Gut microbiota, microbiome
Appears to mediate many essential bodily functions, including glucose metabolism etc. 300-500 members/species within the body
Responsible for mediating normal physiological functions such as the immune system, nutritional metabolism and fat homeostasis. These microbes change gene expression according to the varied physiological state. Different types of bacteria have seen to be in charge with many uprising disease epidemics such as metabolic syndrome, type II diabetes and obesity. The artificial sweeteners have have suspiciously been working with these gut microbiota to most likely enhance many diseases within the body.
As our body develops through aging and changes in environment from day to day, so does our bacteria, genes and hormone control. The microbiome are a group of microbes that are present within our body to help us adjust to environmental and physiological changes. They make up approximately 1-3% of our body mass and begin to colonise on the first day of birth and have adapted and changed with respect to our lifestyle changes, for example when we are exposed to illness, disease, stress and most importantly our changes in nutritional need. More drastic adaptations occur when our body goes through puberty, pregnancy or menopause due the large hormonal shift. However, since this microbes inside our body play such mechanistic roles in maintaining homeostasis, as we age, the microbe population does tend to decrease and this has been the spectrum of much scientific interest, whether microbiome changes increase the risk of diseases.
Scarpellini, E., Campanale, M., Leone, D., Purchiaroni, F., Vitale, G., Lauritano, E., & Gasbarrini, A. (2010). Gut microbiota and obesity. Intern Emerg Med, 5(S1), 53-56. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11739-010-0450-1
Learn.genetics.utah.edu,. (2015). Your Changing Microbiome. Retrieved 14 October 2015, from http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/microbiome/changing/