Behaviors that have the ability to cause changes to the gut microbial community:
The gut microbiota within those who are young compared to those who are older is much different according to the article “Role of the gut microbiota in health and chronic gastrointestinal disease: understanding a hidden metabolic organ.” However, the microbiome within children is established around the age of two and is comparable to those of adults.
From the primary research article, “An altered Gut Microbiome Profile in a child Affected by Crohn’s Disease Normalized After Nutritional Therapy,” the finding showed that a diet with increased amounts of protein, anti-inflammatory fats, and antioxidants is linked to a decrease in symptoms of Crohn’s Disease. Food that is put into our body either has the ability to be negative or beneficial to our gut’s microbial community.
Probiotics are known to promote the healthy bacteria within our gut’s community. Although ingesting beneficial bacteria may not give your body enough bacteria to have your gut in equilibrium, it does have the ability to promote the growth and establishment of helpful bacteria. Positive outcomes of this may reduce gut inflammation or issues that may arise intestinally.
To put it simply, antibiotics do not target one specific bacteria or virus. They are used to eliminate any sort of microbe that may be present in within the body or in this case, the gut microbial community. Overall, they aim to lover a wide range of microbes and do not target one specific microbe.
Smoking is known to cause an unbalanced microbiome by increasing the levels of unhealthy bacteria in the gut and decreasing any bacteria that is good for the gut’s microbiome.
Living in different environments can subject you to more or less microbiota in terms of both quantity and variety. It may surprise some individuals, but living in a less microbe-rich environment may be negative to their gut health. For example, from the article “Linking the Gut Microbial Ecosystem with the Environment: Does Gut Health Depend on Where We Live?” it mentions that due to the “western lifestyle” that includes sanitization, antibiotics, formula feeding, and more, there is a decline microbiota within the gut. With that being said, there has been an increase in diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and inflammatory bowel disease.