Gut Microbiome
Metabolic Health
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How Does Your Gut Microbiome Affect Your Metabolism?

According to clinical conclusions gathered over the last two decades, the intestinal microbiota may lead to the human body's metabolic wellbeing and, when defective, to the pathogenesis of numerous common metabolic disorders such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic liver disease, cardiometabolic disorders, and malnutrition.

Microorganisms, or microbes for short, are bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microscopic living things—these bacteria in your intestines and on your skin. The intestinal microbiota is made up of most of the bacteria in your intestines, located in a "pouch" in the large intestine called the cecum.

Did you know your Microbiome has a myriad of effects on your body as it ages? The gut microbiota is extremely important to your well being because it aids digestion and benefits your immune system, among other things. Weight gain, elevated blood sugar, high cholesterol, and other conditions can be caused by an imbalance between harmful and healthy microbes throughout the intestines.

Effect on Health and Metabolism

1. Digestion of Breast Milk

Bifidobacteria are bacteria that first begin to develop within a baby's intestines as they are digesting breast milk. They break down the essential sugars for growth present in breast milk.

2. Fiber Digestion

Some bacteria break down fibre and produce short-chain fatty acids, beneficial to gut health. Fibre can help to prevent obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

3. Controlling your Immune System

Your gut microbiome is also in control of how your immune system functions. The gut microbiome will influence how the body responds to infection by interacting with immune cells. A study published in Gut Microbes states that the gut microbiota, which lives in the gastrointestinal tract, benefits its host by controlling immune homeostasis, among other factors. Furthermore, it has recently been discovered that changes in gut microbial environments can contribute to immune dysregulation and autoimmune disorders.

4. Healthy Nervous System

In contrast to healthy individuals, people with multiple neurological conditions have distinct types of bacteria in their guts, according to several different research kinds. This means that the gut microbiota can affect brain wellbeing. Several studies have shown that some probiotics can assist with depression and other mental health problems.

5. Cardiac Health

According to new findings, our gut microbiota can play a role in some cardiac diseases. New research shows that maintaining a good stomach will help you have a healthier heart.

Effect of Diet on your Gut Microbiome

Surprisingly, the diversity of intestinal bacteria is determined by the food you consume. Getting so many harmful microbes, on the other hand, can cause disease. Gut dysbiosis refers to an imbalance between positive and harmful bacteria in the gut, leading to weight gain. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are two intestinal diseases in which the microbiome can contribute to the symptoms. People with IBS can feel bloating, cramps, and abdominal pain as a result of gut dysbiosis. This is because microbes create many gas and other chemicals, which lead to intestinal pain symptoms.

Influence of Gut Microbiota on Diabetes

External interventions, such as diet, alter the gut microbiota, causing dysregulation and secretory modifications in intestinal microbial metabolites, activating various potential pathways contributing to insulin resistance and diabetes.

A research published on Acta Endocrinologica (BUC) concluded that obesity and insulin resistance are closely linked to a chronic inflammatory condition. Any action aimed at preventing or treating type 1 diabetes mellitus in humans should prioritize the gut immune system. The only non-pharmacologic alternative for preventing type 2 diabetes mellitus will be constant microbial stimulation, well-controlled diets, and the use of probiotics and prebiotics. The new research focused on 33 babies who had a high genetic chance of having type 1 diabetes. It was found that the microbiota richness fell significantly before the advent of type 1 diabetes. Also, the levels of some harmful bacterial organisms rose shortly before developing type 1 diabetes.

How to Improve Your Gut Microbiome

The equilibrium of bacteria in the digestive system is referred to as gut health. Taking care of the gut's health and maintaining the proper balance of these microbes is critical for physical and mental health, immunity, and other benefits.

