For many, the intestine is not considered a noble organ and yet this organ, several meters long, is essential to our health. It is home to an astonishing microscopic world, the intestinal microbiota, which we discover a little more every day. In particular, it would ensure the proper digestion of food and therefore our nutrition, restore the balance of the skin, regulate mood and anxiety and even protect and boost the immune system.
The intestinal microbiota, bacteria that want us well?
The intestine is not just a simple digestive tract but also an ecosystem that houses an entire microbiotic world called intestinal flora or intestinal microbiota , a set of bacteria, viruses and fungi essential to our health. This microbiota is made up of a little more than 100,000 billion microorganisms , as many as the number of cells that populate our body. Specific to each individual, it weighs approximately 2 kg and is formed thanks to genetic, environmental and dietary factors. Its health depends only on the balance between friendly bacteria and bad bacteria. When these bad bacteria are in excess, they cause an imbalance in the microbiota called dysbiosis . They then promote digestive disorders and could even explain the development of certain inflammatory or autoimmune diseases .
The 4 key roles of the microbiota in our health
The microbiota, at the heart of digestion
With its 7 m long, the intestine allows the digestion of predigested foods in the stomach to be completed, in particular thanks to the intestinal microbiota. Indeed, we are not able to digest all the nutrients ingested. The micro-organisms which constitute the microbiota then play an essential role in digestion by ensuring the fermentation of all indigestible food residues . To explain the digestive potential of the microbiota , here is a fairly striking example: the human genome has around 17 enzymes to carry out the digestion of complex sugars compared to 56,000 enzymes for 1000 bacterial species which make up the microbiota!
The microbiota, our second brain
Several studies have recently suggested that in addition to its digestive functions, the intestinal microbiota takes part in communication between the intestine and the brain. Indeed, the central nervous system is in permanent interaction with the digestive tract: we speak of the intestine-brain axis . We now know that these two organs communicate thanks to the vagus nerve and the 200 million neurons present in the intestine. The composition of the microbiota can notably influence mood and the response to stress . In fact, 95% of serotonin , the well-being hormone regulating many functions such as mood or behavior, is produced in the intestine and takes part in exchanges between the brain and the intestine!
It has been shown that the simple transfer of the microbiota from an animal presenting mood disorders to a healthy animal would be sufficient to induce behaviors synonymous with a depressive state.
This permanent dialogue between intestine and brain would lead researchers to believe that a microbiotic imbalance could have significant neurological and psychiatric repercussions : stress, depression, neurodegenerative diseases, etc.
The microbiota, a key role in immunity
Today, we hear a lot about a link between microbiota and the immune system, but what is it really? The intestinal ecosystem is made up of 3 key elements which work in synergy and which are involved in the immune defense process:
- The intestinal mucosa , which has a real role as a selective barrier. It only allows nutrients of interest to the body to pass through and prevents any pathogenic substance from penetrating the body and entering the bloodstream.
- The intestinal immune system , which strengthens the protective role of the intestinal mucosa and controls the body's overall immunity. Note that almost 70% of immune cells are located in the intestine!
- The intestinal microbiota , a real soldier for the immune system since by colonizing the intestinal mucosa, it prevents pathogens from passing through and colonizing the intestine.
Note that this intestinal microbiota is essential from the first years of life so that intestinal immunity learns to distinguish friendly species from pathogens.
The microbiota, a precious ally for healthy skin
How could our gut impact the health of our skin? We could believe, wrongly, that the intestine and the skin are two organs without any connection and yet it is the intestinal microbiota which makes the link between them through the intestine-skin axis . Indeed, more and more studies are expanding the role of the intestinal microbiota in inflammatory skin conditions and demonstrating that its imbalance could be the cause of a host of skin problems. The contribution of the intestinal microbiota has been clearly identified in acne , atopic dermatitis , psoriasis and rosacea . The balance of the intestine-skin axis would therefore make it possible to fight against the entry of pathogens into the body and the triggering of inflammatory skin reactions. Thus, thanks to these discoveries, new perspectives are emerging in dermatology . Our anti-imperfections pack , natural and vegan, composed of the Hydration & clear skin treatment and Healthy guts , a complex of probiotics and prebiotics , allows you to effectively take care of the skin from the inside.
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Don't let the balance of your microbiota deteriorate!
You will have understood, the intestinal flora is at the heart of our health . A neglected microbiota could be the cause of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases , promote obesity and type 2 diabetes and finally be involved in certain neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson's, Alzheimer's) or psychological diseases (depression, autism). It is therefore essential to act on a daily basis to preserve the symbiosis of these billions of bacteria. Diet can in particular be seen as a fundamental lever for taking care of one's microbiota. A diet rich in natural probiotics and prebiotic fibers will be greatly beneficial!
They are found in:
- fermented vegetables,
- sourdough bread,
- beer yeast,
- or in kombucha.
Quite difficult to consume on a daily basis, the Healthy Guts food supplement is a very good help to restore the balance and integrity of the microbiota . Composed of 4 complementary probiotic strains and dosed up to 35 billion CFU , Healthy guts allow you to take care of your health sustainably by acting on digestion , immunity and even the skin . This 3-in-1 product will help you treat many ailments!
- CHEVALIER, G., GUENIN-MACE, L., SIOPI, E., et al . Effect of gut microbiota on depressive-like behaviors in mice is mediated by the endocannabinoid system. Nature Communications. 11/12/2020. [online].
- FRISONI, G. Confirmed link between Alzheimer's disease and the microbiota. University of Geneva. 11/16/2022. [online].
- INSERM. Intestinal microbiota: a serious avenue for understanding the origin of many diseases. Inserm: science for health. 10/18/2021. [online].
- RAHMOUNI, O., DUBUQUOY, L., DESREUMAUX, P., et al . Intestinal microbiota and development of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases. Medicine Science. 12/23/2016. [online].