The Gastrointestinal Tract, The Immune System And Mental Health

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Nowadays there are a large number of investigations related to the microbiota and health not only of the gastrointestinal tract, the immune system but also the nervous system and mental health. Likewise, changes in the microbiota are implicated in the increasing tendency for a broad range of inflammatory diseases such as allergic disease, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity and the presence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) for instance, cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructed pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes. Studies have suggested strategies that would regulate the intestinal microbiota for reducing the risk of such diseases,
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The gut microbiota is involved in the regulation of multiple host metabolic pathways, giving rise to interactive host-microbiota metabolic, signaling, and immune-inflammatory axes that physiologically connect the gut, liver, muscle, and brain. A deeper understanding of these axes is a prerequisite for optimizing therapeutic strategies to manipulate the gut microbiota to combat disease and improve health (4).
Interactions between the gut microbiota and the host immune system begin at birth. Some epidemiological studies suggest that C-section babies may have an elevated risk for developing immune and metabolic disorders, including Type 1 diabetes, allergies, asthma and obesity. Scientists have theorized that these children may be missing key bacteria known to play a large role in shaping the immune system from the moment of birth onward. Babies delivered by cesarean section (C-section) acquire a microbiota that differs from that of vaginally delivered infants, and C-section delivery has been associated with increased risk for immune and metabolic disorders. Dominguez-Bello et al conducted a pilot study in which infants delivered by C-section were exposed to maternal vaginal fluids at birth. A mother’s vaginal fluids — loaded with one such essential bacterium,
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