How Microbes Affect Your Immune System (Microbiome)

The microbiome is the vast network of microorganisms in and on human bodies. It includes many species of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and archaea. Although most bacteria live in the digestive tract, you may find them all over your body, including on your skin, in your mouth, and even in other organs.


Mood, weight, and immunity are just a few areas where the microbiome significantly impacts our general health.

Bacteria That Affect Emotion

According to research, a bidirectional connection linking the enteric nervous system (ENS) to the central nervous system (CNS), the gut-brain axis, is how the gut microbiota interacts with the brain. A “second brain” in its own right, the ENS has more neurons than the spinal cord (about 100 million), earning it the moniker.

Neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, and GABA, are essential in controlling mood, sleep, and stress; the gut flora can impact mood through their production. Additionally, the microbiome can protect the brain from inflammation by producing short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and anti-inflammatory chemicals.

The gut microbiota of persons with mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression, differs from that of those without these problems, according to studies. Some helpful bacteria, such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, are less prevalent in the guts of depressed persons.

Bacteria That Affect Body Mass Index

The microbiota in our digestive tract influences our ability to absorb nutrients from food, influencing our weight. Hormones produced by the microbiota can also affect metabolism and hunger.

Researchers have shown that the gut microbiota of obese persons differs from that of healthy-weight people. For example, some evidence suggests an association between obesity and increased amounts of certain bacteria that play a role in fat accumulation.

Agents of Microbial Immunomodulation

A robust immune system depends on the gut flora. The microbiome facilitates the immune system’s training to identify and combat dangerous infections while simultaneously limiting the immune system’s overreaction and assault on healthy cells.

According to research, a less diversified gut microbiota is associated with a compromised immune system. Some helpful bacteria, such as Faecalibacterium praus, are often lower in individuals with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Ways to Promote a Balanced Microbiome

To help maintain a balanced microbiome, you may do things like:

Including fermented foods and fiber-rich foods in a balanced diet
Maintaining a workout routine
Ensuring adequate rest
Coping under pressure
Keeping antibiotic overuse to a minimum

See a doctor if you are worried about your digestive system. They can assist you in formulating a strategy to enhance your gut microbiota and general well-being.

About Dominic E.

Film Student and Full-time Medical Writer forĀ