Unbalanced microbiota and disorders
Different parts of the human body (intestines, skin...) are home to living microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses...) called microbiota, which are beneficial to our health when they are properly balanced. The disruption of this balance (referred to as dysbiosis) can be associated to several disorders, depending on the location of the affected microbiota. This is why gastroenteritis, Cohn’s disease, some gastrointestinal cancers, and even depression, diabetes, allergies and skin disorders such as eczema could be associated to microbiota imbalances. Let’s explore the link between microbiota and health!
ZOOM ON THE DYSBIOSIS
The composition of a microbiota is characterized by its diversity (number of different species present in an individual) and its abundance (total number of microorganisms present). When this composition is disrupted (change in one or both of these factors), the balance is broken and a dysbiosis emerges. This dysbiosis can be associated to several diseases but it is yet uncertain whether it is a cause or a consequence of these diseases. So, which came first, the chicken or the egg? Science has not been able to answer this question.
MY MICROBOTA IS
Alcohol and tobacco
ACTING ON THE DYSBIOSIS
Good news! When the balance of a microbiota is compromised, it is possible to restore it by acting on its composition (abundance, diversity). It is called microbiota modulation. In practice, there are different ways to do so:
Through a balanced diet: low content of fat and carbohydrates and high content of fibers and foods like artichoke, garlic, onion (naturally rich in prebiotics) as well as sauerkraut, kefir, fermented dairy products (which are a source of probiotics).
- synbiotics (combination of the former two)
In the most severe cases, restoring a healthy microbiota through fecal microbiota transplant is an alternative that has given promising results.