Your Microbiome is made up of a vast collection of microorganisms. It is believed that the metabolic activity of all these millions of organisms has the potential effect of a significant organ. They produce vitamins such as vitamin B and K, and have an important role within the immune system. We have more bugs on us and inside us than we have cells!
How Did These Microbes Get Inside Me? Studies on piglets revealed interesting correlations for human microflora and its development from birth. The faeces of piglets were tested for bacteria from birth and followed over several months to follow and assess the progress and changes in the bacteria profile. They found that particular strains were present at birth and that the bacterial profile evolved according to environment and food supplied. The Human Digestive System closely resembles and follows similar patterns to the microbiome in pigs. The Newborn is born with some basic and few microorganisms that are passed on from the mother. During a vaginal delivery the newborn is dosed with its first significant microflora injection. Studies on babies from caesarian births revealed that the spectrum of microflora was more limited and less broad. Exposure to microorganisms from breastmilk and the touch of their immediate family provides the chance for more beneficial organisms to broaden the microbiome profile of the infant gut. It is the immediate environment that provides the interaction of organisms that will take up host within the digestive system and set up the fingerprint layout that will be that individual’s friends for life.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can have a significant and healing action on your microbiome. Science has identified many bacteria that can have a truly positive action for digestive health and we are beginning to understand how important they are for many health conditions including irritable bowel syndrome, allergies, eczema and even mood and depression!
What Bug is That? Each strain has an affinity for an action and we can now match beneficial strains for specific actions. Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG is one well studied strain that has an anti-inflammatory action for skin and has been used successfully to improve and heal eczema. We now know that 80% of your immunity relies on the health of the microbiome in your bowel as they aid to ‘crowd’ out the not so helpful bacteria and support the beneficial bacteria. People taking broadspectrum probiotics experience fewer colds and flus and have faster recovery times than those who don’t.
Foods that Help! The good news about the microbiome is that you can change it by changing the foods you eat ! Latest studies on the fabulous flora within us is that particular populations like certain types of foods and the beneficial flora thrive on wholefood diets and they are stimulated by fermented foods. Not surprising-fresh living foods provide a positive influence on gut flora. Fermented foods and yoghurt are good inclusions to a healthy gut flora. Packaged and over processed foods do not stimulate beneficial bacteria as they do not provide the fibre and chemicals they enjoy feeding from. Enjoy cabbage, sauerkraut and kombucha for lots of Lovely Bugs on the inside.