Tuesday, 4 August 2015

The ABCs - M is for Microbiome

Whether you like it or not, we humans are home to tens of trillions of microbes.


A microbiota is *"the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic microorganisms that literally share our body space".

*taken from HERE

**Our human body contains over ten times more microbial cells than human cells! 

**taken from HERE

The microbes are made up of bacteria, fungi and protozoa.

The picture below shows the diversity of the microbes that live in and on us!

*picture taken from HERE

Their Function in Our Human Body

The microbes live in our gut, mouth, skin, and other mucosal surfaces of our bodies. Today, scientists have discovered that these microbes benefit us by digesting food, preventing disease-causing-pathogens from invading our body, synthesizing essential nutrients and vitamins and also responsible for sending certain signals to the brain!

Beneficial & Non-Beneficial Foods

Optimizing the gut flora by ingesting fermented food is the best choice one can make. Lassi, kefir, sauerkraut. natto, kimchi, yoghurt and miso are superb fermented foods to have.

Probiotics is another good source to optimizing the gut flora.

Antibiotics, on the other hand will destroy the microbes in our gut. It will not only destroy the bad guys, the good guys will be eradicated too. Consumption of animals that are fed with antibiotics are also known to to destroy the gut flora.

Sugar, as well as processed food are also detrimental to the gut flora. High consumption of sugar can alter the atmosphere of the microbiome by causing a high amount of yeast/fungal.

Human Microbiome Project

The Human Microbiome Project (HMP) was a project by the United States National Institutes of Health. Their goal was to identify and characterise the microorganisms which are found in healthy and diseased bodies.

It is still a very little understood subject.

But there have been some interesting discoveries.

  • Microbes contribute more genes responsible for human survival than human's own genes. It is estimated that bacterial protein-coding genes are 360 times more abundant than human genes.
  • Microbial metabolic activities, such as the digestion of fast are not always provided by the same bacterial species. 
  • Components of the human micro biome changes over time, affected by the patient's diseased state and medication. However, the micro biome eventually returns to a state of equilibrium. The composition of the bacterial types has changed though. ***
***taken from HERE

Click HERE to read more about our microbes.

Also click on The Human Microbiome for more information.

Do take the time to watch the YouTube video about our microbiome.

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