When it comes to our microbiome, diversity is king according to experts such as @TimSpector. This simple article provides some practical steps on how we can all improve the healthiness of our gut microbiome. If you want to read more I would thoroughly recommend reading Tim Spector’s Diet Myth.
If you are not already up-to-speed, the microbiota can be thought of as a mini-ecosystem living in a mutually beneficial relationship with their host, in this case our gut. We have thousands of billions of little bacteria in each of us. It is believed that we host more than 10,000 different microorganisms, many that haven’t even been identified or classified. This microbe population and its genetic material are called our microbiome and are considered to weigh ~3Kgs and contain 150-fold greater genetic material than our own genome, this is what makes it of major scientific interest.
Modern technology has clearly advanced our knowledge around microbes but changes in our diet, the discovery of antibiotics, proton-pump inhibitors and cytotoxic agents as well as increased use of antiseptics, bleach, and more routine C-sections have all negatively impacted our gut microbiome.
This can cause dysbiosis which is an abnormal colonisation or imbalance of microbes in the body. Dysbiosis has been found to be associated with a wide range of conditions from allergies, autoimmune conditions, infectious diseases, psychological conditions, neurological and gastrointestinal disease and even diabetes and cancer.
On top of this the gut microbiome is believed to play a vital role in fat storage, metabolism, breaking down food, energy metabolism, regulating glucose and resisting pathogens (to name a few).
So as this article says “… go ahead, shake some hands. Pat a few friends on the back” and take some simple steps towards a healthier microbiome and a healthier you!
We can take steps to protect and revitalize our microbial communities, beginning with shifting how we describe ourselves. We are actually what scientists call a superorganism, meaning a creature comprising many organisms, so it’s helpful to think of our body as a team.