The gut flora: You and your 100 trillion friends: Jeroen Raes at TEDxBrussels

Translator: Marta Gysel
Reviewer: Ariana Bleau Lugo So you think you are human. There’s 7 billion people on this planet. You know how many microbes there are? 5 nonillion. That’s the number of stars in the universe multiplied by 5 million. That’s a lot of bacteria. And they are everywhere. They are on this floor, they are in your kitchen sink, they are on your chair,
they are on your coffee cup. And yes, they are on you. You harbour 100 trillion bacteria in and on your body right now. That’s only a thousand times the number of individuals on this planet, and if you look at it in terms of cells, you are outnumbered ten to one. You are not human. You are a walking bacterial colony. (Laughter) We have several commensal floras, or commensal microbiotas,
as we call them. You have your skin flora, your oral flora, your genital flora, and most famously, your gut flora. And these floras are numerous, but they are good for you. They help you digest your food, they protect you against patogens, they provide you with essential nutrients such as vitamins, they train your immune system and most importantly, if something goes wrong with your flora, something is wrong with you. So we scientists, in the last few years, we’ve discovered new techniques to study the gut flora or the gut microbiome at great resolution. So we start off from
a sample from your flora, we extract all the microbes, we extract all the DNA
from these microbes, we throw that into one
of those sequencing devices and we learn something
about that ecosystem, because it’s an ecosystem. We learn what microbes live there and we learn
what these microbes can do, what genes they have
in their collective genome. And we’ve learned that our microbiome, so the collective genome,
contains 100 times more genes than we have. We have a second genome
active in and on our bodies. And we’ve learned that you can sort of classify the gut flora into 3 kinds, 3 corners
of ecosystem space, and we’ve called them enterotypes. And so to give you a better feeling of what these enterotypes are I often make the — — what’s the word? — the comparison, thank you, with an ecosystem, right, with a forest. You have tropical forest, you have temperate forest, you have bamboo forest.
They are all forests. But you have different
species living together and functioning as a unit. You have constellations
that work optimally, and that’s what I think
these constellations in your gut flora are like. And so the environment
that these bacteria live in, they determine these
constellations, it seems. And the environment in the gut
is the food that you eat. And so people have discovered that the people that have
more fat in their food, or more protein in their food or more carbohydrate in their food, they have different gut compositions. And that’s important, because more and more diseases
are linked to disturbances of your gut flora. Diarrhea, diabetes,
obesity, atherosclerosis, colitis, Crohn’s disease, even autism, all have been associated
with disturbed gut floras. And it’s not merely associations. Bad gut floras can actually cause disease. If you take the flora of an obese mouse and you put it into a germ free mouse, so one that doesn’t have a flora, that germ free mouse becomes obese. So we are thinking, right,
we can learn something from this flora about
your personal health. We are moving towards
diagnosing people on the contents of your gut. And so this is being done,
for example, for diabetes, or for colon cancer. But we can do this in everyday life. We can go towards
lifelong health monitoring of your gut flora
from the obvious material. And when I mean lifelong,
I mean lifelong, because your gut flora
is seeded at birth. Babies are born sterile and it’s only when they get born that they are inoculated
by the flora of the mother: the skin flora, the vaginal flora,
the fecal flora. That’s when it happens,
that moment. And so messing with the flora
in early life can have serious consequences, and we are starting
to understand more and more how serious
these consequences can be. Babies that are born by C-section
have different floras than babies that are born vaginally. Babies that have been breastfed
have different floras than babies that have been formula-fed. We don’t really know
which one is better, we just see the differences
at the moment. But we know that babies or, for example, again, from mouse experiments, mice that have had
low dosage of antibiotics at a very early age have a disturbed flora at adulthood and they become obese. And low dosages of antibiotics
at early age have been linked to things
like asthma. So we have to start thinking and be very careful about
the usage of antibiotics. I’m not pleading against the antibiotics, but we should be very careful. Also in adults this matters. If you get a normal dose
of broad spectrum antibiotics, some of you will recover
after a few weeks. The gut flora will recover
after a few weeks. For some of you it will take months. For some of you it can take over a year for your gut flora to become normal, or what it was, again. And some of the people,
they never recover. They have permanently
altered their gut flora. Again, there’s so many
unknowns in our field. We don’t really know
what the effects of this are. But we are just seeing that the consequences are important. As well as we can also think
of modulating your flora, resetting your flora. There’s now a new thing, called fecal — it’s not a new thing, actually. It’s pretty old,
Bedouins have used it for ages. But fecal transfer, transplanting of flora of a healthy individual
into a diseased individual actually seems to work
as a therapy, in some diseases. And it’s not only disease. The gut flora influences behavior, influences brain development. Experiments in mice are now showing that anxiety behavior or explorative behavior of mice is determined by what flora they have. In Drosophila, the flora
has been shown to be influencing mating behavior, sexual preference. So… think about it. Or, is it you who is thinking? So, take home messages:
I only have two. One is, take care of your friends. But the second one is: You never have to feel lonely ever again. (Laughter) Thank you. (Applause)

57 Replies to “The gut flora: You and your 100 trillion friends: Jeroen Raes at TEDxBrussels”

  1. So….what do we get from this….we as "humans" are totally….totally defined by what bacteria have colonized in us…we are powerless to have total control of our: emotions, physical disease, brain astuteness, diabetes, etc.

