Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman

Gut Microbiome

  • Marc D. GellmanEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_102022-1



The gut microbiome consists of all genes that are present in the gut microbiota. It refers to all microorganisms of the gut microbial community including archaea, bacteria, protozoa, eukaryotes, fungi, and viruses.


The gut microbiome constitutes all microorganisms living in the large intestine (colon). The large intestine contains the highest concentration and greatest diversity of microbes in the entire body. The different types of microbes in a person are a result of one’s genes, age, gender, diet, hygiene, and even the climate and one’s occupation. There are approximately ten times as many microorganisms in the gut microbiome as in the rest of the entire body. The large intestine is lined with a layer of mucus. The microbes that live there form a gut biofilm. The biofilm contains an array of different microbes that carry out different tasks in the body and also work together to keep individuals healthy.

The trillions of microbes in the...

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References and Further Reading

  1. Foster, J. A., Rinman, L., & Cryan, J. F. (2017). Stress & the gut-brain axis: Regulation by the microbiome. Neurobiolgy of Stress, 7, 124–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Gilbert, J. A., Martin, J., Blaser, M. J., Caporaso, J. G., Jansson, J. K., Lynch, S. V., & Knight, R. (2018). Current understanding of the human microbiome. Nature Medicine, 24(4), 392–400.  https://doi.org/10.1038/nm.4517.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Mayer, E. (2016). The mind-gut connection: How the hidden conversation within our bodies impacts our mood, our choices, and our overall health. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.Google Scholar
  4. Psychosomatic Medicine. (2017). Special issue on “Brain-Gut Interactions and the Intestinal Microenvironment”. 79(8), 843–957.  https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.000000000000525.
  5. Rea, K., Dinan, T. G., & Cryan, J. F. (2016). The microbiome: A key regulator of stress and neuroinflammation. Neurobiolgy of Stress, 4, 23–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Behavioral Medicine Research Center, Department of PsychologyUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • J. Rick Turner
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinical Communications, QuintilesDurhamUSA