Various events can affect the colonization of the human body by microbes and impact the implementation of a healthy microbiota in infants. In adulthood, this ecosystem can be disrupted by environmental and behavioral factors (antibiotics, lifestyle, stress, etc.).
This dysbiosis phenomenon has been observed in a certain number of diseases. Digestive, ENT or psychological problems, respiratory infections, metabolic or cutaneous disease, etc.
What is dysbiosis?
Dysbiosis is an imbalance between microbiota and its host and results from changes in the composition of bacterial flora. It is related to several different diseases. In a healthy person (host), microbial flora (or microbiota) is an ensemble of microorganisms, bacteria, fungi, and viruses living together in a perfectly structured, harmonious system. The host and their microbiota have a very close relationship, and interact so that each one functions appropriately.
Factors that favor it
Various events can disturb this equilibrium:
• Medical treatments (particularly antibiotics),
• Viral, bacterial, or parasitic infections
• Immune deficits
• Various diseases
• Harsh changes in environment or diet
All of these factors can cause more or less lasting changes: harmful microbes (pathobionts) can become dominant, protective microbes can become more rare, and microbiota diversity becomes less rich.
Dysbiosis, cause or effect of disease?
Dysbiosis has been described in the intestinal microbiota in various gastrointestinal and metabolic diseases. It may also be involved in certain neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. However, researchers still don’t know if dysbiosis is a cause or an effect of these diseases. The leading hypothesis is that it’s a vicious cycle: dysbiosis is influenced by environmental and genetic factors, but it also plays a role in the onset and severity of these diseases.
To rebalance your microbiota, beneficial microorganisms are promoted through the consumption of probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics. That is called "affecting the microbiota". At the same time, dietary changes can be made, prioritizing foods high in fiber (artichokes, garlic, onions, etc.) and fermented foods (sauerkraut), which are sources of prebiotics. Finally, in the most serious cases, fecal transplant can be used to correct dysbiosis.
The intestinal microbiota has not yet revealed all its secrets to us, especially when it is a question of understanding the causes and/or consequences that it could have in nutrition and metabolism.
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