The human intestine is colonized by a large number of microorganisms, collectively termed microbiota, which support a variety of physiological functions. The human intestine carries about 100 trillion microorganisms representing up to 1000 separate bacteria, yeasts, and parasites.
Humans in their intestine possess an “extended genome” of millions of microbial genes—the microbiome.
Because this complex symbiosis influences host metabolism, physiology, and gene expression, it has been proposed that humans are complex biologic “superorganisms.” The human super organism is a conglomerate of mammalian and microbial cells, with the latter estimated to outnumber the former by ten to one and the microbial genetic repertoire (microbiome) to be approximately 100-times greater than that of the human host.
An ever-increasing body of evidence implicates the GI microbiota in defining states of health and disease. The complex communities of microorganisms that colonize the human gastrointestinal tract play an important role in human health. Dr. Nomeeta Gupta in this webinar highlights the role of probiotics and the implications for future health.