What is the Microbiome?
The microbiome is a diverse community of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other single-celled animals that live in the body. These microorganisms (microbes) create a mini-ecosystem and live in different regions of the body such as the gut, inside the mouth, the genitals, and the skin.
Are these Microbes bad?
No. They are in fact essential for our health. In our gut, the microbes in the gut microbiome are fundamental in the breakdown and absorption of nutrients and are also known as the “gut flora”. Research has uncovered an intricate web connecting our gut microbes to virtually every process in our body. An unbalance of these gut microbes can lead to auto-immune diseases, digestive issues, mental issues such as anxiety and depression, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, chronic stress and more. Researchers are just beginning to understand the connection between the health of our gut and the overall systemic health of our body.
Our skin also has a microbiome and the skin microbiome can easily be disrupted and thrown off balance. As research becomes more readily available, new and exciting products with prebiotics are developed that help balance the skin microbiome.
What is the difference between Probiotics and Prebiotics?
Probiotics = Add good microbes
Prebiotics = Promote good microbe growth and balance (like food for the good bacteria)
Fast Facts About The Microbiome:
- The human body is host to around 100 trillion microbes
- Microbes outnumber the human cells in the body 10 to 1
- Microbes are so tiny that they only make up 2 to 3% of the total weight of the human body.
- No two people have the exact same type and mix of microbes.
- All your microbes together weigh as much as your brain: about 3 to 6 pounds!
- Your digestive track alone houses about 99% our your entire microbiome.
- Microbes cover our skin from head to toe; and the types of microbes on your skin can vary depending upon your skin’s temperature, texture, thickness, humidity, and chemistry.
- Research suggests that the microbiome plays a role in digestion, gut lining protection, appetite control, disease prevention, wound healing, the regulation of your immune system, brain development, and even your emotions.
- Microbes on our skin are constantly battling bad microbes that can cause inflammation and infection.
Bottom Line: The Microbiome is a very important part of the human body and integral to our health, we need to stay tuned to its needs, and nourish to achieve optimal balance, health, and harmony.