Understanding Disease Through Gut Microbiome – Oxford Medicine Article by Dr. Aly Cohen

The gut microbiome, composed of various fungi, viruses, and bacteria, is a vital part of the human host. Taking centre stage, with regard to understanding disease and what causes chronic medical conditions and symptoms, the gut microbiome can play a significant role in the intestinal immune system and inflammation.

Research is being carried out to better understand how changes to the gut microbiome can modulate disease. Epigenetic changes are thought to occur in response to a wide variety of factors, including weight, physical activity, nutrition, and environmental and emotional exposures. The microbiome can affect these factors, and vice-versa. Low-molecular-weight substances produced by the gut microbiota can interact with the cellular environment, affecting the signaling pathways and gene expression that regulate cell death, inflammation, and differentiation. It is nearly impossible to have a discussion on genetics and health and not include the gut microbiome. Understanding the gut microbiome and its interaction with the epigenome and diseases will help physicians to improve disease prevention and treatment.

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