What is the gut microbiota?

The two terms “microbiota” and “microbiome” are often used interchangeably to mean the same thing.

 

The subtle difference between these two terms can be distinguished as follows. The microbiota describes the entire microbial community that inhabits the human body. This community comprises of bacteria, viruses and fungi. The biggest populations of microbe reside in our gut, and this is also known as the gut microbiota.

Microbiome is the term used to described the total collection of all the genes and genetic material that microbes contribute to the human body. Currently, there is a huge interest in finding out how the body's microbial populations and their genetics are linked to health and disease.

How does the Microbiota and Microbiome affect our health?

The microbiota and their genetic material, known as the microbiome, live in the human body and are necessary for normal health. An imbalanced gut microbiome can negatively influence the following four broad areas of importance to our well-being: nutrition, immunity, brain function and disease.

Nutrition

 

There is increasing evidence that the nutritional value of food is influenced in part by each individual’s gut microbial community, and that food in turn shapes the microbiota and the gut microbiome.1

Nutrition

Immunity

 

The human gut microbial communities and immune systems co-evolve during the course of our lifespans, and components of the microbiota are known to impact the immune system.1

 Immunity

Brain Function

 

There is compelling evidence to support a link between the gut microbiota and brain function. According to the American Psychological Association, gut bacteria produce hundreds of neurochemicals that the brain uses to regulate basic physiological processes as well as mental processes such as learning, memory and mood.2 If communication along this gut-brain axis is perturbed, due to a change in the microbiota, the brain can be affected.

 Brain Function

Disease

 

Changes to the composition of the gut microbiome have been implicated in multiple human diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease and obesity.3

 Disease

 

1. Kau et al. Nature 2012;474(7351):327–336.

2. http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/09/gut-feeling.aspx

3. Hall et al. Nature Reviews Genetics 2017 (Aug21)

 

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How does Bimuno® influence the gut microbiota and the human microbiome?*

  • Gut model studies suggest that Bimuno® can increase the number of beneficial bifidobacteria in the gut microbiota of autistic children.1
  • Bimuno® is easy to take and reaches the digestive system intact because it is not affected by the stomach acid nor by heat.2
  • Bimuno® helps to improve gastrointestinal discomfort including bloating and flatulence in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.3
  • Bimuno® helps to reducethe incidence and severity of diarrhoea and abdominal pain associated with travellers’ diarrhoea.4,5
  • Bimuno® helps to lower levels of the human stress hormone cortisol in healthy adults.6
  • Bimuno® helps with emotional processing in healthy adults.6
  • Bimuno® helps to reduce the severity of airway inflammation in asthmatic adults.7
  • Bimuno® increases the number of beneficial bifidobacteria in the gut microbiota of adults, and was better than a comparator GOS product in doing so.8
  • Bimuno® helps to prevent harmful bacteria including E. coli and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium from invading the gut.9
  1. Grimald et al. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 2017 Feb;93(2).
  2. Data on file. 2017.
  3. Silk et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2009;29:508-518.
  4. Drakoularakou et al. EurJ Clin Nutr 2010;64(2):146-52.
  5. Hasle et al. J Travel Med 2017;1-9.
  6. Schmidt et al. Psychopharmacology 2015;232:1793-1801.
  7. Williams et al.Br J Nutr 2016;87:785-791.
  8. Depeint et al. Am J Clin Nutr 2008;87:785-791.
  9. Searle et al. J Med Microbiol 2010;59:1428–1439.

* Currently no EFSA\EU approved Health Claims

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