Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the EIT Food, University of Turin & European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)'s online course, Food for Thought: The Relationship Between Food, Gut and Brain. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds Hi, my name is Dagmara Zlotkowska. I would like to tell you about the microbiome role in gut-brain axis. What is the microbiome? The studies of the human microbiome started with Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, who found creatures in drop of water. In early 80s of XVII century, he compared his own fecal and oral samples. He noted the striking differences between these two habitats. Even he found differences between individuals in different stages of health and disease, in both of these sites. There are two terms related to each other. They are used interchangeably, but they have different meaning. The “microbiota” is the microbial taxa associated with humans, animals or plants. The “microbiome” is the catalog of this microbes and their genomes.

Skip to 1 minute and 3 seconds So, the human microbiome is the collection of microbes living inside and outside the human body. The microbiome significantly influences how the body operates and even outnumber human

Skip to 1 minute and 16 seconds genes by a ratio of 100:1. Some researchers evaluate the microbiota make up at about 30­50 trillion cells, human body consists from about 37 trillion cells. Do not worry, it doesn’t mean that humans are a “kind of bacteria”. Bacterial cells range from 0.2-10 microns across when human cells range from 10-100. It is believed that we carry about 330 grams of bacteria just in the intestine. The bacteria are homing our skin, hair, mucosa, intestine, reproduction tract, etc. Anyway, the microbiota are important inhabitants of human body. The others say that the gut microbiome comprises the collective genome of roughly 100 trillion microorganisms residing in the gastrointestinal tract.

Skip to 2 minutes and 16 seconds The most important information is that the gene repertoire of our gut bacteria contains 150 times more unique genes than the human genome. But we don’t get born with it, because all newborns are sterile. At the moment of the birth and the lactation time, the baby’s microbiome starts to form. It is generally agreed that first contact human body with microbiota is during the birth. Babies born vaginally are colonized mostly with the Bifidobacteria as well as Lactobacilli, Bacteroides, Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria. Newborns delivered by Caesarian section are exposed mostly to skin microbes like Staphylococcus, Corynebacterium, and Propionibacterium, have more Escherichia coli, as well as Clostridia and fewer Bacteroides and Bifidobacteria. It was found that those babies are more liable for allergic diseases.

Skip to 3 minutes and 20 seconds Delivery environment, home or hospital has also influence on composition of the newborn baby microbiota. Microbiota change very dynamically. Five time points significantly changing the

Skip to 3 minutes and 33 seconds babies’ microbiome where distinguished: Day 0, starting breast feeding, showed a higher abundance of Bifidobacteria, in comparison to formula‐fed infants. Day 92, infants get fever. Day 134, introduction cereals to the diet. Day 161, introduction formulas and table foods. Day 371, antibiotic treatment and adult diet start. The microbes, which live in our body are determined by what we are exposed to and the colonies are instantly influx. Geography, health status, age, gender and everything we touch determine the composition of our microbiota. So it is no surprise, that the microbiome is some kind of our identification personal number, because everyone is different. Each of us has a unique microbiota and a unique microbiome.

Microbiome role in the gut-brain axis, part I

What is the microbiome?

This is the first of the two videos introducing the relationship between gut microbiome and the brain. In this video, Dagmara Złotkowska explains all necessary terms related to microbiome and its development during our lifetime.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Food for Thought: The Relationship Between Food, Gut and Brain

EIT Food

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: