Decoding the Microbiome

Decoding the Microbiome

Decoding the Microbiome

The human gut has been given great importance ever since ancient times. Approximately 2500 years ago, Hippocrates of Kon, the renowned Greek physician who earned the title of the Father of Modern Medicine, said, "All disease begins in the gut." According to him, all diseases and infections exist because of toxin retention from the food we consume.

Thousands of researches too prove this fact right, and today, a large number of treatments are based on the same. It is indeed true that every time we eat or drink something, or we are exposed to harmful chemicals and toxins in the food. We either feed disease or fight it!

Isn't that amazing to know?

A healthy gut is to our body what regular oiling is to machines. It plays a significant role in ensuring the smooth and healthy functioning of our body. With this knowledge, we can make our God-gifted human machinery work better by maintaining a healthy gut bacteria diet. But we first need to know what gut bacteria is, and also what is the human microbiome.

What is the microbiome, and how does it impact you?

The millions of microbes that reside in our bodies make up the human microbiome. Now what is even more surprising is that there are ten times more bacterial cells than human cells. Yes, and in fact, most of our DNA is in our microbiome. There are many vital functions in our bodies that the microbiome performs. The bacteria in the microbiome regulate our immune system, help our bodies metabolise, defend us from disease-causing bacteria, and prIt is important to get a diet designed that is in sync with your specific microbiome, by a nutrition expert and maintain a healthy gut by consuming good gut bacteria foods.

Gut dysbiosis- The imbalance in your gut flora

Now that we know about the gut microbiome and how vital its maintenance is for being healthy, we must also understand the problems that occur if there is a disproportion in the gut flora. An imbalance in the gut microbial community that is associated with a disease is called dysbiosis. It leads to inflammation in the gut wall, and in turn, affects the penetrability of that barrier further causing a 'leaky gut', which is also known as intestinal permeability.

Toxicity of a leaky gut

A leaky gut causes undigested food particles, toxic waste and bacteria to 'leak' through the intestines into the bloodstream. Now, this sets us immune reactivity, including inflammation and allergies that cause autoimmune and other diseases. Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Hashimoto's disease, Type 1 diabetes, Vasculitis, and even alopecia areata are some major diseases caused by leaky gut. The one common cause of these diseases is a decrease in good gut bacteria and a lack of bacterial diversity.

Factors that impact the gut microbiome

To ensure having a healthy gut, we need to know what factors affect our gut microbiome composition. Some of the essential ones are diet, medications, infections, genetics, stress and chemicals in the environment. In women, the method of delivery at birth and infant feeding too can also act as important determinants.

A child receives a good deal of its body's flora from its mother during birth and breastfeeding. Its significant impact on the child's health is amongst one of the prominent reasons why early antibiotic administration on the microbiota in a new mother and an infant of children is now being acknowledged.

The most important factor is diet, and rightly so since we already know that our gut health hugely depends on the type of food we consume.Diet and microbiome are interrelated, and thus, eating foods good for gut health plays the most crucial role in helping good gut bacteria survive and thrive. Before we know foods good for the microbiome, we must know what can be damaging to gut health. These foods include too much- sugar, animal foods (i.e. not only meat but also foods sourced from animals including milk and eggs), gluten and high amounts of fat. Not eating enough foods derived from plants, for instance, green leafy vegetables, fruits, salads, whole grains etc. can mess with good gut bacteria and cause them to be reduced.

Medication and high doses of antibiotics is another factor that can disrupt gut functioning by killing good gut bacteria. There are certain antibiotics and pain killers that can have adverse effects on gut microbiome health. Although antibiotics are very commonly prescribed drugs that are life-savers in case of infections, they have a profound impact on healthy gut microbiota. They reduce bacterial diversity and decrease the number of beneficial bacteria. Early antibiotic exposure in neonates has been researched to lead to microbial dysbiosis, which can predispose them to inflammatory bowel disease. Other medicines harmful for good gut bacteria are chemotherapy drugs, steroids, and antacids.

Factors like acute and chronic mental or physical stress, surgery, etc. also affect gut microbiota negatively. Also, chemicals in the environment like sanitisers, pesticides and cleaning agents like bleach etc., if swallowed even mistakenly, harm the good gut flora.

Balanced diet and healthy lifestyle- Your key to a healthy gut

We must know what are the best foods for the gut microbiome. Both prebiotic and probiotic foods are good gut health foods. Probiotics are live microorganisms such as bacteria or yeast. They are available in food supplements, and certain foods such as yoghurt, coconut water kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, pickles, kimchi, or miso. These foods may aid the treatment of diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome, certain intestinal infections, and prevent or reduce the occurrence of cold and flu.

On the other hand, prebiotics, are non-living, non-digestible by human ingredient (carbohydrate) that serve as food for friendly gut bacteria. These are available as food supplements and naturally occur in foods such as chicory root, artichoke, onion, leek, garlic, carrots and dandelion. These foods aid digestion and may support the treatment of chronic digestive disorders.

Microbiome testing- A must for all

Following ahealthy microbiome diet is imperative to both gut and overall health. Apart from just diet, there is a multitude of options, by which we can strengthen our microbiota. Amongst them, microbiome testing one of the most accurate and beneficial. It can assess the health of our gut wall, and our microbiota. Stool tests can determine what is growing in our gut, what is dominant and what needs to be addressed. These tests are so necessary as they help us to choose the right products and food items with required ingredients to help soothe the gut wall, promote detoxification and reduce inflammation.

Personalised food recommendations and customised diet charts are important for all. Foods that may suit one person may not necessarily suit the other. For instance, some people are strictly advised against dairy consumption, whereas others may be asked to consume it to fulfil their body's calcium needs. Food allergy tests also help us to determine what food items our bodies are allergic to.

Microbiome diets tailored on the basis of an individual's unique gut microbiota test report can help one not only maintain a healthy gut but also remain strong wholly, boost immunity and ensure a long life. Personalised nutrition makes healthy dietary suggestions more relevant to the daily life of the individuals. Suggested changes to dietary patterns are therefore more effective and lasting.

Bione's MyMicrobiome Test helps you discover, determine, understand and analyse all about your gut microbiota. It also gives you an indication of diseases you may likely suffer from & how you can increase life-span, by adopting a few, lifestyle and diet changes. It’s your code to good health

  • Technology used: Long-read NGS technology
  • Parameters covered: Complete gut microbiota abundance, gut dysbiosis, existing or likely to happen diseases, microbes that can protect you against diseases and personalised diet recommendations.
  • Key highlights:
    • Discover gut microbiota abundance
    • Learn about gut microbial imbalance and gut dysbiosis
    • Get an indication of diseases you may likely suffer from & how you can increase life-span
    • Get groundbreaking personalised diet recommendations
    • Get diet & nutrition counselling from experts
  • Benefits
    • Discover how you can improve your gut health by knowing all about your gut microbiota abundance
    • Learn about gut dysbiosis; explore best ways to prevent it and to ensure microbial balance
    • Know about diseases which you are likely to suffer from
    • Explore how a few, lifestyle and diet changes can prevent you from diseases and viral infections
    • Understand how your present diet impacts gut microbiota
    • Learn how you can increase your lifespan and remain healthy
    • Get ground-breaking personalised diet recommendations
    • Help yourself reach your health and fitness goals