The health of your Microbiome also referred to as; gut flora, gastrointestinal microbiota, etc., is of the utmost importance. The microbiome was discovered in the mid-1880s, by Austrian Pediatrician Theodor Escherich, but made profoundly aware to the public around the year 2007 because of advancements in medical research and understanding of the microbiome. However, the microbiome can be the savior of your well-being or a detrimental catastrophe to your health.
So, the key question we have to ask ourselves is… Do I have a healthy relationship with my microbiome or is our relationship toxic?
An abundance of research is beginning to suggest a connection between your microbiome make-up (bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses) to your metabolism, immune system, the brain, and very possibly more- the research is still alive and active.
Everyone’s microbiome is different. While some of the bacteria that makes up the microbiome is common throughout all human beings, there is a lot of bacteria that is not common and only found in some people.
Why is this?
Well, one of the factors is nature and the other factor is nurture. Which one is more significant of a factor though and how much can nurture alter nature’s effect on the microbiome? This is hard to say. In fact, no scientist and/or researcher truly knows the extent of each factor’s role. However, recent advancements in this field of study have given us answers that give us a small glimpse into the world of the microbiome.
It is believed that babies are born with a “blank slate,” meaning their intestines are mostly- if not completely- sterile. However, this all changes when the baby is leaving the mother’s birth canal. During this process, the baby comes in contact with the microorganisms in their mother’s vagina. This acts as the beginning of a new population of microorganisms in her baby.
It is after the baby’s microbiome becomes populated from the mother’s vagina that the environment in which the baby grows up and lives its life becomes a significant factor. In ones early life, factors such as toxins, intake of breast milk and/or formula, food, etc. is ultimately what provides the foundational lay-out of your microbiome. This would also be the way babies born of a cesarean section would have their microbiome populated. Later in life, probably the two biggest factors on microbiome population and health are diet and exposure to toxins. Eating a diet full of fiber, fermented-foods, micronutrients, and more- as well as- limiting your exposure to toxins will be vital in feeding the healthy bacteria and killing the pathogenic bacteria in your microbiome.
For more on the microbiome’s effect on health and disease read: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5785832/