"Most of us are aware that the bacteria in our gut play an important role in digestion. When the stomach and small intestine are unable to digest certain foods we eat, gut microbes jump in to offer a helping hand, ensuring we get the nutrients we need.
In addition, gut bacteria are known to aid the production of certain vitamins - such as vitamins B and K - and play a major role in immune function.
But increasingly, researchers are working to find out more about how gut bacteria - particularly the bacteria that is unique to us individually - influence our health and risk of disease.
Perhaps most studied is how gut microbiota affects an individual's risk of obesity and other metabolic conditions. In November 2014, for example, Medical News Today reported on a study claiming our genetic makeup shapes what type of bacteria reside in our gut, which may affect our weight."
Medical News Today, in The gut microbiome: How does it affect our health?