We’re super excited to chat to you about your microbiome and drop some seriously amazing facts that we think will, blow! Your! Mind! And hopefully highlight why these micro bacteria are so important to our overall health and wellbeing.
Did you know that right now, you have about 38 trillion microorganisms, which are mostly bacteria, living in and on your body. The majority of these microorganisms call your gastrointestinal tract home, and the others live all over the place like in your mouth, on your skin, even under your finger nails.
Before we go on, we thought it was super important to emphasise that, not all bacteria are bad. In fact out of the trillions that exist, less than 100 pose a pathogenetic threat to humans and most of the bacteria that live in and on us are essential for our survival.
Out of these trillions of microorganisms, 50% of them by cell count, make up you. To make matters even more interesting, the genes found in these trillions are what make up the microbiome we have living within our gut.
Your microbiome and how it starts
We each have our own unique gut microbiome, which new research believes starts while we are still in the womb. Although we are taught that our genes are transferred from our parents, something you might not have known is that our mothers pass on their microbiome as well, in a process called seeding.
From the journey through the birth canal, skin-to-skin contact, breast feeding our mothers pass on foundational microbes. Our microbiota is then further developed through our interactions with the outside world, from within our homes, our siblings, pets, the dirt we eat and the things we touch - it all has an impact on the development of our microbiome and its diversity.
So to start with, the microbes that colonise our GI tract help develop our immune system telling our bodies what is good and bad. It’s amazing to think, that within the first few years of life, our microbiome has developed to a steady state that will (without considering the potential impact of outside interferences) make up your microbiome for the rest of your life.
What do your gut microbiome do?
Great question and the answer is actually super cool! Our gut microbiota interact with virtually every cell in the human body. They are linked to developing our immune system, keeping the lining of our GI tract healthy, destroying and removing potential pathogens or bad bacteria. The bacteria in our gut is critical to our overall health, “from heart to skin to metabolism to immune function.¹”
It’s important to look after our microbiome, but in saying this science hasn’t exactly found the perfect formula of a ‘healthy microbiome’. You see, as we are all so different, there is no one fit all formula for healthy microbiota. We need our own unique microbiome formula to ensure that individually our bodies are functioning at our most optimal level.
How can I support my microbiome?
We can support our gut health by eating a wholesome diet, that is mostly plant-based, filled with plenty of fresh and vegetables. By exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, taking time to stop and exercise self-care. Maintaining and supporting our gut health is a lifestyle as much as it is an understanding of the complex bacteria that live on and in our bodies.
A great way to start looking after your microbiome, is by asking some simple questions. How will this choice impact my microbiome? Are the choices I’m making benefiting or causing a negative impact on my body? Should I start incorporating probiotics and prebiotics into my daily dietary routine?
New research is cracking open the world of our microbiome every day. We cannot wait to see what we will learn tomorrow, next week, next year. “This is the new biology. It demands a new approach to medicine, hygiene, diet, and health.²”