Jasenka Zubcevic, Assistant Professor, University of Florida and Christopher Martynuik, Associate Professor of Toxicology, University of Florida: A universe of organisms living inside you may affect every part of your body, from your brain to your bones, and even your thoughts, feelings and your attempts to lose weight.
This is a universe of trillions of microorganisms – or what we biologists call microbiota – that live in your gut, the part of your body responsible for digestion of the food you eat and the liquids you drink.
As researchers, we have been looking increasingly into the effect these bacteria have on their host’s body, from obesity to mental illness and heart disease. With obesity, for example, these tiny organisms may play a big role by influencing what foods we crave and how our bodies hold onto fat.
In a recent study of the gut microbiome, we set out to determine whether the microbiota in the gut can be affected not only by our nervous system but also by an unsuspected source – our bone marrow.
Our hope is that, by understanding the interactions of the microbiome with other parts of the body, one day treatments could be developed for a range of illnesses.
Finish Reading At: The Conversation