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What are Microbiome, Probiotics and Prebiotics? How Does it Affect Us?

The concepts of probiotics and prebiotics have been widely researched. In the pharmacies these products are offered in many forms. But what do we know about these items?

What is the Microbiome and how does it affect us?

Microbiome, probiotics and prebiotics, for many years we have been accompanied by the thought that bacteria and viruses are disease-causing and must be eradicated. In practice, the Microbiome is essential for maintaining a normal life system, all microorganisms, especially germs that live within us or our bodies, can affect us on a metabolic, nutritional, immune and behavioral levels. These bacteria are found in large amounts on the mucous membranes and on the skin, and especially the digestive system.


Did you know?


  • The intestine contains trillions of microorganisms, and at least 1000 different species of bacteria. 

  • The total weight of those microorganisms can reach 2 kg. 

  • 1/3 of the Microbiomes is the same in all human beings, while 2/3 is unique to each person and constitutes a kind of personal fingerprint. 

For How long have microorganisms Live in us?

From birth, The infant's digestive system, is populated with microorganisms from the mother, and the environment. During birth, the probiotics affect the baby. In vaginal delivery, the vaginal probiotics are transferred to the baby, while the skin germs and bacteria from the environment are transferred to the baby. Moreover, as early as the third day after birth, we see how the Microbiome is directly affected by the way the baby is fed: breast milk or formula. At 3 years of age the Microbiome stabilizes, and is similar in composition to that of an adult.


Health and probiotics in the intestines

The balance between the Microbiome and the immune system is a delicate balance, easily influenced by stress, improper nutrition, lack of physical activity, consumption of drugs such as antibiotics, etc. When we are sick, the balance between the Microbiome and the immune system is disturbed and there is a decrease in the variety of bowel bacteria.

Researchers have been trying to figure out whether a change in the composition of the Microbiome is the cause of the disease or whether it has been caused by it. In recent years, many diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis and rheumatoid diseases have been linked to alteration of the microbiota in the intestines.


Obesity and microbiota

The food we eat influences the Microbiome and its function, and therefore a balanced and varied diet is very important. Western lifestyle, characterized by high consumption of fat, sugar also affects the composition of Microbiome.

When the microbiotic population is disturbed, certain bacteria and their pH decreases, the infiltration of the "barrier" in the intestine may be impaired, resulting in the introduction of pathogenic bacteria, pathogens.


How can I improve the balance of the Microbiome?

Prebiotics and probiotics are two of the most studied areas. Both are known for their beneficial effect on the Microbiome, and are important to integrate into the diet to achieve healthy microbiota.


Prebiotics

Is defined as a non-digestible nutrient component that selectively allows an increase in the quantity and activity of a particular type of bacteria, thus providing an advantage to the host, ie, the human body. Prebiotics contains complex carbohydrates such as dietary fiber. Vegetables and fruits like garlic, onions, artichokes, tomatoes, bananas and apples are rich in prebiotics, as well as whole grains and some nuts. Their consumption is important as part of a balanced diet.


Probiotics

Is defined by the World Health Organization as "living organisms that in sufficient quantity provide the host with a health advantage. These "friendly bacteria" have partial resistance to the digestive process. Their role is to help change the Microbiome in our bodies and allow for easier digestion. Many of the probiotics, such as lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, are used to ferment food like yogurts.


Here is an interesting piece of information:

Studies indicate that the Microbiome transplantation in a new host causes the Microbiome population to adapt to the new population and that the new population is not rejected by the host's immune system. For example, patients with severe diarrhea and intestinal inflammation due to repeated infection of the clostridium difficile are currently being treated for fecal incontinence from healthy individuals.


In conclusion

The Microbiome in our bodies is essential to us and affects the functioning of our various body systems. The composition can be influenced by nutrition, including carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and adequate consumption of vegetables and fruits, which, thanks to dietary fiber, causes the proliferation of friendly bacteria in the intestines.


KEEP IN MIND!
Always consult a doctor

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