Bacteria 101… sort of… and some musings…

Many things affect the growth of bacteria. Many things affect what kind of bacteria grow. Some of these things are pH, temperature, the type of nutrients. The immune system can also determine which bacteria survive in our bodies, if the immune system attacks and kills a certain type of bacteria, then it cannot survive (unless we are very weakened). If the immune system does not react against a type of bacteria, then that type can grow. Same goes for fungi and viruses as well. All the friendly bacteria in our gut, like Lactobacillus or Enterobacter (which synthesizes Vitamin K for us) are not attacked by our immune system and live in symbiosis (mutual benefit) in our gut.

Illness can change what bacteria live in our bodies by changing the above things I mentioned. How is it that the type of bacteria living in the throats of people who have schizophrenia is different from controls (those who do not have schizophrenia)? Is is related to the onset or continuity of the illness or is it simply incidental? Even if it is incidental, at the very least, it may be useful in the diagnosis of this illness, which is very complex and very difficult to treat.

Could it be that the different microbiome in people with schizophrenia can affect the gut neuronal tissue and alter the types or amounts of neurotransmitters produced and this then affects the brain neuronal tissue and then is involved in generation of disease? The immune system is also in intimate contact with the gut, in fact a part of the immune system is called Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue or GALT. The gut associated neurons aka the gut brain or gut nervous system line the cells of the gut. The immune system, and neuronal tissue come into intimate contact in the gut, exactly where there are trillions of bacteria living, in the gut. So much is happening in the gut. The importance of GALT, the gut nervous system, the microbiome, and the gut itself cannot be overlooked. It’s a puzzle, but a puzzle whose pieces are slowly coming together to form a picture. Let’s see what the picture will show us.

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