News

June was the month chosen by the Portuguese Society of Gastroenterology to highlight digestive health.

It will be the opportunity to get to know and take better care of the system that has the longest set of organs in the human body. Start by knowing what the microbiome is?

The intestinal microbiome is made up of the genes of tens of millions of microorganisms that live in our intestines, it is currently known that it can help prevent and regulate infections throughout the body, from respiratory problems, metabolic, inflammatory, and urinary tract diseases, allergies, or even diseases of the bowel.

Like the human genome, it represents the genetic heritage of the microorganisms that live with us: an ecosystem of more than 100 trillion (mostly bacteria) that inhabit our digestive system; according to scientists, a value higher than the stars observable in the universe.

The composition of the microbiome evolves throughout life, being the result of different external influences. A diversified diet, associated with healthy lifestyle habits, will have a positive impact on the digestive system, favouring the increased presence of protective bacteria.

Also, the consumption of prebiotics and probiotics helps to optimise the microbiome; prebiotics act as food for micro-organisms, being present in vegetables and fruits (eg garlic, onions, asparagus, tomatoes, bananas, plums, apples, walnuts, almonds, grains, and cereals such as bran).

On the other hand, probiotics are micro-organisms that offer health benefits, from digestive comfort to the regulation of the immune system, compensating external aggressions such as stress, poor diet, or taking antibiotics. Most probiotics originate from bacteria commonly used to ferment foods, such as those found in yogurt and fermented milk.

 

Gastroenterology

26, June 2020