Oral-gut connection a “crucial component” of human health

By Olivia Brown

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Oral health Probiotics microbiome Gut health Prebiotics

A new review spotlights the vital bidirectional communication between the oral and gut microbiomes and their combined involvement in the development of conditions such as irritable bowel disease (IBD), highlighting unique prospects for targeted health therapies.

The ‘Nutrients’ published research found that approaches targeting the oral microbiome, such as improved oral hygiene practices, may modulate the gut microbiota to improve symptoms of IBD.

Additionally, Lactobacillus ​and Bifidobacterium​ probiotics, ​as well as postbiotics containing SCFAs, were observed to be promising therapies for the clinical management of IBD through the modulation of the oral and gut microbiomes.

The United Arab Emirates University-based researchers commented: “Ultimately, a better understanding of the oral–gut microbiome relationship in IBD can pave the way for targeted interventions and personalized approaches to improve gut health and disease outcomes for affected individuals.

“Elucidating the intricate interplay between the oral and gut microbiome in IBD patients holds promise for novel therapeutic interventions,” they added.

Microbiome health

Over the recent years, significant evidence has established the detrimental effects of gut dysbiosis for human health, with imbalances of the microbiome being linked to conditions such as obesity, diabetes and IBD.

IBDs, including Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), are characterised by relapsing inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Symptoms include recurrent diarrhoea, abdominal pain, GI bleeding, as well as extraintestinal problems effecting oral and skin health.

The precise etiology of IBD is complex and the involvement of dysbiosis of the microbiome and the associated direction of effect is still not confirmed. Thus, the present review sought to investigate both the gut and oral microbiome and their connection to IBD.

Oral-gut axis for IBD

The researchers noted evidence highlighting that the dysbiosis of both the gut and oral microbiomes may play a key role in the pathogenesis of IBD, with the identification​ of pathogenic oral bacteria including Fusobacterium nucleatum ​in gut biopsies of IBD patients.

Furthermore, a significant reduction in total microbial diversity was reported in salivary samples of IBD patients, whilst additional dysbiosis was linked​ to inflammatory symptoms.

Significant evidence​ was observed to suggest the effectiveness of probiotics containing Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Saccharomyces, ​and Streptococcus, ​for the treatment of IBD symptoms and the restoration of the oral and gut microbiome.

This was noted to result​ from the downregulation of proinflammatory cytokine expression, as well as the subsequent production of beneficial SCFAs which was linked to the improvement of those suffering with IBD.

Regarding the reported efficacy of postbiotics, the report emphasised: “SCFAs are the most promising adjuvant therapy in the clinical management of IBD patients with active disease. Acetate, propionate, and butyrate were used either individually or in combination, mainly in patients with UC.”

Future implications

The review collated significant evidence to suggest a vital importance of both the oral and gut microbiome in disease progression, including IBD.  

Regarding the future therapies for IBD prevention, the report notes: “Strategies that target the oral microbiome, such as improved oral hygiene practices and periodontal disease treatment, may help in modulating the gut microbiome and alleviating IBD symptoms.

“Furthermore, manipulating the gut microbiome through dietary interventions, prebiotics, probiotics, and FMT could have a beneficial impact on oral and gut health.”



Source: Nutrients


“Unraveling the Impact of Gut and Oral Microbiome on Gut Health in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases”

by Hala Elzayat, Ghaidaa Mesto and Farah Al-Marzooq


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