    We become…in essence, what our 'personal' flora do within us.

    That's why FMT therapy is getting so much new and sustained recognition.

    This field will be studied for the next 100 years…and do more with helping people than all of medicine thus far.

  2. Wonder which "world-renowned" clinics will be offering FMT therapy for people who have always experienced sub-clinical ds states; depression, arthritis, lack-of-energy, fear, diarrhea states of high frequency,….or just "dysthymia"?

    If our bacteria…basically "rule us"..all of these states should could be manipulated, simply by taking and colonizing "purposeful" microbes for individual behavior and physical outcomes…'s only logical.

    Are studies of such….no,…where are such studies?

  3. I agree with you 100%. Since we are 90% bacteria and 10% human shouldn't we focus on the 90% for a change. Just think about all the doses of antibiotics that have been prescribed over the last half century? There is a doctor in the UK, Dr Natasha Campbell McBride, who devised a protocol called GAPS. She is treating gut dysbiosis in her patients. She's been treating autism, ADHD, ADD, depression, asthma, eczema, depression just to name a few since 1998 yet she is completely ignored…????

  4. Agree 100%. I am just curious how much the Bedouin charge for a fecal transplant compared to what our US healthcare system will charge for it.

  5. Someone tell the idiot camera operator/film editor to quit with the ridiculous scans of a darkened audience!!  No one CARES who is present watching this — in the dark, where we can barely make them out!!  We want to see the speaker and his slides! Geez!

  6. Hi, I am dealing with my abnormal reaction to foods. People call it eating disorder Bulimia. But I don't eat out of emotion or purge intentionally. When my body can't handle the large quantities of processed foods I eat uncontrollably, it naturally throw up. While eating large amount of these foods, my mind experience disturbance and drunk feeling like lush. Purging is almost like my automatic protection from toxic foods. And itself is not certainly a problem. There is a problem and overheating and purging are natural reaction or something. Is this correlated to gut flora?

  7. What is more interesting research, is that the antibodies produced by gut flora can also be used in and help the entire body. And this could lead to a science that can be as beneficial or almost as much anyway as stem cell research.

  8. How come when doctors or health and wellness professionals push the probiotics towards you, they don't explain this stuff?  But it makes me wonder, is this the way the health field is really going to go, or is this a phase that most people will never hear of?  This video was published two years ago, and you still don't hear enough about this treatment! And if you have a certain flora will taking probiotics throw off your particular brand of flora that is unique to the healthy you? Like some creams not only kills the bad bacteria but the good bacteria, and therefore could take twice as long to heal or leave a scar because your body couldn't do it's natural healing!

  9. I noticed he stayed away from vaccines, but it's rather obvious that they contribute to the lifelong health problems of all humans. 

  10. Glyphosate (active ingredient in Roundup by Monsanto) is in the daily food intake of most people. It is a microbicide, an antibiotic that we are ingesting regularly at relevant doses of micrograms per day, which can affect our gut microbiome.

  11. An animal study with Sprague-Dawley rats reported that approximately 35-40% of the administered glyphosate dose was absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract so that urine and feces were equally important routes for elimination.

    Brewster DW, Warren J, Hopkins WE (1991) Metabolism of glyphosate in Sprague–Dawley rats: tissue distribution, identification, and quantitation of glyphosate-derived materials following a single oral dose. Fundam Appl Toxicol 17: 43-51.
    Note that this was known to Monsanto in 1996 when they went to put Roundup Ready crops on the market.

    This is key because it's clear that they know that glyphosate enters the gut and is absorbed through the gut and therefore is 100% certainly in exposure to the gut microbes who are indeed affected by glyphosate. It's all shown by science. The evidence is clear that Monsanto did not perform due diligence in this critical question which affects all of humanity.

  12. Dammit, I wasn't properly inoculated by my mother's vagina and fecal matter!  At least she breastfed me.

  13. Instead of buying expensive pro biotics, make your own ultimate probiotic drink.
    Buy or get some Kefir cultures and make your own Kefir with trillions of the good bacteria in it, almost for free.
    Once you have your boosted army of good bacteria, almost all ailments will drop away such as allergies, krohns disease, hayfever and much much more…

  14. Great talk!

    Breastmilk is however clearly way better than infant formula!

