For a large portion of society it is still unknown that a whole universe of life forms is active within our intestines, receiving the name of gut microbiota. The tens of trillions of bacteria composing this living community form together what is currently considered by experts as a “new organ” carrying out specific functions which are key to maintaining an optimal health.
Gut microbiota development starts after birth, since we are all born sterile. This means that the composition of the microbiota is strongly influenced by external factors including conditions of birth, diet, environment or use of antibiotic drugs. Helping regulate the body’s energy supply and protecting us against “intruders” (viruses and disease-causing bacteria) are two vital functions performed by gut microbiota: 70% of our immune cells and more than 100 million neurons connected with the brain live in our intestine!
The vast community composing gut microbiota includes at least 1000 bacteria types, weights between 1.5 and 2kg, comprises more than 3.3 million genes, which is 150 times more than in the human genome! Scientific research around gut microbiota is currently booming and experts from different disciplines are working together to increase knowledge of this vital organ.
New discoveries will help the scientific community have a better understanding of the functioning of gut microbiota and its influence in health and disease… and we want to share it with you!