How to Build a Better Microbiome

How to Build a Better Microbiome

Before we dive into why probiotics are an important part of our daily lives, it's important to understand what a microbiome is.

The human microbiota consists of the 10-100 trillion symbiotic microbial cells harbored by each person, primarily bacteria in the gut; the human microbiome consists of the genes these cells harbor.

If you look at your genetic disposition, the food you have eaten, the medications you have taken, how you handle stress, the activities you have done and the individuals you have met along the way, all of this contributes to the composition of your microbiome. Trying to create the perfect microbiome to combat all disease is not only defeating but impossible. Yet there are strategic ways to support these symbiotic microbial cells that consist mainly of good bacteria. 

Gut health impacts brain health and vice versa. So instead of focusing on the gut or the brain, we are focusing on your microbiome. That encompasses your gut, your brain, and every system in your body from your immune system to your cardiovascular system to your digestive system and so on.

Our approach is to build a better microbiome. Little changes add up to big shifts in your microbiome and that is what we want to focus on with this blog. From fecal transplants to oral probiotics, physicians and scientists alike are discovering the benefits to supporting a healthy microbiome. 

The Human Microbiome Project

The Human Microbiome Project (HMP) is  a U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) initiative that set the goal of identifying and characterizing the microorganisms linked to humans benefitting from health and suffering from disease. An initial budget of $115 million has been set aside for this project. The goal of the HMP is to understand how the human microbiome plays a role in health and disease. After scientists discovered pharmaceutical research connecting good bacteria to cures for diseases, biotech companies are placing their chips on the table betting for success with this research venture. The investment poured into this novel field of research continues to rise

Our Microbiome and Cures for Disease

Our microbiome partners with our immune system to optimize its function. Michael Fischbach, a PhD scientist in search of cures for diseases, used gene-sequencing technology in his lab at the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco to study the human microbiome.

Fischbach and other scientists have found that good bacteria talk to the immune system communicating with the T-cells and other parts of the immune system helping them work harder. Mapping out the microbiome and understanding its unique language will help combat disease in the future. Studies have found that changes in our microbiome go hand in hand with medical challenges ranging from obesity to diabetes to colon cancer. Some researchers avow that the microbiome is the only “organ” that can be replaced without surgery.

Your microbiome is constantly in a state of flux. It depends on the environment, the host (you) and how the host decides to live. 

 

Building your microbiome takes on a whole new meaning now that you understand the basics about it. Taking a probiotic can give your microbiota a boost that it probably needs. If you have taken an antibiotic, eaten genetically modified food (hard to avoid these days), experienced stress or drank alcohol you are in need of probiotic fuel for your microbiome. Changes that occur in your gut also occur in your brain, so if you are feeding your microbiome you are impacting far more than just your gut. Even something like weight loss can be supported with a healthy microbiome. Absorbing your nutrients requires good bacteria and that same bacteria also release some vitamins and minerals that are needed like B vitamins and vitamin K2.

Eating a food daily that has good bacteria can also help build your microbiome. Yogurt, kombucha tea, pickles, sauerkraut, miso soup and kefir are all packed with probiotics. Additional suggestions for probiotics can be found in our blog 5 Ways Priobiotics Can Support Your Family's Health. You can also link directly to our probiotics collection page found here.

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