The Story of a Microscopic Community Inside your Gut
👋 Hello from the invisible world!
We live in you,
We dominate you,
We are you!
Once upon a time, millions of years ago, the human predecessors and the microbial world found each other and laid the foundation of this story. Fast forward to this era: the human body is a host to trillions of microorganisms and around 10-100 trillion of them live inside the gut. They outnumber the human cells by 10 to 1. So scientifically speaking, we are more microbes than human!
This community of microbes is composed not only of bacteria but also viruses, protozoa and fungi, together constituting the ‘Gut Microbiome’.
But where did these tiny microscopic creatures come from?
Our first encounter with the microscopic world is right when we are born. When a foetus is delivered vaginally, it gets coated with the microbes present in the vaginal canal of the mother. The gut microbiome of the foetus at this point of time thus mimics the vaginal microbiome of its mother. Whereas those born via a caesarean section, tend to acquire the microbes present on the skin, resulting in their microbiome resembling that of the skin. Then comes one of the most influential factors that affects the gut microbiome: food. Whether fed the mother’s milk or formula milk, both have a different impact on the composition of the gut microbiome. As the child grows and starts consuming a variety of different foods and is exposed to different environments, the gut microbiome adapts, evolves and finally becomes a community so unique that no two people on planet earth will have the same gut microbiome! We call it the microbial fingerprint! Feeling special yet?
Imagine the gut microbiome as a community of microscopic residents thriving in the gut. As is the norm with any community, even the gut microbiome has good, bad and opportunistic microbes. The good microbes are beneficial in nature and live in a symbiotic relationship with us. Meaning? We both benefit from each other. Whereas the bad bugs known as pathogens are, well, bad for us.
No brainer there! Then there are the opportunists, who are the sleeper cells of this community. They will play safe as long as we are living a healthy lifestyle, but the moment we slip, these microbes can start creating havoc.
Okay, so we know that we are drenched in and out in microbes but…why? The gut microbiome is constantly hustling to digest our food, train the immune system, manufacture beneficial metabolites and hormones, send signals to the brain and keep our entire metabolism and homeostasis in check.
It's about time we start giving them the due recognition! But wait, the microbiome will only function optimally when fed the right kind of food and environment. When the diet and lifestyle goes haywire, it creates an environment where the bad microbes can flourish. And that is when a host of problems arises.
Take the Gut Microbiome Test to find out your unique microbial fingerprint and stay tuned to learn how to treat them right! Meanwhile, give your gut a hug!