List of 10 Interesting Facts About the Gut Microbiome
1. The weight of all the microorganisms in the gut is approximately equal to the weight of the brain.
2. Your first exposure to gut microbiota happens during delivery through the birth canal and while breastfeeding.
3. The microbiome of a child born through Caesarean section does not contain all the bacteria found in a child born naturally through the birth canal. Additionally, their microbiome also harbours harmful bacteria.
4. Every individual has a unique gut microbiome composition, even twins who grow up in the same conditions and eat the same food do not have identical gut microbiomes. However, the pattern is the same, and individuals in a family will tend to have a similar gut microbiome composition.
5. The gut microbiome of obese individuals is very different from the gut microbiome of lean individuals. A faecal transplant of the gut microbiome from an obese person to a lean person can make him/her obese and vice versa.
6. Neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin that are used for communication between neuron in the brain are also found to be produced by bacteria in the gut
7. People with depression have been found to have a microbial dysbiosis (Difference in the ration of the number of different types of bacteria normally found in a healthy gut)
8. Probiotics such as Bifidobacterium can be used to alleviate various diseases by changing the composition of the gut microbiota.
9. The gut microbiome composition of a person from a rural area will be different from the gut microbiome of a city dweller
10. Some diseases like Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can be treated by using Faecal implants from a healthy individual.
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Saunri Dhodi Lobo is pursuing M.Sc in Life Sciences with specialization in Neurobiology. Her interests include writing poetry, going for nature walks and swimming. Currently she is involved in research on Alzheimer’s Disease in fruit flies.
Read all Articles by Saunri Dhodi Lobo