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What are gut bacteria?

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Your body is loaded with trillions of bacteria. Paired with other tiny organisms like viruses and fungi, they make what’s known as the microbiota, or the microbiome. The mix of bacteria in your body is unique to you. It’s determined partly by your mother’s microbiota and partly by your diet and lifestyle. Between 300 to 500 different kinds containing nearly 2 million genes live in your gut. They line your entire digestive system, but most live in your intestines and colon. They help process food and affect everything from your metabolism to your mood to your immune system. They may be tied to your risk of diabetes, obesity, depression, and colon cancer.

SOURCES:

Eamonn Quigley, MD, chief of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology, Houston Methodist Hospital.

Quigley, E. , September 2013. Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Baron, S. , University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, 1996. Medical Microbiology

Singh, V. , December 2015. Cell Metabolism

Sartor, R. , 2012. American Journal of Gastroenterology Supplements

Burns, M. , June 2015. Genome Medicine

Mayer, E. , July 2011. Nature Reviews Neuroscience

Carabotti, M. , April-June 2015. Annals of Gastroenterology

Scher, J. , November 2013. Elife

Sonnenburg, E. January 2016. Nature,

Clarke, S. , June 2014. Gut

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on May 20, 2018

SOURCES:

Eamonn Quigley, MD, chief of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology, Houston Methodist Hospital.

Quigley, E. , September 2013. Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Baron, S. , University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, 1996. Medical Microbiology

Singh, V. , December 2015. Cell Metabolism

Sartor, R. , 2012. American Journal of Gastroenterology Supplements

Burns, M. , June 2015. Genome Medicine

Mayer, E. , July 2011. Nature Reviews Neuroscience

Carabotti, M. , April-June 2015. Annals of Gastroenterology

Scher, J. , November 2013. Elife

Sonnenburg, E. January 2016. Nature,

Clarke, S. , June 2014. Gut

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on May 20, 2018

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How is gut bacteria linked to diseases?

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