Is the key to disease prevention, treatment, and longevity found within us? For many illnesses pervading in American society today, our bodies may hold the answer. Each individual human has more than 100 trillion bacterial cells in their gastrointestinal tract. The commensal and mutualistic relationship between this multitude of bacteria and their host has been seen to prevent and treat disease, as well as provide insight to a long, healthy life (Koboziev, 2014). The diversity of these microorganisms and their relative abundance within the gastrointestinal tract provides protection against disease and metabolism of food (Nicholson, 2012). Due to the great diversity in gut microbiota, the composition can serve as a biological fingerprint (Sunagawa, 2013). Any significant change in an individual’s gut
The mechanisms whereby a lack of microbial stimuli results in dysregulation of the immune system are poorly defined but are often attributed to a dysregulation of Th1 and Th2 responses. Douwes et al. explains that microbes are often recognized by innate immune cells through the binding of pathogen recognition receptors (PRR). This recognition results in the induction of Th1 responses which in turn down regulate the Th2 responses that are commonly associated with chronic inflammatory disorders (Barnes). While this is a candidate mechanism it is vastly incomplete; downstream affects of PRR induction are highly dependent on the stimulus and may result in proinflammatory induction rather than an anti-inflammatory Th1 response (Kielian). While this lack of a defined mechanism has lead some to reject the hygiene hypothesis, others have looked to animal models can case studies to support
Severe food allergies can cause life threatening anaphylactic responses, which are becoming more prevalent within the United States. There has been at least an 18% increase in food allergies among children in the U.S., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An increase in genetic variation cannot explain the increasing prevalence of food allergies, which leads to inquiries on whether environmental factors such as antibiotics, diet, vaccines and sanitation practices alter the composition of commensal microbiota, causing allergen sensitization. Twenty years ago, the “Hygiene Hypothesis” spread light on the adverse effects that have occurred due to the effort to reduce the population's exposure to infectious diseases.
The relationship between the human gut microbiome to health and disease is strong. Human physiology, metabolism, nutrition, and immune function are all affected by the composition of the gut. If the composition of the gut microbiome is altered in a way that any of these functions are negatively affected, this can lead to disease. The developments of the microbiome, its complexity, and its functionality in health and disease have been extensively studied. In addition, the way in which it is altered has many implications in the cause of diseases, such as bowel disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer.
Allergies are one of the most common complaints for which patients seek medical attention. They disrupt patients’ lives and can even make others uncomfortable. While symptomatic relief can be obtained with antihistamines and similar medications, most patients would rather live completely symptom free and thus they turn to desensitization therapy. Here, I will explain the mechanism behind allergies and the different forms of desensitization therapies that are available today.
Allergy has been defined as the result of immune reaction to antigens known as allergenes. In the last decades it has been accepted that there is a genetic basis to susceptibility to most common diseases, including allergies. Individual susceptibility and environmental factors play the most important roles. Atopy represents
Gut microbiome is one of the densest, most dynamic, and complex microorganism populations located in the body (Costa et al., 2012). Gut microbes act against transient pathogens, aid in digestion and absorption, stimulate the immune system, and support enteroctyes (Suchodoiski et al., 2012). Gut microbiome population differs between species, individuals, and organs (Fraga et al., 2011). It is noted that there are one billion microbes from one drop of cecal fluid, consisting of anaerobic microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and archae (Fraga et al., 2012). If these microbes are changed, this could result in gastrointestinal disease and even death. Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium difficle, Escherichia coli general and K-12, and Streptococcus bovis/equinus complex (SBEC) are common bacteria found in the microbiome of the hindgut. These strains are considered opportunistic bacteria, and if the immune system becomes compromised by changes to the hindgut microbiome, this will trigger proliferation of harmful and opportunistic bacteria that can cause numerous gastrointestinal
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic allergic disorder that mainly involves the skin (Sears 89). As reported in, The Allergy Book, “of all the allergic disorders…eczema is the most troublesome to treat” (89). In addition, eczema care is much more than skin deep; the whole body must be healthy to minimize eczema (Sears 98). Our immune system’s response to allergens is what causes millions of us to suffer from allergic disorders (Sears 3). In addition, epidemiologic data showed that atopic children have a different intestinal flora from that of healthy ones (Ozdemir par. 4). Researchers are beginning to link the introduction of probiotics as an effective way to treat/or prevent eczema.
There are major effects in the United States and Europe to help identify the role of microbial communities in the human body. The colon requires a balance of microbial agents that assist with various functions of the body. An imbalance can lead to C.diff., irritable bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), neurological disorders, and obesity just to list a few. Many of these problems have grown to an epidemic proportion. Both the United States and Europe have started projects aimed at the microbial communities of the body and their roles in our health.
The use of the first form of microbe-based therapeutics, probiotics, is beneficial for preventing disease. These live microorganisms are known to strengthen the equilibrium of the gut flora by the development of healthy gut
A positive association between H. pylori antibodies and food allergy presenting with gastrointestinal symptoms has been reported, especially H. pylori strain that possesses CagA, as a virulence factor. When H. pylori colonizes the gastric mucosa, it alters gastric barrier function. This in turn increases the passage of intact molecules across the epithelial barrier with resultant allergies and atopic manifestations (Matysiak et al., 2002).
Almost 8 million people are infected with hookworm (Freary et al), in severe cases it can result in death. On the contrary, epidemiological evidence suggests the hookworm may help with allergies and asthma. Two different scientific tests were performed to see if hookworms could help with symptoms of allergies and asthma. The first study was done to determine if hookworm infection would help airway responsiveness in a person who has allergies. The second study tested “to see the effects of experimental hookworm infection in asthma” (Freary et al). In comparison both the studies were trying to use hookworms as a treatment for issues with people’s immune systems. Contrastingly, the first study (based on allergies) had to be conducted first in
The immune system functions in preventing foreign and potentially dangerous molecules that enter the body from harming the person. Sometimes, these allergens that enter the body are completely harmless and the body’s overreaction to the allergen can be extremely dangerous. For decades, scientists have been searching for effective ways to properly diagnose an allergy, how to save patients in life-dependent situations, and discover a long-term cure. Although modern medicine has proven to be very helpful and has saved many lives, the drastic increase of children developing allergies is an issue of concern and is something that needs to be put on notice.
There are so many contributing factors to the incidence of asthma in the United State. Some of the factors are viral infection, cockroaches, dust mites, pollens, animal dander and molds. People can get asthma from passive and active smoking. Also environmental factors are a main contributor to asthma and allergies. Non-allergic asthma is caused by exercise, stress, and diet.