The Functions of the Gut Microbiota Essay

The Functions of the Gut Microbiota Essay

Length: 1534 words (4.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The essential gut microbiota, which includes members of the three domains of life- bacteria, archaea, and eukarya- is one of the most densely populated biomes and plays a crucial role in supplying nourishment, monitoring epithelial development, governing innate immunity and preserving the balance of the intestinal mucosa. Since bacteria dominate this biome, identification of microbes on the basis of small subunit (16S) ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequences has drastically helped to reveal the gut’s composition (1,2). Recent studies regarding gut microbial communities suggested three principal variants or clusters, referred to as ‘enterotypes’, each of which is characterized by a discrete set of key bacterial genera. These three enterotypes, Bacteroides, Prevotella, and Ruminococcus, make up the core microbiota, whereas Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria and Verrucomicrobia are minor components. Bacteroides are highly linked to animal protein and a variety of amino acids and saturated fats, implying that meat consumption characterizes this enterotype. Prevotella, on the other hand, is associated with high values for carbohydrates and simple sugars (3). The phylogenetic and functional basis of enterotypes is determined by differences in organization at the phylum, gene and pathway level, as well as similarities with coexisting genera. Factors such as age, genetics and diet may also effect microbiota composition (3). Exploring different facets of the human gut microbiota helps to present a clear understanding of the influence it has on maintaining a healthy body, immune homeostasis, cardiovascular health, metabolism and host-microbe interactions/development.

Maintaining Health
The human body is comprised of several niches that are subj...


... middle of paper ...


...ience, 336, 1262-1267.
21. Ramakrishna, B. S. (2013). Role of the gut microbiota in human nutrition and metabolism. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 28(S4), 9-17.
22. Cani, P. D., Everard, A., & Duparc, T. (2013). Gut microbiota, enteroendocrine functions and metabolism. Current Opinion in Pharmacology, 13(6), 935-940.
23. Xie, G., Zhang, S., Zheng, X., & Jia, W. (2013). Metabolomics approaches for characterizing metabolic interactions between host and its commensal microbes. Electrophoresis, 34(19), 2787-2798.
24. Chassard, C., & Lacroix, C. (2013). Carbohydrates and the human gut microbiota. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 16(4), 453-460.
25. Aziz, Q. Q., Doré, J. J., Emmanuel, A. A., et al. (2013). Gut microbiota and gastrointestinal health: current concepts and future directions. Neurogastroenterology & Motility, 25(1), 4-15.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Functions of the Gut Microbiota Essay

- Regulation of Metabolism The gut microbiota obtains its nutrients from various sources such as consumed dietary ingredients and host-derived requirements like epithelial cells and mucus. Microorganisms utilize these substrates to produce energy to modulate cellular processes, metabolism and growth. The gut encompasses pathways for carbohydrate, lipid and amino acid metabolism (6). Interestingly, the gut flora’s metabolic action is both adaptive and renewable. Through the synthesis of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), B vitamins and vitamin K, commensal bacteria mutualistically interact with intestinal epithelial cells to promote differentiation, proliferation and absorption from the bowel....   [tags: This essay is the remainder of the previous essay.]

Powerful Essays
1422 words (4.1 pages)

Coevolution of Bacterial Gut Microbiota and the Human Adaptive Immune System

- Within the gastrointestinal tract of the human body thrive trillions of bacteria, comprising what is known as the microbiota (Slack et al. 2009, Figure 1). The microbiota can be defined as the combination of microorganisms living simultaneously in a location, with that location being the human body (Round et al. 2009). Many years of evolution have contributed to the relationship that is observed between human intestinal bacteria and the adaptive immune system. Contrary to the common belief that all intestinal bacteria are pathogenic, recent evidence suggests that the bacteria residing in the human gut actually play a crucial role in human adaptive immunological function....   [tags: human gut, immune system, microbiota]

Powerful Essays
907 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on The Roles of Microbiota on Immunological Function

- Within the gastrointestinal tract of the human body thrive trillions of bacteria, comprising what is known as the microbiota (Slack et al. 2009, Figure 1). The microbiota can be defined as the combination of microorganisms, consisting primarily of bacteria, living simultaneously in a location (Round et al. 2009). Thousands of years of evolution have contributed to the relationship that is observed between human intestinal bacteria and the adaptive immune system. Beginning with the initial divergence of vertebrates, humans have acquired the ability to establish and maintain a microbiota, which can be altered in response to various factors....   [tags: bacteria, gut, pathogens ]