    Google ' Breastmilk is not just food Vaccination Information Network'

  15. I am glad research it's been done however it doesn't take a genius to figure out that we our Guts are the source of health. Just look around, go to walmart and see what people buy and think a lil bit. You will see healthy people buying healthy food, you will see obese unhealthy people in automatic wheelchairs buying processed foods, soda, artifial everything. I something wait and see if there is a single vegetable in their baskets and it never fails. They hardly buy water, or real whole food. Then I go to trader joes and I see the same thing although This time I see more healthy people buying healthy food. at times I see those with poor healths at trader joes or whole foods but even there they manage to buy the same crap of food that they buy at walmart. I really feel sorry for them and it's not their fault they simply don't know better. They hear from their doctors that their disease is because their parents have poor health and that's true as this video states. It's a fucking mess!

  16. It takes a lot to be healthy, you can start by dumping your Doctor and hired a nutritionist. Even better, be your own Nutritionist, be your own doctor. There are clinics that are now looking into parasites, gut flora, candida and all the problems in our modern day worlds. We need to get rid of unnatural shit and live our lives as God intended. Not only that, now that we know what it takes to be healthy I am sure we can eventually develop entire gut flora's that will gives us 10X the health. We can then live long healthy lives. Today we are simply being kept on artificial live. We might be kept alive longer but what kind of fucked up way of life is that. I am sure there are expeceptions where accidents happen but why do we have to go through our lives unhealthy when we can all be super healthy! There is a need for Doctors, just not the ones we have now. What we need is nutritionist, healthier foods and and healthier lives.

  17. Fantastic and simple talk down to basics. Opens myriad of opportunities for microbiologists. INSPIRED…..

  18. Worth a read for those interested in gut biome. In short disturbed gut flora is being linked to an increasing number of diseases and behaviours prevalent today.

  19. Our misuse of antibiotics is a big problem, and it is also in the meat we consume. If there is anything you should eat organically, it should be meat, eggs and dairy. As for veggies and fruits, it's the pesticides that are the worst issue.

  20. I contracted four different bacteria while having back surgery.

    One colony Corynebacterium species, very rare Growth Peptostreptococcus magnus,
    very rare Growth Staphylococcus epidermidis and one colony Staphylococcus
    caprae. I receive for six weeks an IV antibiotic called Vancomycin.

    I have two questions:

    Which of the bacterial causes nerve pain (like shingles)?

    How long will it take until my gut flora recuperates?

    Thank you for your answer.

  21. gut flora does not start at birth – there is an increase yes during birth passing through the vagina or coming out in the stomach – and being in the delivery room for the first time – but the biome started long before that. And that could identified with the unfortunate late abortions or very premature deaths.

  22. Does anyone know how microbes help us digest our food? Do they extract nutrients from our food or do they consume some of our food and poop out the nutrients we need? I need an answer from someone who has done research and can post their source weblink or a scientist to reply to my questions.


  23. I was able to get off all prescriptions with this in mind, and other changes. I feel better now at almost 70, than I have in years. Thanks for getting the message out there!

  24. time counter, 4:20…. this was an amazing talk! I follow and see this way, just like plants, take care of soil bacteria, humans take care of gut bacteria

  25. I developed a gluten sensitivity since taking two rounds of antibiotics in the winter of 2016. i knew the risks but my fevers were so high that I felt I needed them. Ive found chicken soup with ginger and garlic seems to help tremendously!! Also cutting out processed sugar is HUGE. I added some fermented veggies like kimchi and also steamed veggies, fruits, and lots of healthy fats, primarily avocado, almonds, pistachios and walnuts which really help. If i fall off the wagon and eat gluten or processed foods consistently, my diarrhea returns. And Ill eat basically nothing but bone broth for a couple of days to heal my gut. Then I return to the foods that make ms feel good, and the longer I stick to the healthy foods, the better I seem to feel. And my movements become healthy again. Im convinced these autoimmune/flora issues can be treated if not reversed through dietary adjustments, and it just requires a lot of research time and consistency.

  26. People bought iPhones so they can comment on videos like this; flora of Bacteria on the tummy, trillions of them. Who counted?

  27. 🦠 "Önök nem is emberek. Önök (két)lábon járó baktériumtelepek!" bátran az arcunkba mondva 😀 ez ám az egyenes beszéd!

  28. The biome that is included all throughout the body is there from the instance that cell starts to propagate it is instantly infected by the mother and probably by the father. There's no sterile anything that's ridiculous there's no space suits there's no anti-contamination Bassett the single-celled baby goes through that's ridiculous. It's an ongoing process if you take the fetus of a sheep and you kill all the bacteria that you can get the only thing you end up with is a dead sheep fetus they've done in the experiments go do your own research it's amazing we don't get to not be connected with life life is everywhere all the time there's no sterile situation cuz we have to be connected otherwise we'd be dead.

  29. Tonight I discovered that not Only i don’t have human friends but even bacteria doesn’t want be my friend

  30. A good diet to promote healthy gut and bowel biome is:
    a lot of different herbs and spices, gelatinous bone broth,
    A lot of fiber (nuts, seeds, fruit)
    cabbage and garlic.

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