The Human Microbiome
The Human Microbiome is the community of billions of microbes that make the human body their home. Like the marvelous rainforests and coral reefs found around our planet, the human gut is an ecosystem that is rich in microbial diversity. The equilibrium of this microbial ecosystem naturally develops, starting at birth if not before. The unique microbes colonizing the human gut interact with one another and the human body, building a complex self-organizing network of metabolic interaction.
Humans have co-evolved with their microbial companions over millennia. Over this vast time period we have developed mutually beneficial relationships with many of the members of our microbiome. Through the work of a veritable army of scientists, we now know that the human microbiome, and its individual microbial members, contribute to the proper development, function, and health of the human body. Through their own metabolism and growth, these microbes help us to digest and detoxify our food, produce important vitamins and metabolic building blocks, educate and regulate our immune system, and stimulate the proper growth and development of the cells within the human body.
Through cutting edge science, we are only beginning to truly appreciate the power of this microbial organ on our health and wellness.
Modern medicine, until very recently, was unfortunately unaware of the protective effect of the healthy gut microbiome. Little was known about the deleterious effects of disruptions to proper microbiome development, or the association of these disruptions with the development of a wide range of diseases. On the contrary, the widespread and indiscriminate use of powerful microbiome altering drugs has wreaked havoc on the natural development and equilibrium of the human gut microbiome. Forunately, appreciation for the importance of developing and maintaining a healthy microbiome is rapidly growing. We now know that the future of medicine is holistic. We must take care of the human body by taking care of the human microbiome.
Learn More about the Human Microbiome
|NIH Human Microbiome Project||NOVA Microbiome||What’s Living In You?|
|Can You Change Your Microbiome?||NPR: Probiotics For Babies And Kids?|