Glossary

  • Actinobacteria

    Bacteria belonging to the Actinobacteria phylum can be found naturally in the human body on sites ranging from the skin to mucosal surfaces within the gastrointestinal tract. These bacteria are considered important members of a normal microbiota and scientists have found that their presence and abundance in specific sites correlates with the individual’s health status. Bifidobacteria, which are considered probiotics, are members of this group.

  • Akkermansia

    Akkermansia currently only has one known species, Akkermansia muciniphila. This bacteria naturally occurs in the human gut microbiome and might be linked to human metabolism. Studies have shown that increased abundance of A. muciniphila is often correlated to healthy weights while decreased abundance has been observed more often in overweight or obese patients.

  • Akkermansia muciniphila

    Akkermansia muciniphila is a species of naturally occurring human gut bacteria that is associated with human metabolism. Researchers are currently examining the correlation between A. muciniphila and obesity, diabetes, and inflammation.

  • Alistipes

    Researchers consider low levels of the genus Alistipes to be commensal bacteria in the human gut microbiome. Small numbers of these bacteria may indicate good gut health. Alistipes are, however, seen in decreased numbers in plant-based diets and thrive on high-fat diets. They also grow particularly strong colonies in the guts of obese patients. Alistipes are particularly sensitive to antibiotic treatments, which might indicate an obesity therapy. They can also be observed in higher abundances in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) as well as in autism.

  • Bacteroides

    Bacteroides, one of the most extensively studied bacteria in the human gut, is considered a commensal or mutualistic genus of bacteria when found in the human gut microbiome. They help us in digesting veggies and other foods in lean, low-fat diets. Some of these bacteria might help break down cholesterol and complex sugars.

  • Bacteroidetes

    The common gut microbes, Bacteroidetes, are thought to be key players in protecting us against obesity and disease because they do not digest fat well. In the modern human gut microbiome, Bacteroidetes are often seen in decreased numbers due to poor diet and lifestyle choices like smoking. Scientists believe that we are able to shift our microbiome into a more friendly environment for Bacteroidetes, which reduces risk of disease like obesity.

  • Bifidobacterium bifidum

    Bifidobacterium bifidum occurs naturally in the human gut microbiome, is commonly used as a probiotic, and may provide a variety of benefits, including aiding vitamin K and B-complex vitamins production within the intestines, which are essential to human function.

  • Bifidobacterium lactis

    Bifidobacterium lactis, an extremely versatile and efficient bacteria naturally found in the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract, can be found in fermented dairy products and vegetables as well as probiotic supplements.

  • Blautia

    Species within the genus Blautia are among the most abundant members of the GI tract, ranging from 2.5% to 16% of the total human microbiota. As humans age, Blautia levels decrease. Researchers have also found decreased levels of these bacteria in colorectal patients. Increased levels of Blautia are often observed in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients.

  • Coprococcus

    Coprococcus, a common genus of beneficial bacteria, has been utilized in research to gauge an individual’s gut health. High levels of stress can reduce or deplete levels of Coprococcus and allow potentially bad bacteria, such as Clostridia spp., to overgrow and cause dysbiosis. In addition, researchers have often observed a lack of Coprococcus in the gut microbiomes of autistic children.

  • Desulfovibrio

    Desulfovibrio, a genus of bacteria commonly found in human guts, is a sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). Desulfovibrio spp. are often found in increased abundances in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients.

  • Dorea

    Increased abundances of Dorea have been found in patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

  • Faecalibacterium

    Faecalibacterium, which has only one species Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, typically makes up 5 to 20% of the gut microbiome in healthy adults. It is considered one of the most common gut bacteria. Researchers have observed lower than normal levels of Faecalibacterium in diseases like Crohn's Disease, colon cancer, obesity, and asthma, although more studies are needed to definitively prove this.

  • Faecalibacterium prausnitzii

    The species Faecalibacterium prausnitzii typically makes up 5 to 20% of the bacteria in a healthy adult intestine, making it one of the most common gut bacteria. Studies have shown that low levels of F. prausnitzii within the intestines may potentially be linked to Crohn's Disease, colon cancer, obesity, and asthma, although more studies are needed to definitively prove this.

