Bacteria in our body determine health and disease

Role of microorganisms in the human underestimated so far

There is a powerful and invisible Kingdom, which ruled largely undetected in the human body, about health and illness, decides. The speech is from the human Microbiome, i.e., the total number of microorganisms that colonize in a human. These billions of micro live support beings, and affect the health in a far greater extent than previously assumed, as the largest study on the subject shows.

In the “NIH Human Microbiome Project (HMP)” to examine international scientists for over ten years, the connection between the micro-organisms of the human being and the health. In the process, the researchers uncovered many interactions and showed that disturbances in the Microbiome with hundreds of diseases, such as cancer, auto-immune diseases and heart disease are related. The current findings of the group were recently presented in the prestigious scientific journal “Nature”.

Inventory in the human body weight

“We had conducted an inventory of the microbial species in the human body,” says Lita Proctor, HMP program Director. The microbes in the body interact with each other as well as with the host. In this System, each could affect everyone. The researchers such interactions have in the project recorded. To three example, the Team shows how it processes comes to be pathological, if the composition of the microorganisms gets out of balance.

Premature births due to a lack of bacteria in the vaginal tract

The research group could demonstrate for the first time, that a healthy vaginal microbiome of a pregnant woman is closely associated with the healthy birth of a baby. They compared the vaginal Microbiome in uncomplicated pregnancies with preterm births and found that women who had a preterm birth had a significantly lower number of the bacterium Lactobacillus crispatus. This bacterium is a normal inhabitant of the vaginal tract and is considered to be non-pathogenic (not disease causing).

New biomarkers for preterm birth

Surprisingly, however, was that a few months after the premature birth, the number of bacteria was normalized again. The researchers do not know why this microbe disappears in the earlier days of pregnancy from the Vagina. However, this finding could be used to determine the risk of a premature birth. “The study of the composition of the microbial community of a woman at the beginning of the pregnancy can be for predicting the risk of preterm birth useful,” explains Professor Dr. Gregory Buck, a senior researcher of the study.

Such as inflammatory bowel disease with bacteria contexts

The causes of chronic inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are still largely unknown. Now the HMP research team found clear indications of an out of balance gut flora could be the cause. They studied the composition of the intestinal flora in individuals with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in different phases of the Disease. In many cases, the composition of the intestinal flora of the Affected changed within a few weeks. Such a drastic change could be the researchers, in healthy persons, was not found. It showed that the bacteria Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Roseburia hominis are reduced in chronic inflammatory bowel disease, and instead of the bacteria of type Escherichia coli occur more frequently.

Important anti-inflammatory signal molecules were lost

The change in the intestinal flora has led, the researchers suggest a significant reduction in the butyrate levels. Butyrate is a product of the intestinal bacteria, which reduces inflammation and the intestinal mucosa, strengthens. The bacteria F. prausnitzii and R. hominis are considered to be the largest producers of these signal molecules. The loss of these bacteria could be a cause for chronic intestinal inflammation.

Connection between Diabetes and the intestinal flora discovered

Type 2 Diabetes has become one of the most common diseases. In the U.S., ten percent of the adult population will suffer from it by now. A further 30 per cent are in a prediabetic state, with elevated blood sugar levels. Around 70 percent of the Prädiabetiker develop in the course of their lives, a type-2 Diabetes. But as it comes to the progression of the disease? Also in this aspect of the human Microbiome plays a significant role.

Can lead to imbalance in the Microbiome Diabetes can

Healthy and prediabetic individuals were investigated in the study over a period of four years. At regular intervals, the intestinal and nasal microbiome of the Participants was documented. The first finding was that the gut bacteria of healthy Participants to differ from those with Prädiabetis. In addition, the researchers see a connection between the changes in intestinal flora and a worse immune system, which showed Prädiabiker.

What came first – the chicken or the Egg?

The Microbiome is a new field of research. All the found issues have yet to be in-depth examined in further studies. However, it is clear that there is a clear connection between the composition of the Multiple and the Occurrence of various diseases. “We don’t know yet whether a change in a microbial community leads to a disease, or whether the microbial community changes as a response to the development of a disease,” concludes the research team in a press release of the study results. This should be in coming investigations to be clarified. (vb)