We don’t know whether the person is alone in the Universe. But it is well known that he is not alone even with myself. And not just not alone. Each of us lives at least 100 trillion living beings — both beneficial and harmful, and their total weight is 3-4 pounds. Most of them live in our gut, but there are those that are stuck up your nose, hands, eyes, ears, the skin — in General, in every corner of our body. And from someone who settled in the us at the moment, and depend our health, mood, and weight, and even the ability to think clearly.
In recent years, scientists around the world conduct research in the field of microbiome (the so-called community of bacteria that consider our bodies their home) — and almost every day make amazing discoveries. Their goal is to force bacteria to serve as our health, that is, to save us from many diseases from diarrhea to diabetes. What’s new is happening here, learned observer “MK”.
Our brains control bacteria
Flora, she’s microbiota is the many single-celled organisms living on us and nearby. Unbelievable but true: bacteria living in the us, ten times more than the number of cells that comprise our body! A man is not quite human, but only an assemblage living their lives of microorganisms. But, most importantly, scientists have recognized that the former view about single-celled microorganisms were wrong. This invisible army affects all areas of our lives that can make us smart or stupid, healthy or sick, happy or sad. And even tasty or not tasty to mosquitoes, Yes, Yes, this individual also meet the microbes that live on the skin!
In our gastrointestinal tract live 300-400 species of bacteria is of those that are identified by scientists. However, while luminaries don’t know, making the most of those things — studied just a few dozen individuals. Today, however, it is found that if the environment of these young residents there is some kind of imbalance, that is, one becomes more and the other less developed disease: allergies, liver disease, pancreas, arthritis, autism, depression and even cancer. So, an international group of scientists found that most patients with Alzheimer’s disease, a serious imbalance of the intestinal microflora. Almost a similar situation in children with autism.
Microbiome affects virtually all aspects of our lives. Harmful bacteria lead to the development of diseases. Useful in protecting us against pathogens, neutralize toxins, produce vitamins and hormones that help to absorb important minerals from food.
The composition of the microbiome to influence human propensity to obesity. And the so-called emotional intelligence (EQ — a person’s ability to correctly understand their own and others ‘ emotions and, consequently, to control them) directly depends on the Kingdom of bacteria living in the gut. “More of them than stars in the galaxy, and everyone has the right to vote. It is the microbiota regulates the brain,” says well-known doctor, head of the Department of faculty Pediatrics №2 Russian national research medical University them. N. And.Pirogov, scientific Director of Moscow center of immunology and Allergy Professor Andrew Prodeusa. Bacteria are able to change human behavior and even inspire the desire, forcing us to play their tune. For example, there is sweet. It used to be that has a sweet tooth by nature, and now installed: craving for cake-ice cream depends on whether your gut bacteria called clostridia. They feed on simple sugars and lure them away from us, making chocolate and cookies. Or remember about yogurt, from which “belly smiles”? Today, scientists are seriously talking about what is contained in yogurt bacteria can make us as peaceful and dull, because some bacteria inhibit the level of happiness hormone serotonin, which is installed by scientists from the APC (Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre). And not only us, but also other animals. A recent experiment on mice, conducted in Italy, showed that their born in sterile conditions (that is, deprived of the natural microflora) were stupid and aggressive, and also differed maiden memory.
Who lives in the house?
Our gut is inhabited by the representatives of the Kingdom archaea — single-celled organisms. This is mainly the methanogens — they can easily do without oxygen, help digest food and excrete methane gas.
In the intestine, and also in intimate areas of living eukaryotes (fungi and yeasts) and bacteria. One of the known bacteria — Escherichia coli (E. coli). It used to be that it leads to violations of the chair, but today we know that there are varieties of this bacteria that bring us only good. Or take Helicobacter pylori — in large quantities it causes ulcers and stomach cancer, but little is needed for digestion.
The skin lives a great variety of bacteria — they are responsible for our scent, attractiveness to mosquitoes. Amazing fact: the community of bacteria on your right hand is fundamentally different from the bacterial community on the left. The explanation for this yet. But scientists already propose to introduce microbial fingerprints that each of us is unique.
Popular inhabitant of the nose — Staphylococcus aureus. It is known, only its pernicious properties, but scientists suggest that other nasal germs in most cases, do not let him turn.
Lives in the mouth Streptococcus mutans — that it undermines our teeth and cause tooth decay. In General, bacteria from the oral cavity to help regulate blood pressure — they release nitric oxide, thereby relaxing the arteries.
The microbiome in the service of health
The science of the microbiome is developing rapidly, open to doing almost every day. Today, this region invested nearly $ 1.5 billion. It’s early microbes were considered a source of diseases, and it is now clear that they play an important role not only in disease development but also in maintaining health.
