The microbiome, Zack Bush MD
Updated: Nov 9, 2021
Shared from his Facebook post,
The microbiome has become a buzzword in today’s consumer lexicon.
From women's health journals to bar soap, nearly every product and publication has begun to tout its connection with the microbiome. And rightfully so: it’s essential for human life, fueling our development, immunity, and nutrition.
Today, we understand the microbiome enables our production of energy, micronutrients, & regenerative pathways. It manufactures the neurotransmitters that support our short term memory, our mood stability, sleep quality, sexual function, stress hormones, dopamine, and more — all of which are produced at the gut lining.
As human beings, our neurologic capacity begins with our connection to the microbiome. At its most basic definition, micro means small, & biome signifies living creatures — essentially all of the living microbes on & inside the human body.
Interestingly, after decades of genomics research, it has become apparent that human cells are not at the center of human health, but rather it's the fungi and bacteria that are. It is estimated that we have 50 to 70 trillion human cells, which pale in comparison to the 1.4 quadrillion bacteria, 10 quadrillion fungi, & 14 quadrillion mitochondria inside our bodies. In fact, the number of genes in one person’s microbiome is 200X the number of genes in the entire human genome.
As we explore the microbiome and our human biology, it's clear this diverse non-human micro ecosystem is what makes life possible. Within every organ system throughout our whole body, it’s this unique niche of bacteria, fungi, & yeast that nurture our human cells.
Even long before we humans showed up, it was the microscopic creatures within the microbiome that developed life on Earth. Since then, this planet has shown itself to be passionate about one thing: biodiversity — with the microbiome continuously trying to diversify life, finding more and more adaptation at every opportunity.
Image: Rogan Brown papercut 'Microbes'