The Intestinal Microbiota

Did you know that there are trillions of micro-organisms living happily inside your digestive system? Together they are known as the ‘intestinal or gut microbiota’ (intestinal flora).  Although we may not be aware of them, these micro-organisms play an essential role in the smooth functioning of our digestive and immune systems. They also protect us from disease and ensure we stay healthy! 1

Your microbiota is unique

Each person’s gut microbiota is a unique mixture of micro-organisms that changes and evolve throughout our lives. The range, variety and numbers of micro-organisms in our intestines are influenced by our lifestyle, age, physical fitness, stress levels, and various environmental factors.1

Throughout our lives, the microbiota helps the body to defend itself against disease-causing microbes or ‘pathogens’. It regulates the way that the body responds to ensure that it does not over-react and cause chronic or damaging inflammation.2,3

The importance of the microbiota for development

During childhood the microbiota plays a key role in development: it can impact the development of the brain, the immune system and even influence body growth.4 Bifidobacteria are a particularly important group amongst the bacteria of the microbiota because they are involved with the development and maturation of the immune system. 5

It’s all a question of balance…

A healthy microbiota consists of a balance between different microbial species. This balance can become upset if one species becomes too dominant or if there isn’t enough diversity in the microbiota; resulting in a condition called dysbiosis. Dysbiosis is linked to changes in lifestyle, diet, stress or even taking certain medications such as antibiotics. Dysbiosis can lead to various health disorders, such as diarrhea, nutritional imbalances, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and problems related to immune system dysregulation.4,6,7,8,9
Postbiotic therapy can be very helpful when you have dysbiosis. Postbiotics are natural compounds derived from micro-organisms that can help to restore the balance of the microbiota by re-establishing a thriving microbial flora which brings positive health benefits.9

 

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LAC09-08/2022 INT