Whether you are learning about gut health as part of a structured course or learning more about gut health on your own, it can take time to research key terms.
Here, we’ve compiled the most important terms related to gut health into an easy-to-read glossary. Throughout the blog below, you’ll find links where you can learn more about the topic, and at the end, you’ll find a comprehensive list of research articles for you to explore.
Gut health (a biomedical perspective)
Bowel health It is defined by the absence of a set of biomarkers, namely gastrointestinal symptoms (eg abdominal pain and diarrhoea), disease (eg inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer), increased intestinal permeability, mucosal inflammation, and deficiency (or even excess) of short-chain fatty acids.
Gut health (wellness perspective)
Gut health is the active process by which people realize a more successful existence that benefits the gut and all associated health.
Wellness is an active process by which people become aware of and choose to lead a more successful life.
Diseases of the digestive system
Gastroenterology affects the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from the mouth to the anus. Some examples include nausea, heartburn (GERD), lactose intolerance, diarrhea, gallstones, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and Crohn’s disease. Many diseases of the digestive system have a component related to the gut microbiome.
functional nutrition It is the practice of considering every aspect of health, diet, and lifestyle in general when making nutrition recommendations. It is in line with the ideologies of functional medicine. Gut health and wellness are the cornerstones of functional nutrition.
Microorganisms include all the living members that make up the microbiome. Most germs are bacteria, but they also include fungi, helminths, and viruses.
The microbiome is the community of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live in and on the human body. the The gut microbiome Refers to the community of microbes or microbes that live in the gut.
The way living things live together for their mutual, and therefore intrinsic, benefit. Referring to the human body, a symbiosis is a beneficial relationship between the host (the human body) and the microbes that inhabit and on it. The gut microbiome is described as a “symbiotic relationship” between microbes and humans. A symbiosis exists when there is a community of gut microbes that support health.
Dysbiosis can be defined as a decrease in microbial diversity and a combination of loss of beneficial microbes in the microbiome, either in number or type. It is called dysbacteriosis when it refers specifically to bacteria.
Biofilms are assemblages of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms that live in communities. Biofilms consist of amyloid matrices that protect microorganisms from the environment. Depending on whether they contain pathogens or symbionts and probiotics, they can be beneficial or harmful.
Organs that take in food and liquids and break them down into substances that the body can use for energy, growth, and tissue repair.
The complex process of converting the food you eat into nutrients, which your body uses for energy, growth, and repair of cells needed to survive. Digestion also involves creating waste products for disposal.
Also called the head phase, or simply “eating,” ingestion refers to the entry of food into the digestive tract.
Epithelial cells are those that line the lumen of the stomach and small intestine.
Pathogens are microbes that make us sick through infection.
Pathopionts are members of the microbiota that exert specific effects on the host’s mucosal immune system associated with clinical disease progression. They are low virulence microbes.
Commensal (commensal microbes)
Symbiosis collectively refers to the normal bacteria in the gut. They promote the digestion of macronutrients and the synthesis of short-chain fatty acids and vitamins.
Also known as propionates, probiotics are symbiotic bacteria that provide a benefit to the host by making vitamins and regulating immune function. Probiotics confer health benefits by the same mechanisms as commensal bacteria.
Prebiotics are nutritional substrates that nourish and stimulate the growth of microbes that support human health while reducing pathogenic bacteria. Prebiotic-rich foods feed the microbiome, which in turn creates multiple substrates, including short-chain fatty acids (SCFA).
Supplements that contain prebiotics and probiotics together.
Psychotropic antibiotics are beneficial bacteria (probiotics) or support bacteria (prebiotics) that affect Relationships between bacteria and the brain And it has an effect on mental health.
Postbiotics are bioactive compounds that are produced when the gut microbiota digests and breaks down prebiotics. They are also referred to as microbial metabolites.
Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA)*
* As it relates to gut health
SCFAs provide fuel sources for the colon.
Medicines that kill pathogenic bacteria to treat infections. Often, antibiotics are not specific for pathogenic bacteria, so they can also kill commensal bacteria, altering the balance of gut microbes.
Enteric nervous system (ENS)
The ENS, also referred to as the endogenous nervous system, is one of the major divisions of the digestive system. In fact, the enteric nervous system (ENS) is often referred to as the “second brain” because it is able to act independently of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, although it may be influenced by them.
The vagus nerve is the main nerve of the parasympathetic nervous system. This system controls certain body functions such as digestion, heart rate, and the immune system. These functions are involuntary, which means you cannot consciously control them.
Small intestine axis (GBA)
the GBA is the way to two-way communication Between the gut, via the enteric nervous system, and the brain via the central nervous system.
The gut microbiome axis (MGB axis)
The role of the microbiome in modulating gut-brain signaling has become more evident in recent years, giving rise to the concept of the microbiota-brain-brain axis (MGB axis). The MGB hub is the bidirectional communication pathway between the gut microbiome and the central nervous system.
Hypothalamic-pituitary axis (HPA axis)
The hypothalamus-pituitary axis (HPA axis) is one of the most important components of the MGB axis. Provides an initial biological response to stressful stimuli. Gut bacteria play an important role in shaping brain function and behavior, including HPA axis activity.
Increased intestinal permeability
The intestine is semi-permeable. The mucous layer absorbs water and nutrients from food, as well as metabolites and other chemicals from the gut microbiota. However, some people experience impaired mucosal barrier function as a result of inflammation or infection, which triggers factors that increase permeability. With chronic inflammation, there are persistent changes in the function of the mucosal barrier, and it opens the door to the development of diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract and the whole body. Sometimes, it is calledLeaky gut syndrome. ”
Bacterial transmission is defined as the passage of viable bacteria from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract to sites outside the intestine
Chronic inflammation and inflammation
Inflammation is the immune system’s natural response to irritants. If the immune system successfully protects and heals the area, inflammation will decrease and the area will not be hurt. However, in some cases, inflammation is not beneficial to the body. Some conditions are called Autoimmune diseases or chronic inflammatory diseases, Accidentally attacking body cells. This causes harmful inflammation in the body.
Cytokines are small proteins that are needed to control the growth and activity of immune system cells and other blood cells. Inflammatory cytokines, or pro-inflammatory cytokines, are markers of inflammation.
Antinutrients Components found in food that affect the body’s ability to absorb nutrients or convert those nutrients into substances the body can use. It is found naturally in plant foods, especially grains, beans, and legumes, as well as leafy green vegetables.
A therapeutic diet is a meal plan that controls the intake of certain foods or nutrients. It is part of treatment for a medical or nutritional condition.
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