The human microbiota consists of the 10 to 100 trillion symbiotic microbial cells in
or on each person. They are mostly bacteria and other microorganisms found in the
intestinal tract. Our gut microbiota help synthesize essential vitamins, steroid hormones,
and protect the intestinal tract from colonization with harmful germs. They
also allow us to digest compounds via non-human metabolic pathways, greatly increasing
our ability to extract energy from our diverse diets.
Certain mixes of gut
microbiota may help prevent or predispose a person to obesity, and they may play
a role in type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and chronic low-grade inflammation.
Although there is increasing evidence that a person’s microbiota can affect digestion,
and other aspects of metabolism, the influence of gut microbiota on health is
not well understood. The modulation of a patient’s microbiota to a healthy state
with probiotics (live bacteria), prebiotics (that stimulate the growth and activity
of beneficial microorganisms), and antibiotics is being explored for weight control
and health. However, in spite of extensive health claims, only a few probiotic foods
have been shown by sound research to provide any benefits. For example, their
utility to treat diarrheal disease in children has been disappointing.
This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel.