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“death sits in the bowels and bad digestion is the root of all evil”
Hippocrates (400 B.C.)
–First discovered in early 1900s by Metchnikoff
–Probiotic means “for life” and was coined by Lilly & Stillwell in 1960s.
–Claimed to help with Digestive health/discomfort and Immune support
NEW Current Understanding –The Source
•The Human Microbiome Project (HMP) –NIH + 5 years
•Microbiome? –Defined as the totality of microbes, their genetic elements (genomes), and environmental interactions in a defined environment–i.e. the human body.
•Why the HMP project?
–Human flora has never been completely characterized. Limitations of microbiology with obligate anaerobes
–Metagenomics–advances in RNA/DNA sequencing allow for pin-point accuracy in characterization. 16s ribosomal RNA often used.
–This has allowed for the characterization and study of the total GI microbial population as it relates to health, wellness and disease.
–Launched by the NIH 5 years ago –200 researchers, 80 research institutes.
Facts from the Human Microbiome Project (HMP)
•We are more bacteria than human! –10 trillion human cells vs. 100 trillion bacteria cells.
•There are over 1000 different species of commensal organisms in the GITout of 35,000 possible.
•Bacterial genes out number human genes 150 to 1. (25,000 human genes vs. 3.3 million microbial genes)
•No two individuals have the exact same composition –not even twins. Phylum level conserved –Species level vast difference
•Disease is associated with a disruption to the ecology of the GIT (Crohn’sdisease, IBS, asthma and even obesity)
•Pathogenic organisms are normal inhabitant of the GIT –i.e. H.pylori, staphylococcus, e.coli. Etc.
•The intestinal microbiota is not homogeneous.
Spatial and temporal aspects of intestinal microbiota composition.