What Does Microbiome Mean?
Microbiome: The microorganisms inhabiting a particular environment, a micro-ecosystem. To make it easier to remember, think of the scientific word “microbiome” as micro (small) and biome (a community of life that shares a natural habitat). Microbiota: Bacteria that lives in the gut. The Gut: In biology, the gut refers to the stomach and the intestines.
The Living Gut
When we hear the word “bacteria,” we tend to think about it as an enemy of our bodies, causing sickness. In fact, we kill bacteria with disinfectant, sanitary wipes and soap.
However, there are billions of bacteria present in your body right now, and you could not survive without them.
Each of us has a microbiome, that little but complex community of bacteria living in our bodies and promoting health. Our microbiomes:
- Bolster our immune systems.
- Ensure the proper function of our digestive systems.
- Regulate our hormones.
- And much more.
Microbiota in the Gut
Thank goodness we can’t see the trillions of bacteria running across our skin, but thank goodness we have them.
The vast majority of healthy human bacteria lives in the gut. The good bacteria in your gut does great work in these ways:
- Aids in digestion
- Derives nutrition from food
- Fights harmful bacteria
- Strengthens the immune system
- Balances hormones
- Keeps brain function healthy
Scientists are beginning to understand the functions and importance of the human microbiome. Continuing research will likely yield even more knowledge of the benefits of good bacteria.
We are already aware of so many valuable functions of the microbiome and how crucial it is to protect it.
Why Is it Important to Protect the Microbiome?
It is important to protect and nurture the microbiome in many ways and for many reasons.
Our microbiomes are impacted and influenced by:
- Sleep patterns
- Types of food we eat
- Stress levels
- Amount of bacteria we are exposed to
- Medications we take
- Lifestyle choices
Many researchers are convinced that 90 percent of all diseases can be traced back to the gut and health of the microbiome.
Our gut microbiomes are so crucial that without optimal gut health, the balance throughout the whole body is upset and can cause many systems to run poorly, resulting in poor overall health.
The balance of bacteria living inside us impacts our health in the following areas:
- Overall health