  • Firmicutes

    Often the most common phylum found in the modern human gut microbiome, Firmicutes aid in the digestion of fat, which is required for energy. Although we need Firmicutes, high levels of these bacteria relative to the phylum have been linked to obesity, inflammation, and common chronic diseases like inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). This might explain why some people cannot lose weight despite dieting and increasing exercise while others can eat anything without gaining weight. Some Firmicutes are known pathogens for diseases like anthrax, but many Firmicutes are considered commensal bacteria.

  • Fusobacteria

    Although Fusobacteria can be isolated from fecal samples of healthy humans in relatively high densities, research has found that these bacteria may be linked to inflammation. Increased abundance of Fusobacteria can be linked to ulcerative colitis and colon cancer

  • Lachnospiraceae

    Lachnospiraceae, a family of bacteria commonly found in your oral cavity, throat, and gut microbiome, aid in the digestion of insoluble fibers. These bacteria are extremely sensitive to prescription medicine, and are often found in decreased abundances after a round of antibiotics.

  • Lactobacillus

    Lactobacillus (pl. Lactobacilli), a genus from the phylum Firmicutes, are gram-positive facultative anaerobic or microaerophilic rod-shaped bacteria. Lactobacillus make up a significant portion of the lactic acid bacteria (LAB) group. Lactobacillus spp. are naturally found in the human gut and vaginal microbiota and are often found in probiotic products, like yogurt, which are used to help maintain a healthy gut.

  • Lactobacillus fermentum

    Lactobacillus fermentum is often found in the human gastrointestinal tract and is considered a safe probiotic. Specific subspecies have been linked to reduction in cholesterol.

  • Lactobacillus salivarius

    Lactobacillus salivarius produces natural antibiotics, which are specifically targeted against invading pathogenic bacteria, especially E. coli and Salmonella spp.

  • Microbiome

    All of the microbes, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses, in one environment (for example your gut), are collectively known as a microbiome. These microbes may be commensal, symbiotic, or pathogenic.

  • Oscillibacter

    Oscillibacter, a naturally occurring bacteria in the human gut microbiome, has been found in decreased abundances in Crohn's patients.

  • Parabacteroides

    The genus Parabacteroides aid in the digestion of healthy and high-fiber diets, which are otherwise indigestible. You can find these bacteria throughout our bodies, but they are predominately seen in our guts. Researchers believe these bacteria might offer protection from dysbiosis from our guts as they are lacking from the gastrointestinal tracts from patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).

  • Proteobacteria

    Although the human gut flora includes relatively small numbers of this phylum naturally, increased abundance of the phylum Proteobacteria may indicate an imbalanced gut microbiome. Studies have extensively explored the correlation between increases of Proteobacteria and a compromised gut microbiome. Some researchers have proposed that increased populations of Proteobacteria may be used as a screening tool for dysbiosis and increased risks of disease in the future.

  • Pseudobutyrivibrio

    Pseudobutyrivibrio has been found to be lacking in psoriatic arthritis patients.

  • Roseburia

    In our digestive tracts, Roseburia spp. aid in the digestion of complex carbs, which can be found in whole grains. These bacteria then release butyrate, which has shown anti-inflammatory effects in research. Researchers believe these bacteria often signal a healthy gut. They can be found in reduced abundances in patients suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) as well as liver disease.

  • Ruminococcus

    Ruminococcus is a common genus of bacteria in the class Clostridia, which has been observed in nearly 90% of human microbiome samples. Preliminary research has shown that Ruminococcus spp. might be linked with digestive disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). These bacteria might also help digest sugars, which may encourage obesity and weight gain.

  • Streptococcus thermophilus

    Streptococcus thermophilus, one of the most extensively used probiotics in yogurt and dairy production, is generally considered as safe. Many Streptococcus spp. are known pathogens; however, extensive research has revealed S. thermophilus found in dairy is beneficial for health.

  • Verrucomicrobia