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Scientists Call the Loss of Healthy Microbiome Bacteria an Extinction Event

Updated: Jan 26

The human microbiome refers to the trillions of microorganisms that live on and inside our bodies, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. This complex community of microbes play a crucial role in our health and wellbeing, influencing everything from digestion and immune function to mental health and disease prevention.

In recent years, there has been growing concern about the loss of microbiome diversity and its potential impact on our health.

The Dangers of Losing Microbiome Diversity

  1. Impaired Digestion and Nutrient Absorption: This is the biggest problem I see in peoples blood - poor digestion! We are as healthy as our digestive capacity. Ayurveda frankly says "when digestion is strong you can pull nectar from poison, but when digestion is weak, even nectar becomes a poison". Certain species of gut bacteria play a key role in breaking down complex carbohydrates, fibre, and other components of our diet that our body cannot digest on its own. These bacteria produce enzymes that break down these substances into simpler forms that can be absorbed by our body. However, a loss of microbiome diversity can lead to a decrease in these beneficial bacteria, resulting in impaired digestion and reduced nutrient absorption, which can contribute to nutrient deficiencies and other health issues.

  2. Weakened Immune System: The gut microbiome plays a crucial role in supporting our immune system. It helps regulate immune responses, communicates with immune cells, and produces substances that fight off harmful pathogens. When the diversity of the gut microbiome is compromised, it can result in a weakened immune system, making us more susceptible to infections, allergies, and autoimmune diseases.

  3. Increased Inflammation: A healthy gut microbiome helps to maintain a balanced inflammatory response in the body. However, a loss of microbiome diversity can lead to an imbalance in the gut ecosystem, resulting in increased inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been linked to a wide range of health issues, including metabolic disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and even mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

  4. Digestive Disorders: Studies have shown that a loss of microbiome diversity has been associated with various digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and other gastrointestinal conditions. This highlights the critical role of microbiome diversity in maintaining gut health and preventing digestive issues.

  5. Overall Health and Wellbeing: The gut microbiome is now being recognised as a key player in overall health and wellbeing, beyond just gut health. It has been linked to various aspects of our health, including our metabolism, mood, sleep, and even brain function. A loss of microbiome diversity can disrupt these interconnected systems and negatively impact our overall health and wellbeing.

How to Promote Microbiome Diversity Maintaining a healthy and diverse gut microbiome is essential for optimal health. Here are some tips to promote microbiome diversity:

  1. Eat a Balanced Diet: A diet rich in fibre, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods can help promote microbiome diversity by providing the necessary nutrients and fibre for beneficial bacteria to thrive.

  2. Avoid Overuse of Antibiotics: Antibiotics can disrupt the balance of gut bacteria, so it's important to use them wisely and only when necessary to avoid unnecessary harm to the microbiome.

  3. Manage Stress: Chronic stress can negatively impact the gut microbiome, so finding effective ways to manage stress, such as regular exercise, mindfulness, and adequate sleep, can help maintain a healthy gut ecosystem.

  4. Stay Active: Regular exercise has been shown to reduce stress which has a positive effect on the microbiome.

If you are suffering from gut related health problems or other inflammatory health conditions, supporting your microbiome and healing the gut may help your recovery. Book a free 20 minute discovery call to find out more.

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