The gut flora is a striking display of trans-kingdom symbiosis cooperating gut bacteria with their animal hosts to regulate the development and function of the immune, metabolic and nervous systems through dynamic two-way communication along the “gut axis-” brain”.

These processes can affect human health, as certain human behaviors appear to correlate with the composition of intestinal bacteria, and alterations in microbial communities with various neurological disorders.

Body-microbiota interactions are essential for the development of the immune system. Drastic changes in modern environments and lifestyles have led to an imbalance of this evolutionarily ancient process, coinciding with a sharp increase in immune-mediated diseases such as chronic autoimmune, allergic, and inflammatory disorders.

Factors such as antibiotics, diet, physical activity, mood, contact with the environment and social relationships, among others, will condition the composition and state of the microbiota and the immune system of each subject. In fact, everything produced by the microbiota reaches the immune, nerve and endocrine cells of the gut. These cells will modify their production of cytokines, neurotransmitters and hormones, and in this dialogue all the cells of the body will be influenced, including our brain, for the worse in case of deficiencies of those bacterial colonies that inhabit us.

These microorganisms in the intestine are capable of producing a whole series of hormones and neurotransmitters that affect immune cells. Influencing the oxidative and inflammatory control of our body, two of the factors that gradually age us. In fact, it is known that the microorganisms of the microbiota have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to the mediators they produce and the increase they generate of these types of compounds in other cells from the rest, therefore, they can lengthen or shorten life.
Variations and changes in the composition of the gut microbiota influence normal physiology and contribute to diseases ranging from inflammation to obesity. The gut microbiota communicates with the brain through neural, endocrine, and immune pathways, and influences brain function and behavior. And in the regulation of anxiety, mood, cognition and pain.

The gut microbiota mediates various physiological and pathological processes, including local nutrient absorption and lipid metabolism, as well as gut-associated activation of immune systems. It has also been shown that dysbiosis or the depletion of commensal bacteria, something that occurs with inadequate nutrition, sedentary life and as the years go by, affects excitability and the neurochemical code and can manifest itself in behavioral or cognitive disorders. It affects the physiology of all tissues.

Probiotics and prebiotics can be effective, improving the microbiota, alleviating symptoms of frequent diseases in old age, but also showing a preventive capacity, maintaining health and providing an increase in quality of life and healthy longevity.

Probiotics can be an important aid in the treatment of a whole series of pathologies, especially by reducing the inflammatory response in the intestinal mucosa and the immunosenescence and neurological deterioration associated with it. Immune status improvements after ingestion of certain strains of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. These bacteria are in dairy products, and by no means in the foolishness of confusing them with the badly called vegetable milks, that we should bother to read well the content of such aguachirles.

Also, some probiotics have been effective in improving sleep, memory, pain perception and certain cognitive functions that deteriorate with aging. These effects are due to the ability of such probiotics to improve the functioning of the homeostatic, immune, endocrine and nervous systems.

A prebiotic: oats. Regulates blood sugar levels. In this way, a breakfast composed of natural oatmeal, with nothing added (“good carbohydrates) can help reduce blood glucose levels throughout the day. Due to the amount of fiber it contains, it will allow us to” feed ” to our gut bacteria.

Fiber for them is present in other foods such as apples, legumes and the rest of fruits, vegetables and nuts.

Fourth, oatmeal is rich in protein and therefore it is very important to strengthen and take care of bones, muscles and skin.

The heart

From a cardiological point of view, diet and lifestyle are essential for good cardiovascular health and are becoming increasingly important. “Intestinal bacteria are capable of producing substances that regulate cardiovascular balance, so a heart-healthy diet ensures a good intestinal microbiota,” says Julián Pérez Villacastín, director of the Cardiovascular Institute of the Hospital Clínico de Madrid. The alteration of the intestinal microbiota is associated with the development of heart failure.

“Now, it has been confirmed that intestinal changes precede the development of cardiac manifestations, which implies that changes in the intestinal microbiota can be the cause of heart failure.”

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José Antonio Rodríguez Piedrabuena
Specialist in Psychiatry, and in management training, group and couples therapy