Gut microbiota refers to the population of microbes living in the gut. The community contains tens of trillions of microorganisms with over 1000 different species of bacterias.
The gut microbiota plays a vital role in human health, including the key processes of nutrition-enhancing the digestive functioning, lipid, and energy metabolism by inducing the production of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), phenolics, and other molecules, and pathogen resistance by promoting the immune function.
In a healthy individual, the levels of gut microbiota are balanced that allow the body to function in an optimal way.
Furthermore, gut microbiota also is found to stimulate the production of some vitamins (B and K), digest certain foods that the stomach and small intestine have not been able to digest, particularly in the combat against the aggression of other bad microorganisms.
However, alterations in gut microbiota composition have been found in patients with a low-grade inflammatory state, leading to an increased risk of several diseases, including type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease.
Although the digestive tract can adapt to change, the loss of balance in gut microbiota may induce dysbiosis., leading to health problems of functional bowel disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies, obesity, and diabetes.
The are many risk factors associated with gut microbiota imbalance. Some researchers suggested that the major causes of the condition may be a result of the promotion of a high-fat diet over the past few decades.
Dr. Duo Li, at the Institute of Nutrition and Health at Qingdao University in China, and colleagues wrote, "“Western-type diet has a strong effect on the genetic composition and metabolic activity of gut microbiota,” they wrote. “Evidence has shown that in humans gut microbiota diversity and richness are reduced when comparing such high-fat diets with more traditional diets with relatively higher proportions of carbohydrate. Such diet-induced ‘dysbiosis’ in gut-associated microbial communities has been postulated as a major trigger of metabolic impairments associated with obesity".
Alliin (S-allyl-L-cysteine-S-oxour intestinal chemical compound sulfoxide,. a derivative of the amino acid cysteine, belonging to the class of sulfur compounds, found abundantly in fresh garlic and onion.
With an aim to find a natural ingredient with immunomodulatory activity, researchers examined the effect of the garlic derivative alliin, on the mitogen-induced peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) proliferation and cytokine production in vitro.
Before treated with garlic derivative alliin, pokeweed mitogen (PWM) injection induced cell proliferation, production of proinflammatory cytokines, including IL-1beta and TNF-alpha.
Furthermore, pokeweed mitogen (PWM) treated group also showed the reduced levels of both percentage of phagocyting cells and number of latex particles associated with the immune functions of phagocytosis.
Administration of garlic derivative alliin not decreased only the production of proinflammatory cytokines induced by pokeweed mitogen (PWM) but also improved the levels of antioxidant enzymes.
In other words, alliin exerted an immunomodulatory effect on the peripheral blood cells in vitro.
On finding a natural compound for the improvement of the ratio of gut microbiota, researchers examined whether different plant-derived components with similar anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory function such as quercetin and alliin in traditional Asian diet on the status of the gut microbiota and colonic epithelial immunity.
Traditional Asian diet significantly increased reshaped the gut microbiota composition by significantly increased the relative abundance of fecal Firmicutes and Cyanobacteria but decreased that of Bacteroidetes (P < 0.05) and increased the relative abundance of Candidatus Arthromitus, Lactococcus, Geobacillus, and Ruminococcus at the genus level that benefits the host's health.
In other words, the traditional Asian diet reduced the expression of bad bacteria and increased the good bacteria in the gut.
The consumption of quercetin and alliin also altered 13 genes expression involved in the KEGG pathways immunomodulatory effect in improving the gut immunity through their anti-inflammatory and anti-free radical activities.
In other words, the alternate consumption of quercetin and alliin can contribute beneficial metabolic effects by optimizing gut microbiota by improving the immunologic function of colonic epithelial cells associated with the innate immune defense.
Taken altogether, alliin may be considered supplements for improvement of gut microbiota inducing immunologic function of colonic epithelial cells associated with the innate immune defense, pending to the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.
Intake of alliin in the form of supplement should be taken with extreme care to prevent overdose acute liver toxicity.
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Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)
Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Disilgold.com Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada - Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.
(1) The Alternate Consumption of Quercetin and Alliin in the Traditional Asian Diet Reshaped Microbiota and Altered Gene Expression of Colonic Epithelial Cells in Rats by Yu J1, Guo H1, Xie J1, Luo J1, Li Y1, Liu L1, Ou S1, Zhang G1, Peng X. (PubMed)
(2) High-fat diet linked to unfavorable gut microbiota changes by Wan Y. (Healio Gastroenterology)
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