As mammals we host a whole set of microbiota ranging from gut to skin, oral and even the lung microbiome. I have provided a brief summary of a couple of up-and-coming microbiota and will touch on why it is imperative to combine DNA sequencing technology, advanced bioinformatic analyses, and expert interpretations to further our knowledge and understanding of the real-world implications of various microbiomes.
The Skin Microbiota
With varying environments and a whole multitude of foreign pathogens that can potentially harm us, our skin acts as a physical barrier as well as a home for the commensal microorganisms that find refuge there. Despite our skin being a hostile environment due to its pH and nutrient-poor conditions, which inadvertently is an additional obstacle that pathogens have to face in an attempt to colonise the human skin, we carry an impressively diverse variety of microbes on our skin.
Research shows that the skin microbiome plays a crucial role in how our skin looks, feels, and acts.
Does your face cream actually work in your favour? What about skin conditions like eczema and acne – are the current treatments on the market targeting the issues in the most effective and least harmful method?
These are merely a couple out of innumerable questions that are on the verge of being answered.
No Guts, No Glory: The Gut Microbiota
“Kombucha”, “probiotics, “antibiotics” or maybe even “Lactobacillus” and “Bifidobacteria” – these are all words that have been used liberally in today’s health news headlines and they’re all to do with your gut microbiome. So you have probably heard of them, but what is all the hype really about?
Your gut houses trillions of microorganisms that live with humans from birth, the mélange of which are mostly unique to each individual and directly influence our digestive health and immune responsiveness. An example being where molecules that are released by the gut’s microbial population can and do trigger propagations along the gastrointestinal neurons. The real pinnacle here came into play when scientists investigated our gut-brain axis and the impact the gut microbiota has on it.
So happy gut, happy mind?
Maybe so! Although not a new theory in itself, research into the gut-brain-microbiome axis has experienced a surge in the past couple of years and new connections are increasingly being uncovered. A notable link is that between the gut microbiota and a variety of psychological disorders, namely depression and anxiety.
Companies that have been advertising the positive effects of their products on the gut microbiota and so our overall wellbeing are now looking to back up these claims with scientific authentication.
Scientists are actively working together towards increasing our knowledge and understanding of the exhilarating world of the gut-brain-microbiome axis.
As with humans, the microbiota is also extensively researched for animals.
Their unique makeup informs disciplines from across the board touching on animal health, the food and feed industry, and even conservational efforts. Knowing how an animal’s gut microbiome could potentially react, given a variety of conditions, can help efforts to reduce its susceptibility to antibiotic resistance and other major pressing issues. What’s more? The gut-brain microbiome axis is not only applicable to us humans! Yes, also animals like pig and chicken can benefit from a hearty and well-balanced meal and enjoy it on a multitude of levels.
The above three topics are just the tip of the iceberg and there are so many more avenues that are currently being explored. BaseClear’s in-house experts are actively contributing to the research and development of these topics. Our skin microbiome experts offer complete solutions to help determine the actual effects of cosmetics, soaps, personal care products, antibiotics, probiotics, and so on. In the meantime, our animal microbiome experts offer comprehensive animal microbiome analysis and reporting services for greater insights into microbial populations and their respective functions. Last, but definitely not least, our gut microbiome experts excel in providing end-to-end solutions to analyse and interpret the human gut microbiome and what can influence its balance and overall health.
Has this tickled your fancy? Are you gut microbes hungry for more?
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