Intestinal flora - the power of microbes

How our bacterial roommates manipulate us

From our intestines our microbial roommates control more than we believe. Eraxion / Royalstock / thinkstock
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Billions of tiny blackheads inhabit our digestive tract: the bacteria of our intestinal flora. It has long been thought that they are more passive, mostly harmless roommates, but now it is becoming increasingly clear what power our microbes really have: they control our appetite, our food preferences and even our mood and brain health.

In our digestive tract live more bacteria than we carry cells in the body. However, your presence does not normally strike us. Only when the delicate balance in the gut gets out of balance, we realize that something is wrong. For example, a year-long unhealthy diet can cause the intestinal flora to become depleted. But antibiotics also mess up the "community" of the intestine.

The consequences of this are only beginning to be fully understood by science. Because the microbes mix with almost everywhere: they control our immune system, influence how drugs work and control our nostrils and satiety. About signal substances and the "belly brain" extends the long arm of the intestinal flora even into the depths of our brains. Her power is fascinating and a little scary at the same time.

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Nadja Podbregar
As of: 17.06.2016