  • Eat a diverse range of food : Eating a balanced and nutritious diet of whole foods will result in a diversification of gut microbiome which will be good for your digestive health. 
  • Eat lots of vegetables, legumes, beans, and fruits : Eating fiber rich food like fruits and vegetables encourages the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. 
  • Eating fermented foods : like kimchi, yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir, and tempeh enhances the bacterial function in the gut and reduces the harmful bacteria in the gut. 
  • Eat prebiotic foods : Prebiotics encourage the development of several beneficial bacteria, including Bifidobacteria. Some research suggests that prebiotics may decrease risk factors for various health disorders by lowering insulin, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels.
  • Eat probiotic foods : Probiotics have little effect on the makeup of the microbiome in healthy persons. However, in people with specific health issues, they may increase microbiome function and help return the microbiome to optimal health.
  • Eat whole grains and a plant-based diet.
  • Eat foods rich in polyphenols like green tea, almonds, onions, blueberries and broccoli

Probiotics for Healthy Gut Microbiota

Certain beneficial bacteria in the microbiota, on the other hand, may help to increase gut health. Probiotics and yogurt containing Bifidobacterium and Lactobacilli can help seal spaces between intestinal cells and avoid leaky gut syndrome. Also, taking Bifidobacterium and Lactobacilli-containing probiotics will help with IBS symptoms as they can also keep harmful bacteria from attaching to the intestinal wall, which can cause disease.

The risk of coronary heart failure, atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke is cut in half when cholesterol and hypertension are decreased. The good scientific evidence that probiotic intake reduces hypercholesterolemia and hypertension encourages these species to treat cardiovascular diseases.

Prebiotic Foods for Metabolic Health

Prebiotics are the precursors of probiotics. These compounds are made up of carbohydrates that humans can't digest (mostly fibre). This fibre is absorbed by the healthy bacteria (probiotics) in your stomach. On the other hand, probiotics are helpful microbes. There are living bacteria that can be present in several foods and supplements. They can be beneficial to one's well being in several ways.

Bottom Line

The human gut is more complex than generally known, and it directly affects physical wellbeing. A high immune system, cardiovascular health, brain health, increased mood, good sleep, and successful digestion benefit a healthy stomach. It can also help avoid certain cancers and autoimmune disorders. To keep yourself and your gut safe, emphasise an overall healthy lifestyle that requires lots of exercises, adequate sleep, and a diet high in natural foods, prebiotic fibre, and probiotic foods. Eat a wide range of fruits, nuts, whole grains, and fermented foods to promote beneficial microbes in your stomach. Read more about diabetes reversal program.


1. What Affects Gut Microbiome?

  • Physical Activity- A sedentary lifestyle can hamper the diversity and number of microbiota of the gut, which leads to low levels of fatty acids in the body.
  • Consumption of Tobacco and Alcohol - Be it smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco, these result in extreme microbial shifts in the gut. Studies also indicate that Alcohol affects the composition and function of gut microbiota.
  • Diet - A diet with high fat and low dietary fibers leads to a lower count of the essential bacteria in the gut. It leads to low immunity, low mucus secretion, lowered production of short chain fatty acids. A high fiber diet can provide essential nutrients to the gut microbiota.
  • Stress - A distressed mental state can lead to negative alteration of the gut microbiota composition, as the Gastrointestinal tract is affected directly. It hampers the motility and secretion within the gut.
  • Medication - Antibiotic medication kills pathological and beneficial microbes blindly. This results in dysbiosis (reduction of gut microbiota) and populates unnecessary and unwanted microbes. 

2. How Do You Test Gut Microbiome?

Depending on the situation and need of the individual, gut microbiome can be tested and assess in 2 ways - through a stool sample and a blood sample.

  • Stool Sample : Microbiome testing uses stool samples that can reveal the types of microbes in your GI tract, as well as signs of inflammation that could point to potential health problems. In the lab, stool samples are cultured to see different bacteria  to understand the symptoms presented. Another method is where DNA is extracted from the stool sample for its analysis where the type and number of bacteria are checked.
  • Blood Sample : Blood tests from your doctor may help diagnose inflammatory conditions, food sensitivities, and other chronic issues involving your gut. You may be referred to a lab to get your blood drawn and then receive the results within a few days.
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This website's content is provided only for educational reasons and is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice. Due to individual differences, the reader should contact their physician to decide whether the material is applicable to their case.