healthy person’s stool into a patient’s digestive tract in order to reconstruct their intestinal flora and help them fight pathogenic bacteria.
    • The only validated indication for FMT is recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection.
    • This practice may present health risks and must be performed under medical supervision, do not reproduce at home!
    Sources
    1. Kho ZY, Lal SK. The Human Gut Microbiome - A Potential Controller of Wellness and Disease. Front Microbiol. 2018 Aug 14;9:1835.

    2. Levy M, Kolodziejczyk AA, Thaiss CA, et al. Dysbiosis and the immune system. Nat Rev Immunol. 2017;17(4):219-232.

    3. Baohong W, Mingfei Y, Longxian L, et al. The Human Microbiota in Health and Disease. Engineering. 2017;3(1):71-82

    4. Quigley EMM, Gajula P. Recent advances in modulating the microbiome. F1000Res. 2020 Jan 27;9:F1000 Faculty Rev-46.

    5. Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and World Health Organization. Health and nutritional properties of probiotics in food including powder milk with live lactic acid bacteria. World Health Organization [online], http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/ fs_management/en/probiotics.pdf (2001).