A long time in the making, welcome to the school which is all about YOU: the Microbiome Académie!
What’s the curriculum?
Well, it’s a mix of exclusive content to help you understand your microbiome and how to take care of it.
Because after all, it’s a part of you and it deserves to be cared for and loved.
So, prepare for articles, quizzes, interviews, bad puns and general nerdiness from the best experts on the subject.
Today to start easy, welcome to the Microbiome 101: What exactly is the Microbiome?
The Microbiome is how we call the entirety of micro-organisms that live in and on your body. Most of these little travelers live in your gut but you also have a skin microbiome (our favourite), a mouth microbiome, a genital microbiome, a nose microbiome and even… a bellybutton microbiome!
Think about it as continents on the planet that is your body.
How numerous are these little hitchhikers? Well, there is roughly the same number as your own human cells. So, it turns out that half of you is bacterial. They also weight the same size as your brain, arrived on their home (=you) the moment you were born and will support you and live with you every day of your life.
The importance of the microbiome is incredible, and we keep discovering more about this new organ every day. It’s the hottest subject in health and will stay so for a long time. These microbes protect you, fight for you, synthetize some of your food or even your hormones. And when it goes wrong it has been linked to depression, obesity, Crohn disease, acne, eczema and a list of disease that gets longer every day. If we had to define the role of the microbiome in one sentence it would be “it helps to regulate your immunity”.
Why is it new?
For something that is as old as humans, why are we only talking about it now? Well, these little microbes were… little! And not all of them were happy growing in a petri dish. Which means that we could not see them. Then DNA sequencing became cheap and someone one day thought it would be a cool idea to look at our own body and what could be living on it. And … tadaaaa! A new world opened in front of our eyes.
Top 3 quick facts about the microbiome:
- It’s yours and totally yours. Your bacterial makeup is so specific to you that it could be used instead of fingerprinting in the future.
- The question that divides the science world now: Is there a brain microbiome? i.e. Do bacteria live in your brain and influence your thoughts?
- It’s not only bacteria: viruses (the “virome”) fungi (the “mycobiome”) and other populations are still to be studied.
Helpful youtubing: The TED Talk from the daddy of the microbiome: Rob Knight.
Et voilà! Well done on your first lesson, the whole of the Gallinée team is very proud of you.
“If you don’t like bacteria, you’re on the wrong planet.” Steward Brand