What's my "microbiome" anyway?
Listen friends: you may not realize this, but your body is covered in literally trillions of microscopic bacteria. So many bacteria, in fact, that they may outnumber your own cells as much as ten-to-one.
In other words, "you" are more bacterial than human. And this collection of bacterial life is what we refer to collectively as our "microbiota."
As you travel through life you acquire an impressive collection of these teensy little bacterial pals--trillions of microscopic organisms that live in and on your skin, hair, genitals, lungs, mouth, nose, and (in their largest quantities) in your digestive tract.
And don't be fooled--these bacteria are not just along for the ride. They are living, working, active organisms who generally live with us in happy symbiosis. In the gut they eat our food, aid us in digestion, prime the immune system, block harmful microbes, build and maintain the gut wall, and produce vitamins. They also communicate with each other and with our bodies using hormones and transmitters.
We are beginning to realize just how important our intestinal microbiome (the ecosystem of microbial life in our gut) is to overall health and wellness. In fact, there is evidence that the bacteria in your gut influence brain chemistry, behavior, mood, weight, and longevity; there are over two hundred diseases potentially linked to microbiome health at this point.
And as evidence continues to grow regarding the importance of a healthy microbiome, so does our understanding of how to care for it. If you are interested in learning more, explore this site! You'll find information about your microbiome and how it can be impacted by diet and lifestyle, as well as helpful tidbits related to research and resources in this field.