On planet Earth, there are many collections of 39.000.000.000.000 (30 trillion) microbes that maintain collections of 30 trillion cells that nourish them.
These latter collections are called Humans.
The microbe collection, called the Microbiome, is 100 times as genetically diverse as the human collection.
The function of a human is to nourish the microbiome that maintains it.
Given the importance of the microbiome, humans spent $170 million conducting the Human Microbiome Project.
- Microbes contribute more genes responsible for human survival than humans’ own genes. It is estimated that bacterial protein-coding genes are 360 times more abundant than human genes.
- The microbiome of healthy individuals is different to the microbiome of unhealthy individuals
- Gut microbiome changes longitudinally in adults and children suffering from IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease.
- Type 2 Diabetes is partially characterized by marked shifts in the microbiome compared to healthy individuals.
- The colonies of microbiota in the gut are distinctly different from the colonies in the mouth or on the skin.
- The variety of microbiota diminishes with age.
- Increase your fibre intake to around 40g per day
- Eat as many green, orange and red types of fruit and vegetables as possible, and try to eat seasonal high-fibre vegetables
- Choose food and drinks with high levels of polyphenyls
- Avoid snacking and fast frequently.
- Eat plenty of fermented foods containing live microbes
- Enjoy the occasional alcoholic drink, especially red wine.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose and saccharine
- Spend time in the countryside, stroke animals and get dirty.
- Avoid antibiotics and non-essential medicines
- Don’t be hygiene obsessed
The role of the Microbiome
- Nutrient digestion and absorption
- Immune function
- Appropriate stress response.
What your microbiota will do for you
If you do the job that your microbiota expects of you, it will reward you mightily.
- You will live longer. (We will explore this in depth later)
- Studies show that the transplant of younger microbiota into mice extends their lifespan by up to 35%
- You will be healthier
- A functionally microbiome counteracts many diseases.
- You will not be overweight.
- The desire for food derives from Gut-Brain interactions. With a microbiota that lacks nutrients, the message that is sent to the brain is “Eat More”
- You will be smarter.