There are thousands of different species of microbes living in your gut. Each play an integral part in keeping us running as efficient as possible. When the flora, or microbial community is diverse and free pathogenic species, you can bet your health is most likely in tip top shape.
The only way to find out whats living inside of you is to get swabbin’. Grabbing either a uBiome or an American Gut test will give you some insight on what types of microbial community is taking root inside of your body.
You log in and the results can leave you bewildered.
Firmicutes, bacterorietes, ruminococcus, tatooine? What are these, planets out of Star Wars? Well the maybe the last one, but they all have their own little purpose.
In general, there are species that have been linked to leanness and other with obesity. Grace, PharmD, has done a fantastic job at unveiling the importance of B.Longum and Akkermanisia Muciphilia. Just check out our Gut Guardian’s Podcast, we love talking about those guys.
This got me thinking, which microbes are the must haves, the not so much’s, and the GTFO’s.
Everybody has their own little microbial community fingerprint. Different colonies are more prevalent in certain areas of the world due to diet and environmental factors.
So I went scouring through the studies to get a better handle on which of these you want in the gut.
Time to shed a little bit of light on what you actually should be looking for inside of those results:
Bifidobacteria Longum reduced inflammation
Akkermansia Muciphilia ≈ 3% of gut population is good
F. prausnitzii 5-20% of gut population. Reduced inflammation
Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes Small the ratio the better. Couldn’t find an exact ratio that one should look for but a 1:1 is most likely ideal
Christensenella – associated with lean people
Proteobacteria – High abundance linked to obesity
Staphylococcus – High abundance in overweight subjects
Enterobacteriaceae – High abundance in overweight subjects
Escherichia coli – High abundance in overweight subjects
Desulfovibrionaceae – high amounts are associated with gut inflammation and impaired gut barrier
Oscillobacter – in greater quantities with those with gut permeability
These are the ones you need to get rid of ASAP. They not only cause inflammation, but can cause infection.
Campylobacter – pathogenic species
Shigella – pathogenic species
Escherichia coli (these strains are particularity bad: STEC, HUS, EAHEC) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4064290/
Just because you might be missing or have too much of certain bacteria from this list doesn’t mean you’re on a one way street to your death bed. Unless you have a s-ton of C.Diff. Then…yeah…
Remember, even too much of a good thing doesn’t necessarily mean better. There is diversity and there is balance. Any bacteria can become pathogenic under the right circumstances.
By transitioning from a Western diet, you can already start shifting the gut and begin feeding the commensal bacteria that is native to our guts. In other cases, you may need to take other measures to repopulate good species.
Have you done blood tests and gut tests recently? Do these correlate? I’m interested in checking this out with a new sample submittal.
Time to get swabbin’!