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Medicine: Gut disbiosys hinders the healing of spinal cord injuries

Contributed by paustian on Oct 17, 2016 - 11:55 AM

There has been a growing body of evidence that the microorganisms that live with us on our bodies deeply influence our health and well being. It has been known for many years that the gut microbiota help to digest food, but it is now becoming clear the relationship goes far beyond that. Over 70% of immune cells are in gut-associated lymphoid tissue. Yes, almost 3/4 of your immune system is in your gut! What are they doing? It turns out lots of things…

  1. They are critical in metabolism, digestion, and absorption
  2. They participate in the regulation of the normal development
  3. They participate in the regulation of disease pathogenesis, helping our bodies fight illness
  4. Gut microbes have been discovered to make compounds that are active in our nervous system, and communicate with immune cells

Research just reported by Kigerl et. al demonstrates that a disrupted gut microbiome (dysbiosis) affects recovery from spinal cord injury in mice. They also found that feeding probiotics to mice that had previously had their microbiome disrupted helped in recovery form the injury.