Powerful Essays
940 words (2.7 pages)

Gut Bacteria: How Can It Affect Weight and Health? Essay examples

- Enteric bacteria are major microorganisms that colonise human’s gastrointestinal tract- a long tube containing specialised sections such as the mouth, oesophagus, stomach, intestines, rectum and the anus. Gut bacteria make up approximately 95 percent of the total cells in the body, with the colon containing the densest microbial communities (Gibson, Rastall and Fuller 2008: 52). Human gastrointestinal tract consists of 100 different prokaryotic species, and with two bacterial species, firmicutes and bacteroicidetes dominating them (Brooker et al....   [tags: gastrointestinal tract, bacterium, gut flora]

Powerful Essays
1073 words (3.1 pages)

Splanation Of The Microbiota Essay

- Literature Review Justification In recent years, there has been an emerging scientific conversation regarding the relationship between a host organism and its microbiota. This interest focuses on different aspects and factors relating to the level of interaction between them, specifically regarding their proposed interdependence. This interdependence varies and takes many different forms and is most commonly understood as symbioses, in which the animal or plant represents the host and their respective microbiota represent the symbionts....   [tags: Bacteria, Gut flora, Plant, Animal, Rhizobia]

Powerful Essays
722 words (2.1 pages)

Microbiota Essay On Animals

- Humans, like all mammals, have evolved an intimate relationship with a consortium of microorganisms that inhabit tissues and body fluids in contact with the external environment. The gut microbiota defines the entirety of microorganisms residing in the human gastrointestinal tract. Primarily found in the large intestine, these microorganisms outnumber humans cells by a factor of ten. The gut microbiome is the collective genome of these diverse microorganisms which consist primarily of bacteria but also of fungi, archaea and viruses....   [tags: Bacteria, Immune system, Microbiology, Gut flora]

Powerful Essays
1290 words (3.7 pages)

The Importance Of Healthy Microbiomes And How Healthy Microbiota Exposure

- As society today becomes more hygienic and industrialized, the exposure to a variety of different microbes lessens. With the collapse of this varietal exposure, more and more children are obtaining this longstanding chronic disease called asthma. As we dive deeper into the human body, we have come to learn that the human microbiome plays a huge part in how we develop as humans. The microbiota is a necessary role in the early stages of life, even as soon as we are born. Throughout this paper I will describe the importance of healthy microbiomes and how healthy microbiota exposure is critical for safeguarding one’s body against this worldwide disease....   [tags: Bacteria, Immune system, Asthma, Gut flora]

Powerful Essays
1292 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on Public Knowledge And Perceptions Of Brain Gut Microbiota

- Public knowledge and perceptions of brain-gut-microbiota research The human body plays host to a vast and unique population of symbiotic microorganisms called microbiota (Zhou & Foster, 2015). Microbiota have been found to affect many vital aspects of human biology and health (Cryan, 2016). Most recently, the effect of gut microbiota upon neuropsychological health has been explored in biomedical research (De Palma, Collins, Bercik, & Verdu, 2014). This research is promising, and the microbiota-human interface may represent a new area for therapeutic invention for neuropsychological health (Zhou & Foster, 2015), possibly as stratified medicine, which specifically targets physiological mechan...   [tags: Health care, Psychology, Mental disorder, Health]

Powerful Essays
1230 words (3.5 pages)

Probiotics And The Importance Of Healthy Microbiota Essay examples

- Probiotics Every day we are learning more about the connection between diseases and the importance of healthy microbiota. In order for our body to be in top health, we need to make sure the microbiome in the gut is balanced with good bacteria. “The microbiome is a community of microscopic organisms. Trillions of tiny bacteria that live in our intestines and influence every facet of health” (Tweed). To help create the balance, we have the availability to take probiotics which are living bacteria that go to our gut and ensure our health....   [tags: Probiotic, Gut flora, Bacteria, Lactobacillus]

Powerful Essays
1142 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on The Role of Gut Microbiota in the Exaggeration of Kwashiorkor

- ... There are some aspects of the study that are not clearly explained in the article and if elaborated, may contribute to more concise findings. First, Smith et al. only used young twins in the study to investigate the microbiome with the diet. Although twins create a control group within human studies, there can be negative aspects, such as differences between twins and the rest of a population. The twins are genetically identical or similar, in fraternal twins, so the study may only be used to understand the disease in twins, compared to the rest of the people in Malawi that may also have the disease....   [tags: malnutrition, diet, bacteria]

Free Essays
545 words (1.6 pages)