The brilliant minds behind the microbiota revolution
How would you feel if I told you that you are not the only one that inhabits your body?
Well, your body is host to anywhere from 10 to 100 trillion micro-organisms that live in symbiosis. These micro-organisms are bacteria, viruses or fungi.
But not to worry, they are not the bad kind of germs that make us sick or cause pandemics. Quite the opposite! They are good, if not excellent, for your health. These micro-organisms that live inside us are called microbiota.
Scientists know today that they are essential for our bodies to work properly. They support our digestion, strengthen our immune system and can even help us combat diseases like cancer. In today’s episode, I would like to share how the human microbiota were discovered and how they are used today to help patients. I will tell you the stories of the people that greatly impacted this field and you will even get to meet one of them: Hervé Affagard, the CEO of MAAT Pharma! Buckle up, here we go.
What you will learn in this episode:
A bit of history
- 1681 & 1683 - One of the first descriptions of the micro-organisms living on and in our body came from Antonie van Leeuwenhoek
1880s - It was commonly acknowledged by the vast majority of physicians that germs cause diseases such as tuberculosis or cholera
- 1885 & 1886 - Theodor Escherich published a series of articles explaining in much detail, the microbiological composition of an infant’s gut and the role it could play
- 20th century - While Pasteur was studying pathogenic micro-organisms, one of his students, Ilya Metchnikov, decided to study the properties of the non-pathogenic bacteria found in our gut
- 2012 - Scientists discovered that our gut microbiota have a strong effect on our brain and our behaviour
Learn more about this subject
Definition of microbiota
Scientists define the microbiota as : all microorganisms (bacteria, archaea, eukaryotes, viruses) present in a defined environment.
Microbiota and microbiome : what is the difference?
Although “microbiota” and “microbiome” are often interchangeable, there are certain differences between the two terms.
What is the gut microbiota?
The microbiota consists of a wide variety of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms present in a singular environment, such as the human digestive tract.
What is the human microbiome?
The microbiome refers to the entire habitat of the body, including its microorganisms, genomes, and the surrounding environmental conditions.
Do you know The French Gut?
It is a national contribution on microbiota. Its ambition? To map and understand the heterogeneity of healthy French gut microbiota, the factors that impact them, and their deviations in chronic diseases. By 2027, the stools of 100,000 volunteers as well as the associated nutritional and clinical data will be collected.
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