Before I delve too deeply into the waters of the human microbiome, I should confess that I have a Master’s degree in Neuroscience and spent a few years working as a health care planner. I am definitely someone who likes science-y stuff. So I will try my best to be brief, non-technical and to the point.
What is our microbiome?
Probably the easiest place to start is with a few basic facts about the human microbiome.
- Our bodies are home to millions of bacteria, fungus, viruses, etc. Thus our bodies are a micro “tiny” biome “home”.
- The tiny guys that live in our bodies live everywhere… in our noses, on our skin, in our lungs and in our digestive system. In fact, human cells make up less than half of the cells in our bodies. Our microbiome is pretty huge.
- The good guys help us stay healthy and happy. The bad guys cause all sorts of problems, like food poisoning, lung infections and skin rashes.
- Diet and other lifestyle choices can really affect the make up of your microbiome. So it’s a good idea to feed your microbiome a healthy diet.
Here are just a few ways that the human microbiome influences health and well-being:
- The make up of the microbiome plays a role in obesity and type 2 diabetes.
- There is a link between microbiome health and cancer.
- It also influences mood and behaviour.
- If you want some more links to the science behind microbiome health check out my post on how to feed your microbiome.
The Human Microbiome Project
There is a growing interest in the role of the microbiome in health and wellness. (The future is FERMENTED!) If you are interested in participating, for a small donation, you can find out who is living in your guts!