During the past century, the noncommunicable diseases were the greatest reason for human deaths, even if we would compare it to infectious diseases. Trillions of commensal bacteria live in the human body and create as a whole the human microbiome. The great part of these microbes are located within the human gut (but not only) and have a significant impact on human health and survivor, including digesting food, activation of a certain class of medicines, producing metabolites like short-chain fatty acids and anti-inflammatory substances, as well as stimulating the immune system.
What exactly is gut microbiome?
The gut microbiome is a complex system consisting of plenty number of microbes, which metabolically interacts with the host. There are four dominant phyla in the human gut: Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, and Proteobacteria. Gut microbiome fights against disadvantageous effects of exposure onto the external environment, therefore it acts as some kind of biotic shield between the inside and the outside of a human body. The link between the host and gut microbiome is existing by metabolites produced by bacteria colonizing human gut. Apart from some biological effects, these metabolites could also have a great impact on altering the composition of the microbiome. The knowledge of interactions between microbiota and host metabolism, as well as modification of microbial ecology, is really crucial for effective therapeutic treatments for many diet-related diseases in near future. Nevertheless, there is still lack of knowledge about the exact metabolic paths, molecular mechanism and the role of microbes in human health.
What are the main functions of gut microbiome?
- Fermenting unused energy;
- Training the immune system;
- Preventing the growth of pathogenic bacteria;
- Regulating the development of the gut;
- Producing vitamins, such as biotin and Vit K;
- Producing hormones to direct the host to store fats;
- Repress microbial growth through the barrier effect;
- Harmful yeasts and bacteria like Clostridium difficile are unable to grow excessively due to competition from the helpful gut flora.
Why do we want to discover human gut microbiome? What is the aim?
The main aim of mapping gut microbiome is to identify and characterize microbes living in gut. Why? The microbes are partially responsible for human illness and health. Additionally, it is extremely important to evaluate the common part of microbes, which is available in individuals. Furthermore, it is necessary to understand if some changes in human gut microbiome could be correlated with human health, and how these changes affect on homeostasis of the human body.