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The Amazing Power of the Gut

52 min | Sylvie Gilman and

Thierry de Lestrade | 2019


in coproduction with ARTE France, INRA

With the participation of

with the support of CNC and Procirep and ANGOA, developed with the help of the Creative Europe - MEDIA program of the European Union

International sales : ARTE FRANCE


Is the future of medicine being played out in your intestine? Recent discoveries about the micro-universe nestled in our guts have enabled us to better understand such diverse conditions as diabetes, obesity, inflammatory bowel diseases, some types of cancer, and even autism and depression.

This understanding gives hope for a cure for chronic conditions that have so far resisted the efforts of modern medicine.

For a long time, little was known about the intestinal microbiota. It is now slowing revealing its secrets. “It’s like discovering a new organ!” exclaims pioneering researcher Dusko Ehrlich.

What makes it work? Symbiosis, i.e. the harmony between it and the rest of the organism. In fact, we have a kind of contract with the 100,000 billion bacteria living in our intestines: in exchange for room and board, they keep us healthy by producing a range of molecules. Thousands of scientists worldwide are currently working on decoding the singular language of this contract.

They made a crucial discovery when comparing the stools of patients with those of healthy donors: healthy people have many more different species of gut bacteria than those who are sick.

Researchers are now slowly compiling a directory of A-list bacteria, those whose disappearance is associated with disease— Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Roseburia, Akkermansia mucinifila, or Eubacterium halli, to name but a few.

These bacteria could revolutionize the future of medicine.

Award : Life Science Film Festival 2019 (Czech Republic) 

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