The gut microbiota collectively act as a metabolic organ supplying energy for themselves and for the host they inhabit. This symbiotic relationship begins at the onset of a human birth and continues throughout the lifespan. Who identifies as the more robust symbiote has yet to be identified. The number of bacterial cells to human cells reveals a staggering disparity. The majority of estimates place the total number of microbial cells on and in the human body at 100 trillion, while the whole of the human contains 10 trillion. The bacterial versus human genome is equally disconcerting as the number of bacterial genes just within the human gut is estimated to be 3.3 million, while the whole human genome contains approximately 20,000. Who controls whom? We live in a mutual coexistence with our gut microbiota, but this affiliation occasionally becomes pathological, such as in obesity. The evidence points towards the increased energy harvesting capabilities by the intestinal bacteria promoting greater caloric availability to the host, thus allowing for prodigious adiposity stores. The medical provider can accomplish effective mediation through education. Not surprisingly, this education includes: increasing the number of vaginal deliveries, reinforcing the need for breast feeding, decreasing unnecessary antibiotic administrations, adopting a long-term low fat, high fiber diet, and committing to long-term regular exercise. Key words and headings used for this literature review included: microbiome, bacteria and obesity, gut bacteria, perturbation of microbiota, antibiotics and obesity, commensal bacteria, sub-therapeutic antibiotic therapy, brain-gut-axis or BGA, microbiota-gut-brain axis or MGB axis, and human microbiome project.
"The Role of the Intestinal Microbiota in Obesity by Warren Burke,"
Journal of Interdisciplinary Graduate Research: Vol. 3
, Article 1.
Available at: https://knowledge.e.southern.edu/jigr/vol3/iss3/1