NIH weighs in on the Human Microbiome (Part 1)bio1
November 15th, 2012
In 2003, the probiotic market in the U.S. was valued at $952 million. Five years later it had grown by 160% to one billion, 527 million. By 2015 it is projected to be at $3.1 billion. Definately a growth industry, and rightly so.
The awareness that a healthy gut flora is manditory for a truly healthy body and robust longevity, and the consensus that a good probiotic formula can facilitate the building of a healthy gut flora has spread from beyond the holsitic medical community to the hollowed medical research centers of the National Institute of Health (NIH).
In 2008, NIH established the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) to study the significance, in health and in disease, of the vast number of microbes that intimately associate themselves with our human bodies. HMP is focusing their research on four major dwelling places for these human associated microbial communities— the ecosystems of the GI tract, the respiratory tract, the urogenital tract (in women), and the skin.
The gastrointestinal tract (from the mouth to the anus) is the largest and most diverse of the microbial ecosystems, comprised of 100 trillion organisms (mostly bacterial), that is 10 times more one-celled microbial organisms in the lumin of our gut than the total human cell mass of our body, which is at 10 trillion.
Where doctors had previously isolated only a few hundred bacterial species from the body, HMP researchers now calculate that more than 10,000 microbial species occupy the human ecosystem. Moreover, researchers calculate that they have identified between 81 and 99 percent of all microorganismal genera in healthy adults.
HMP researchers also reported that this plethora of microbes contribute more genes responsible for human survival than humans contribute. Where the human genome carries some 22,000 protein-coding genes, researchers estimate that the human microbiome contributes some 8 million unique protein-coding genes or 360 times more bacterial genes than human genes. (MacDougall, R. NIH Human Microbiome Project defines normal bacterial makeup of the body. NIH News, June 13, 2012)
Actually, each human gene is capable of producing three different proteins where as each bacterial gene only can produce one protein, so that helps the totals a bit for human derived proteins—now its 66,000 to 8,000,000 bacterial proteins. As they say it is mind blowing.
Just think, genes produce proteins, and proteins are the building blocks of metabolic pathways, enzymes, receptor site molecules, messenger molecules, structural molecules, neurotransmitters and hormones. The new understanding is that the collection of proteins that run our bodies comes not only from our human cells but also from our microbial selves, our own unique microbiome. The sum total of our human cell genome and our microbial genome is called our metagenome. Our gut is awash with proteins from our human cells and microbials cell.
Our adult bodies harbor 10 times more microbial cells than human cells. Their genomes (the microbiome’s) endows us with physiological capacities that we have not had to evolve on our own and thus are both a manifestation of who we are genetically and metabolically and a reflection of our state of well being. (NIH)
This brings us to the door of the probiotic product world, a door that we will open over the next couple of weeks. In the last few years alone there has been alone 482 peer-reviewed papers published regarding lactobacillus and human health, catalogued within the US National Library of Medicine at NIH. Stay tuned.
The BioImmersion Synbiotic Formulas are the Original Synbiotic formula, the Beta-Glucan Synbiotic Formula, the Triple Berry Probiotic Formula, the High ORAC Synbiotic Formula, the Supernatant Synbiotic Formula, the Cranberry Pomegranate Synbiotic Formula and the No. 7 Systemic Booster.
They represent the following strains: L. bulgaricus ATCC pending, DUP 14073, L. helveticus ATCC 7994, L. casei ATCC 393, B. infantis ATCC 15697, B. longum ATCC 15707, L. acidophillus ATCC 4356, S. thermophillus ATCC 19258, L. plantarum ATCC 8014 and L. rhamnosus ATCC 7469.
Next week we will get into the research on the different strains, relative to human health.
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