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Exploring the Intricacies of Gut Microbiota


Exploring the Intricacies of Gut Microbiota

  • Duygu Kirkik 1*
  • Sevgi Kalkanli Tas 2

1* Hamidiye Medicine Faculty, Department of Medical Biology, University of Health Sciences, Turkey, İstanbul/ Turkey

2 Hamidiye Medicine Faculty, Department of Immunology, University of Health Sciences, Turkey, İstanbul/ Turkey

*Corresponding Author: Duygu Kirkik, Hamidiye Medicine Faculty, Department of Medical Biology, University of Health Sciences, Turkey, İstanbul/ Turkey

Citation: Duygu Kirkik, Sevgi Kalkanli Tas. (2023). Exploring the Intricacies of Gut Microbiota. Gastroenterology and Hepatology Practice, The Geek Chronicles. 1(1): 1-6

Received: December 7, 2023 | Accepted: December 23, 2023 | Published: December 31, 2023


The oral cavity, skin, lungs, urogenital tract, and even amniotic fluid are among the bodily tissues that are impacted by the human microbiota, which is generally linked to the digestive system. The human gut microbiota is essential for both preserving and preventing illness. Intestinal microbiota research is becoming more and more important nowadays, and it is expected that these studies will increase therapeutic and therapeutic opportunities in the future. This paper aims to investigate and provide a summary of the ways in which the gut microbiota influences human health and the ways in which different factors influence the development and composition of this microbiota.


Keywords: gut microbiota, microbiota, second brain, microorganism


Microbiota is usually associated with the digestive system, it is also found in the oral cavity, skin, lungs, urogenital tract, and amniotic fluid. Microorganisms in these tissues actively function to shape and maintain human physiology and maintain homeostasis. Since the intestinal microbiota contains the most bacteria and nerve cells, it is now called the second brain and is associated with chronic diseases. This relationship between microorganisms and cells determines which stimuli will appear and which responses will begin. These microorganisms vary depending on host factors such as geographical location, genetic structure, nutrition style, disease status, and body region [1]. Therefore, host-microbiota relationships determine treatment methods depending on where the microbiota is located. Medical treatment personalizes the intestinal microbiota by affecting many factors such as blood parameters, bowel habits, diet, health status, and lifestyle. Intestinal microbiota is an important issue that needs to be examined because it is uniquely shaped by the individual depending on many factors. In this article, the factors affecting the intestinal microbiota, the systems it interacts with, and its health effects are summarized. Additionally, the uses of fecal microbiota transplantation in the treatment of health effects are also addressed, and the study provides important information about intestinal microbiota and its health effects, especially with the aim of reducing the prevalence of chronic diseases [2-3].

Intestinal microbiota is an important issue that needs to be researched, as it is an area that is individually shaped under the influence of many factors and has major physiological effects. The aim of this article is to provide information about the factors affecting the formation and content of the intestinal microbiota and to summarize, in particular, the systems with which this microbiota interacts and its effects on health.


Gut Microbiota

Intestinal microbiota can be affected by factors such as people’s birth method, age and nutritional habits [4]. The method of birth is of great importance because the fetus comes into contact with microorganisms for the first time through the microorganism in the placenta, amniotic fluid and umbilical cord. Then, the newborn’s microbiota is shaped depending on whether the birth is vaginal or cesarean. After vaginal birth, the baby’s microbiota is more similar to the mother’s vaginal microbiota and Lactobacillus, Prevotella and Sneathia bacteria are dominant. After cesarean delivery, the baby comes into contact with the mother’s skin microorganism and Staphylococcus, Corinobacteria and Propionobacter bacteria are dominant [5].

Age is also a factor that affects the intestinal microbiota. The intestinal microbiota begins to form from the first days of life. By approximately one year of age, infants’ gut microbiota becomes more similar to that of adults but is still forming until age three [6]. After the age of three, the microbiota remains largely constant, but the number and diversity of microorganisms in the gut microbiota have been shown to decrease with the aging process. Bifidobacterium is one of the leading organisms in decline [7].

Nutrition is also an important factor affecting the intestinal microbiota. The presence of bacteria increases from birth, especially under the influence of breast milk. Breast milk increases the number of Bifidobacterium in the intestine thanks to its probiotic and prebiotic content. Escherichia coli, Clostridium difficile, Bacteroides fragilis and Lactobacilli may be more commonly found in the intestines of babies fed with formula instead of breast milk. When complementary feeding begins, the intestinal microbiota develops further, and the adult microbiota begins to form while adapting to solid foods at the age of 2-3 [8,9].


The Nature and Formation of Gut Microbiota

The process of developing the gut microbiota is dynamic and controlled by multiple variables. It begins during the intrauterine stage. It is impacted by the way a person is born, the food they eat, and how old they are over time. A number of important factors are critical in determining the composition of the gut microbiota. These elements include the host’s genetic composition, the people they live with, the oral antibiotics given to them as infants, and food preferences. Together, these components help to create the complex and dynamic environment that is the gut microbiota [10].

The human body meets the initial microbiota formed in the first years of life. This microbiota is affected by the mode of birth, caesarean section or normal birth, and becomes individualized over time with the influence of nutritional habits and environmental factors. Scientific research shows that bacteria are present in the placenta, amniotic fluid and umbilical cord, which means that the fetus is exposed to different microorganisms in the womb. The formation of the fetal intestinal microbiota begins at birth, and this process is shaped as a result of the baby’s contact with the mother’s vaginal, anal and skin microbiota. The neonate’s gut microbiota differs between babies born by vaginal birth or cesarean section, depending on the method of delivery. This difference may affect the baby’s physiological, metabolic and immune system development [1,2,11].

