Human microbiome and its connection to human health UPSC NOTE

 Introduction to the Human Microbiome:

  • The human microbiome consists of trillions of microorganisms residing in the body, especially the digestive tract.

  • It plays a crucial role in regulating health and diseases, influencing digestion, nutrient absorption, metabolism, immunity, and mental health.

Genomic Technologies and Human Microbiome:

  • Genomic technologies are vital for studying the human microbiome, as many microorganisms are not easily cultured in a lab.

  • The Human Microbiome Project, launched in 2012, utilized genome sequencing to provide insights into the complex microbial makeup of the human body.

Microbiome and Health:

  • A healthy human microbiome is essential for various physiological functions, such as digesting food, absorbing nutrients, and enzyme production.

  • Changes in microbiome composition, such as through antibiotic use or artificial interventions like fecal microbial transplants, can impact health conditions.

Genetic Variations and Gut Microbes:

  • Recent studies indicate that differences in genetic makeup can affect the diversity and abundance of gut microbes.

  • A study involving 9,015 individuals found a link between genetic variations, particularly in the ABO blood group locus, and the genes of gut microbes involved in metabolizing N-acetylgalactosamine.

Microbes, ABO Blood Groups, and Cardiometabolic Traits:

  • Genetic variants in the ABO blood group loci have been associated with cardiometabolic traits, lipid levels, blood vessel blocks, and even severe COVID-19 infections.

  • Microbial strains possessing specific gene clusters related to N-acetylgalactosamine metabolism show a strong association with the ABO locus, suggesting a potential link between the microbiome and cardiovascular disorders.

Microbes and Cancer Development:

  • Studies explore the link between gut microbes and human cancers, such as colorectal cancer.

N-Acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc), is an amino sugar derivative of galactose

  • Administering a molecule called trans-3-indoleacrylic acid (IDA) or implanting the microbe Peptostreptococcus anaerobius in mice's guts induced colorectal cancer.

Microbiome and Neuronal Signaling:

  • Gut microbes, by producing vitamin B12, may influence neuronal signaling through the availability of free choline, a molecule essential for neurotransmitter acetylcholine synthesis.

Role of Microbiome in Urobilinogen Metabolism:

  • Researchers suggest the human microbiome's involvement in the metabolism of urobilinogen, the pigment responsible for the yellow color of urine.

  • Urobilinogen is produced in the body when the body metabolises bilirubin. And bilirubin is produced when the body metabolises haemoglobin in the blood.

  • A bacterial enzyme called bilirubin reductase (BilR) was identified as pivotal in reducing bilirubin to urobilinogen, emphasizing the gut-liver axis's role in maintaining bilirubin levels.

Implications for Future Healthcare:

  • Human genomic studies of the microbiome will play a crucial role in shaping personalized healthcare interventions in the future.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Human microbiome and its connection to human health UPSC NOTE
Human microbiome and its connection to human health UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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