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Microbiome Explained

This is actually my very 1st post that I started on facebook with. I am just now getting it put up here. Enjoy!

I decided to start with something that is having a serious impact on healthcare as we begin to understand it more and more. It's something you are born with, but is not made of human cells. If it is disturbed at birth, it can affect the rest of your life! It outnumbers your human cells 10 to 1, and if gathered together would have approximately twice the weight of your brain.(1) It is... your microbiome. The microbiome is made up of all the microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeast, parasites, and more) that reside in or on our bodies. Most of your microbiome lives in your gut and has multiple biological functions. Wait, what?! That's right, you literally have pounds of microbes residing all over and in you and you can't live without them. This is a symbiotic relationship at its finest. So if you are wondering what the big deal about these microscopic organisms might be, let me give you a quick run down. Starting with a biggie, these microbes play the primary role in establishing and developing our immune system. That's right, microorganisms in your intestinal tract are playing a primary role in your health. And that is just the beginning. These organisms regulate your metabolism, aid in digestion, create vitamins, manage hormone levels, dispose of toxins, and create natural chemicals that help feed and protect the lining of the gut.

Our bodies are initially exposed to beneficial bacteria through the placenta, and then are exposed to trillions more on the journey through the birth canal. Having a c-section? The doctor can swab your vaginal secretions and dab the baby with them. Yeah, it's that important. Breast milk will provide another influx of microbes, including the bacteria that help us digest our mothers milk. These little bugs are the seed starters of our microbiome and will affect our gut for the rest of our lives.(2) So put down the bleach and disinfectants, mommas. Unless you have an extremely virulent strain of something nasty coursing through your home, all of that dirt and germs your kids are picking up are adding to the diversity of their guts. And diversity is key. No one strain should be ruling the gut, overpopulation by dangerous pathogens leads to serious health issues. And to be honest, most of us do not have the diversity needed to maintain a healthy gut, this is especially true if you have ever taken an antibiotic. But take heart (or probiotics), we are going to have a continuing conversation about how to reset your microbiome back to fully diverse, fully functioning, and healed of any leaky gut syndrome (more on that to come as well). By diligently making choices about food and supplements, reducing stress and medications, increasing both pre and probiotics, you can begin to positively impact your gut in as little as 24 hours! So stick with me this week as we continue to explore and learn more about this incredibly important symbiotic relationship.

1. Hadhazy, A. "THink Twice: How the Gut's Second Brain Influences Mood and Well-being." 2010 Feb 12 Scientific American 2. Axe, Dr, J. "Eat Dirt" 2016 pgs. 17 - 21 Learn More

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