Should We Treat Microbiome As An Organ?

Two researchers based in the United Kingdom keep their focus on obesity and metabolism. They work at the Warwick Medical School and the University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire National Health Service (NHS) Trust. Dr. Petra Hanson and Dr. Thomas M. Barber both are members of the Warwick Obesity Network.

The two researchers discussed the microbiome, probiotics, and the marketing hype behind it. Also, they explained the future of research and its direction.

These days browsing the shelves of several shops revealed a growing consumer fascination with probiotics. It has moved well past yogurt. You can find probiotic-infused toothpaste, shampoo, and skincare products.

Moreover, snacks for both humans and pets infused with probiotics are available. We can even find them in some anti-allergy mattresses.

Medical News Today, in a recent post, discusses gut microbiome.

Gut Microbiome

The growing scientific attention has derived the probiotic buzz. Also, it stems from the importance of the gut microbiome. It is a collection of bacteria living in the large intestine.

To understand the potential of the gut microbiome, researchers are examining it. They want to learn how it could benefit infinite aspects of both physical and mental health.

The possibility of improving health with this generates excitement. Moreover, there is a possibility that it could improve gut bacteria.


Researchers at the University of Warwick have concluded possibilities. The medical community should consider the gut microbiome almost like an organ in its own right. If we do not nurture it properly, then it can make us unwell.

Conversely, if we take care of it correctly, then it could promote health and well-being. It holds that kind of power.

Role In the Body

Dr.Hanson said that in healthy physiological processes, the human microbiome is crucial. We know that it plays several and different roles in our bodies.

Our research shows it. For instance, it has a role in the normal development of the immune system. Also, it plays a part in the regulation of appetite and the mediation of inflammatory pathways and metabolic processes.

Bacterial Species

A recent high-quality study highlights significant connections between health and gut biomes. Source It links the healthy and unhealthy outcomes to certain microbes. Moreover, it seems that some bacterial species have a link to lower body weight and lower appetite.

Not only that, but these bacterial species also appear to have a link with overall reduced inflammatory status.

Warwick Medical School’s recent research shows that other bacterial species are associated with an unfavorable metabolic status. Furthermore, recently, scientists have linked healthier aging to a microbiome pattern. 

Influencing Factors

Scientists to date have identified only about 1,000 microorganisms in the human body. They believe that in the body, there are millions of microorganisms.

The gut microbiota establishes when a human reaches the age of 3. However, multiple factors can alter its diversity and development. These factors include:

  • Host genetics
  • Diet
  • Age
  • Mode of birth
  • Antibiotics
  • Probiotics
  • Fecal microbiota transplants
  • Prebiotics

Lack of Data

According to Dr. Barber, the data from studies based on humans is mainly observational. So far, there is a lack of data. We do not possess the evidence to say that more diverse and healthier microbiomes can improve metabolic health.

However, we can only say that better outcomes are associated with these microbiomes. It is a very different standard, Barber said.

The Verdict Is In

Among growing public interests and scientific inquiries, marketers sell a lot of products. They do it on the back of unproven promises. We have to cut through the clutter of advertising claims.

To do that, we have to distinguish between fads and facts. Below is the verdict on what the latest science tells us.


According to scientists, probiotics are beneficial for the body. Firstly, they help in improving the immune system. Secondly, they help by preserving the balance of the normal intestinal microbiota.

Recent research suggests that probiotics of certain types may benefit particular disease states. In recent years, the popularity of probiotics has increased. 

However, when it comes to the benefits of probiotics and their safety, the evidence is insufficient.

Fecal transplants

According to recent work, there are benefits of transplanting fecal bacteria. Transplanting it from healthy donors into people with intestinal diseases has advantages. For instance, it restores the function of gut microbiota.

Furthermore, these kinds of transplants may treat various diseases. The list of diseases includes:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Constipation
  • Metabolic diseases
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Allergic disorders
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome


The sources of prebiotics are plant-based foods. They stimulate the growth of gut bacteria. According to research, prebiotics has three features:

  1. In the digestive tract, they resist absorption.
  2. The microbiome can ferment prebiotics.
  3. Through either direct or indirect action of the microbiome, they can have a positive health effect.

The main source of prebiotics is Dietary fiber. It has two types: insoluble and soluble. 

Fruits and vegetables are the primary sources of soluble fiber. Cereals and whole-grain products provide insoluble fiber. However, both kinds of fiber are present in most high-fiber foods.

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According to the findings, people should increase their fiber intake by about 50%. Dietary fiber has several health benefits. Also, they are widely recognized.

They lessen numerous health issues. For instance, they help with chronic inflammation, depression, and excess body weight. Also, it reduces the risk of colorectal cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Furthermore, this work highlights dietary fiber. Its beneficial effects on the human microbiome. There is still a lot to learn about how exactly all this takes place.

However, the researchers know that dietary fiber enhances the production of key microbial molecules. They help promote overall health and well-being.


In overall human physical and mental health care, the microbiome has a huge role. Insights about it are on the horizon. However, in the meantime, the general public should eat plenty of fiber.

Furthermore, they should eat diverse food that is unprocessed. Also, to have better metabolic health, people have to eat fruits and vegetables. There is still a lot more to discover.

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