Microbiome Dysbiosis

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates, Greek physician 370 BC.

 

What happens when the microbiome becomes disturbed?

On the most part we live happily with our microbes, they perform roles such as regulating your digestive and immune systems,1-2 protecting you against germs,3-4 breaking down food to release energy and produce vitamins,5 as well as regulating your behaviour and emotional well-being6 through hormone secretion and regulation.7-9 But this balance can sometimes be upset due various factors such as:  

  • diet lacking in nutrients and fibre
  • lack of exercise/activity
  • poor sleep
  • heightened stress or anxiety
  • use of some medications and/or antibiotics
  • prolonged time periods spent indoors, in contact with man-made materials and surfaces
  • recent infection from pathogenic microbes
  • genetic factors (hereditary conditions, compromised immune systems, etc)
  • over exposure to household cleaning products, agricultural chemicals, some cosmetic products, etc 

 

This imbalance is commonly known as ‘microbiome dysbiosis’ or ‘microbial dysbiosis’. When the microbiome becomes disturbed the beneficial bacteria that help keep you healthy can die-off and become replaced with less beneficial bacteria, or worse, with pathogenic or detrimental bacteria. Research has shown that people experiencing a state of dysbiosis tend to have an overall reduction in the number of health-promoting bacteria (such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium) and an increase in disease-promoting bacteria (such as Enterococcus and certain Clostridium)10. Effectively, the microbiome shifts from an optimal, highly functional microbial community to a less optimal (or even detrimental) community.

 

Microbiome dysbiosis can have negative impacts on a persons’ health and wellbeing. Because everyone has their own unique microbiome and life history, microbiome dysbiosis can manifest itself in a number of different ways. Some people may experience just one or two mild symptoms, whereas other people may experience a more severe disease condition or a multitude of various symptoms.

  

Some diseases and conditions associated with microbiome dysbiosis include:   

 

The above list of microbiome related conditions is certainly not exhaustive, scientists are continually finding new correlations between the microbiome and disease at an ever-increasing rate as research in this area becomes more popular and more in depth.

 

Your microbiome plays such a crucial role in your health and wellbeing. It is now considered as a supporting organ because it plays such a key role in the daily operations and functions of your body. By taking the time to better understand how your microbiome influences the different aspects of your health, you will be better equipped to take control of your health. As this field of science is continually progressing, we recommend following our Instagram and Facebook pages for the most up-to-date health information and science news. 

 

Want to find out more about creating a healthy microbiome? > Click here

 

 

 

Supporting Literature
1Lloyd-Price et al. (2016) The healthy human microbiome. Genome Med 8, 51.
2Wu et al. (2012). The role of gut microbiota in immune homeostasis and autoimmunity. Gut microbes3(1), 4–14. https://doi.org/10.4161/gmic.19320
3Belkaid et al. (2014). Role of the microbiota in immunity and inflammation. Cell157(1), 121–141. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2014.03.011
4Cho & Blaser. (2012) The human microbiome: at the interface of health and disease. Nat Rev Genet 13, 260–270. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrg3182
6Lyte et al. (2013) Microbial Endocrinology in the Microbiome-Gut-Brain Axis: How Bacterial Production and Utilization of Neurochemicals Influence Behavior. PLoS Pathog 9(11): e1003726.
7Reigstad et al. (2015) Gut microbes promote colonic serotonin production through an effect of short-chain fatty acids on enterochromaffin cells. FASEB J. 29, 1395–1403.
8Yano et al. Indigenous bacteria from the gut microbiota regulate host serotonin biosynthesis. Cell 161, 264–276.
9Strandwitz et al. (2019) GABA-modulating bacteria of the human gut microbiota. Nat Microbiol 4, 396–403. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41564-018-0307-3
10Gagliardi et al. (2018) Rebuilding the Gut Microbiota Ecosystem. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 15(8): 1679