Updated: Sep 22, 2022
As food passes through the gastrointestinal tract of all mammals, the digesta (food undergoing digestion) will be immersed by the gut microbial community. This community of microbes is vast, complex and highly interactive with its host, signaling and influencing health, mood and vitality, through many different metabolic and endocrinopathic pathways.
Members of the microbiome include bacteria, archaea, viruses and eukaryotes, all having important parts to play not only in the digestion and fermentation of food, but also in the production of secondary ingredients (to feed other bacteria) and create an energy supply through the manufacturing of short-chain fatty acids.
The microbial community has evolved to be a benefit to the host and appears to be a highly balanced environment where the beneficial gut bacteria help to police and control the bad or not-so-beneficial.
Dysbiosis (imbalances) of the gut are very common, as an ongoing part of our research we continually collaborate with specialist veterinary practices and relate/profile the microbial community to disease/discomfort and at the same time work on therapies to help resolve issues.
The microbiome is sensitive to environmental and dietary changes a real-life real-time example as follows.
During the Covid 19 lock down, the microbiome of dogs changed suddenly and significantly, the changes were noted in July 2020, and one of the main components was a loss of diversity, evidenced by a sharp fall in the average Shannon Index score and a corresponding rise in two species of gut bacteria also found in the microbial communities of hospitalised human covid cases. All of the dogs had been diagnosed with gastritis all were submitted through veterinary practices.
We felt duty bound to investigate further, read more https://www.vettimes.co.uk/news/covid-19-linked-bacteria-in-dogs/
The affected dogs were monitored over the next 12 month period and happy to report that the majority of dogs eventually recovered (diversity score improved and gastritis symptoms resolved) with only a small (12%) percent retaining higher levels of the two species of bacteria. As both are linked to immune suppression the search is still ongoing to find therapies able to reduce these bacteria further.