If your microbiome is fine, you are fine too – that’s why health is about the gut

There is a strong link of the gut microbiome with healthy diet and cardiometabolic health. Each person, in fact, has a highly personalized microbiome and responds differently to food and to the control of values ​​such as blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. This was shown by a study coordinated by Cibio of the University of Trento, published in the journal Nature Medicine.

What is the microbiome? The microbiome is the set of bacteria that permanently “inhabit” our organism, in particular the intestine with a very high concentration in the colon. Without this colony of microorganisms (in an adult individual the microbiome can weigh up to one and a half kilograms, and the number of microorganisms is about 10 times higher than the number of cells that make up the entire human body.) It would be impossible to survive: for example , which would not be possible to assimilate the nutrients of the food, nor to digest it.

The human microbiome is therefore formed by bacteria that live in symbiosis with human cells and all their genes. In humans there are between 500 and 1000 different species of microorganisms, represented mainly by bacteria and to a lesser extent by fungi and viruses.

The intestinal microflora is made up of about 100,000 billion bacteria with more than 400 bacterial species present. Colonization of the gastrointestinal tract begins with birth and continues with advancing age to form a microflora characteristic of each individual.

The study is part of a field of investigation that the Computational Metagenomics Laboratory in the Cibio Department of Cellular, Computational and Integrated Biology of the University of Trento has undertaken to investigate the correlation between microbiome, diet and metabolic health and has made decisive use of new computer tools that have been developed for the analysis of microbiome data.

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“In this latest research – underlines Nicola Segata, coordinator of the research team at the University of Trento – we focused on the connection between intestinal bacteria, diet and cardiovascular health and it emerged with evidence that there are bacteria associated with different metabolic responses to food “.

«The sample was monitored in responses to two identical meals (breakfast and lunch) consumed under close clinical supervision, and in a series of test meals taken over two weeks. From the analysis it emerges that, in response to the same food, each person after eating records a very different trend in the levels of fat, sugar and immunological markers in the blood. This variability is only very partially explained by genetics, because we have verified that identical twins with very similar lifestyles also have very different responses to food ».

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