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Learn when it forms, why it changes over time, how it’s uniquely your own, and why bacterial diversity is so important for your general health as you move through life.
The human microbiome is the entire population of micro-organisms like bacteria, viruses and yeast that live on and in your body. Our microbiome has co-evolved with us over millions of years and plays such a significant role in our health that it’s been nicknamed the second genome.
Bacteria was once seen as a threat to good health, but research has demonstrated the many ways your trillions of bacterial allies support your wellbeing.
Bacteria act in complex, mutually beneficial ways to help you absorb nutrients from food, support your immune system, and maintain a healthy gut environment. A healthy gut microbiota contains large numbers and many different types of these micro-organisms with each group doing a different job. For example, Bacteroidetes help to break down complex molecules into simpler ones, while Firmicutes help process energy.
This bacterial diversity characterises a healthy microbiome. Regular exercise and a balanced diet filled with fibre and fresh, unprocessed food are the main ways to support a healthy microbiome.
Unfortunately, our modern Western lifestyle reduces diversity within the microbiome. Our diet and certain medications influence our microbiome by affecting the number and types of bacteria in our gut.
Changes in your microbiome can influence many aspects of your health and we’re learning more and more about its potential every day. Unlocking the possibilities of the microbiome is an exciting new frontier in complementary medicine. A healthier microbiome helps to create a healthier you.