Immediately after cesarean births, it has been determined that some bacteria are missing in the intestinal flora of babies on the first day, and colonization of Lactobacillus bacteria is lower during this period. However, it has been observed that these differences disappear by the age of three. During vaginal births, the bacteria in the intestinal microbiota of babies have a structure more similar to their mothers’ vaginal microbiota and include Lactobacilli, Prevotella and Sneathia bacteria, while during cesarean births, the intestines of babies contain Staphylococci, Corinobacteria and Propionobacters, which are more similar to the microorganism found on the mother’s skin and in the hospital environment [12,13].

Data that the fetus’s microbiota develops in utero before birth carry more weight. It is being investigated how these early-life events play a role in determining the risk of microbiota-associated diseases later in life. A number of factors affecting the maternal intestinal microbiota, microbial metabolites, drug-induced chemical metabolites and how inflammatory changes affect in utero brain development are also the subject of research. Additionally, how birth method and nutrition style affect the intestinal microbiota is taken into consideration [14].

Gut Microbiata and Immune System

The gut microbiota and immune system play important roles in health and disease because they interact closely with each other. The stimuli emitted by the microbiota together with the immune system form an intestinal barrier that protects the organism from opportunistic pathogens. This protective effect occurs by blocking the harmful effects of commensal bacteria. The intestinal barrier system includes components such as mucus secretion, secretory Ig A, and antimicrobial peptides produced by intestinal epithelial cells, which can prevent pathogenic microorganisms from damaging the body [15].

When the gut microbiome is healthy, the immune system can function properly. However, factors such as chemotherapy, antibiotic use, and proton pump inhibitors may cause this balance to be disrupted. The intestinal microbiota has important functions such as vitality, diversity, and epithelial permeability. It can also affect the production of proteins such as cytokines. Cytokines are communication proteins produced by lymphocytes, macrophages, endothelial cells, epithelial cells, and connective tissue and play an important role in inflammation and immune responses [16].

Although these interactions occur frequently in healthy people, disruption of the intestinal barrier can lead to chronic inflammation and impaired immune function, leading to some diseases. Therefore, the gut microbiota plays a crucial role in the development and response of the immune system and determines host tolerance to foreign antigens [17]. The gut microbiota interacts with the immune system in two ways: (i) microorganisms in the gut microbiota are regularly controlled by immune cells; (ii) some bacteria interact with the immune system through the intestinal epithelium.

Impact of Lifestyle and Environmental Factors on Gut Microbiota

The impact of lifestyle and environmental factors on the gut microbiota is an important area of ​​research, revealing the complex interplay between our daily choices and the composition of our gut microbiome [18]. Lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, stress and hygiene habits have been shown to have a profound impact on the diversity and structure of the gut microbiota. For example, people who follow different diets (such as vegetarians and omnivores) may have different microbiome profiles [19]. Likewise, people in urban and rural living environments may be exposed to different levels of environmental pollutants, which may affect the composition of their gut microbiota. Additionally, stress and sleep patterns are increasingly recognized as factors that influence gut microorganism. Understanding how these lifestyle and environmental factors influence the gut microbiota is important as this may help understand the development of chronic disease [20].


Therapeutic Approaches and Future Directions

The field of gut microbiota research has immense potential for the future of healthcare and has opened up interesting new paths for therapeutic treatments. According to recent studies, the gut microbiota is essential for preserving general health and preventing a number of disorders. Consequently, a number of therapeutic approaches are being investigated in an effort to modify and control the gut microbiota for medical reasons [21]. Using probiotics and prebiotics is one of the most promising strategies. Live, helpful bacteria are called probiotics, and you can get them in supplements or fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir, and yogurt. It is thought that these microorganisms improve the diversity and equilibrium of the gut microbiota, which may have advantages for ailments including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and even mental health issues [22].

Conversely, non-digestible fibers known as prebiotics provide nourishment for good gut bacteria. Foods like onions, garlic, and some whole grains contain them. Prebiotics stimulate the development of beneficial bacteria, which in turn supports a healthy gut environment. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is an additional therapeutic option that includes giving a patient with a disturbed gut microbiota the fecal matter of a healthy donor. FMT is being researched for its potential to treat additional gastrointestinal and systemic disorders, as it has demonstrated extraordinary efficacy in treating recurrent Clostridium difficile infections [23]. Additionally, there is increasing interest in the advancement of precision medicine techniques and microbial-based therapeutics. The goal of these medicines is to tailor care according to each person’s distinct gut microbiota composition. As our knowledge of the gut microbiome deepens, we should expect more specialized and efficient treatments for a range of illnesses.


It is evident that the human gut microbiota plays a critical role in preserving health and averting illness. The diverse microorganisms that comprise this intricate and ever-changing ecosystem have a direct impact on human physiology. Furthermore, modifying the gut microbiome may have therapeutic benefits in the future. The effectiveness of methods such as fecal microbiota transplantation, probiotics, and prebiotics in modifying the gut microbiome and improving health outcomes is becoming more widely acknowledged. Furthermore, microbial-based therapeutics and precision medicine are creating a new environment in which customized treatments can take use of the amazing powers of the gut microbiota.


Copyright: © 2023 2023 Duygu Kirkik, this is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.