It is expected that in the near future with the help of the microbiome will learn to treat more than 50 different ailments, including diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, atherosclerosis, dermatitis, asthma, lactose intolerance, immune deficiency and colorectal cancer. “Studies show that medical decisions based on the microbiome, have the potential to have a positive impact on all aspects of human health and to help cure people around the world. Our Institute conducts research with the aim to explain the unique and important role played by the microbiota. We are inspired by the limitless possibilities that the microbiome provides for prediction, diagnosis and treatment of many diseases, including through the use of natural reactions of an organism”, — says head of the largest Institute of the human microbiome (JHMI) Dirk Gevers.
Scientists from JHMI studying how the microbiome is changing under the influence of genetic factors, environmental factors, nutrition etc. This will help to understand how to make the small inhabitants of our body to serve to his health. Together with research Weizmann Institute of science (Israel) researchers from JHMI study how the composition of the microbiome affects the metabolic disorder and how can it help in the treatment of metabolic disorders. It is expected to develop recommendations on nutrition that will help to prevent the development of metabolic syndrome, diabetes type II diabetes and its complications. Researchers are studying the microbiomes of different people, trying new medication. “Together we will develop new ideas for solving problems of metabolism using microbiological diagnostics and therapy,” said Dirk Gevers.
Something already invented. For example, developed the cocktails with microorganisms and bacteriophages that support the health of the microbiome. Drugs that can increase the number of certain bacteria and suppress others. Diagnostic tests that determine the causes of diseases on the composition of the microflora. Vaccines correcting the immune system’s response to changes in the microbiome.
It will allow us to treat diseases more precisely, by acting on the causes of diseases at the genetic level.
How to cure your microflora
In JHMI note that the composition and diversity of the microbial community is directly dependent on nutrition, medication and other external factors. And even such simple things as changing lifestyle, the power supply system or the reception of the microbial cocktail can cure or prevent disease.
Research scientist to help. Recently, the Department of genetics University medical center Groningen found that at least 60 categories of products and different types of diets have different effect on the intestinal microflora. It turned out that the microbiomes of people who regularly eat fruits, vegetables and dairy products, more variety. But excessive consumption of meat reduces the diversity of organisms compared to a diet dominated by fruits and vegetables.
Scientists also tried to know which drugs are more and which less change the composition of the microbiota. It turned out that the “internal ecosystem” human impact 19 types of medicines. And this is not only all known antibiotics and drugs that reduce stomach acidity. In the “black list” were antidepressants, and ACE inhibitors (medications used in heart failure and to lower blood pressure).
One of the main specialists in Russia, engaged in research of the microbiota, biologist Dmitry Alekseev says that today is the study of the qualitative and extensive: “we Can say that this is the beginning of a whole new trend in science. In Russia today held their own, more modest population study ohmygut, the results of which would be interesting to compare the results of the research colleagues from the Netherlands. But already now we can say that in the Dutch sample, number of organisms with modified antibiotics microbiota will be significantly less than in Russia: in this country the use of antibiotics is strictly limited to doctors and pharmacists, and we have to buy in a drugstore without a prescription. The Dutch have revealed unexpected factors impact on the microbiota. For example, the use of medications was expected that in the first place are antibiotics, but in the Dutch sample stand out inhibitors proton pump (PPIS) — drugs used in the world often enough in gastroenterology and is still considered safe. Another result: people who eat more fruits, the level of peptide chromogranin A (CgA), a marker of stress, were significantly lower than those who prefer meat. So eat fruits and be less nervous!”
In addition, a positive effect on the composition of the microbiota have dairy products, especially enriched with useful bacteria.
Not everything is so rosy
And yet the science of the microbiome is a promising, but new direction. And many experts relate to the achievements in this field with a healthy dose of skepticism. As said the head of a biotech company Oleg Paroshin, the relationship between development of disease and the microbiome — is only a hypothesis: “the Solid facts proving this connection, yet. Quite a long time discussing the impact of the microbiome of the intestine at a risk of developing cancer. But if, for example, it has been established that the key factor for the development of gastric cancer is helicobacter pylori, the bacterium that is the causative agent of colon cancer, not yet identified. There are hypotheses regarding the direct impact of waste products and enzymes of some species of intestinal microorganisms, which can lead to cancer degeneration of cells (especially of the colon). I hope that further studies of the genome of the human microbiome will allow you to discover the culprits cancer degeneration of healthy tissue.”
Paroshin however agree that a healthy diet allows you to grow more useful strains of microorganisms: “From the food we eat depends on the species composition of the microbiome, which has almost limitless effects on the human body. In particular, he can affect the development of many diseases. In other words, bacteria that is prevalent in the microbiome determined by the nature of food taken, and they may mainly determine the nature of the disease”.
In General, the questions scientists still very much. As it turned out, the microbiome is much more complex than even human genes, so study it thoroughly yet. Still, the researchers hope to get answers to your questions soon…
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