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The Microbiome: Bacteria and You

What is the microbiome?

The microbiome is the group of all microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and their genes that naturally reside on and inside the human body. Each person’s core microbiome is created during their first years of life, but it can definitely adapt and change as a result of various factors such as diet, environment, and medications. By some estimates, there are as many microorganisms as cells in our body, which roughly translates to trillions upon trillions of microbes. Furthermore, the microbiome serves as a vital link between the body and its environment, which means that these microorganisms have the potential to influence our health in a variety of ways. This, of course, includes how we react to environmental toxins: some microorganisms change ambient compounds in such a manner that they become more hazardous, while others operate as a shield, making them less harmful. 

 

What does the microbiome do to us?

Human development, immunity, and nutrition are all dependent on the microbiome. In other words, microorganisms protect us from viruses, aid in the development of our immune systems, and let us digest food in order to make energy. When we have a deficiency in our microorganisms, we can suffer from many diseases. For instance, autoimmune illnesses including diabetes, muscular dystrophy, and multiple sclerosis are linked to microbiome deficiency. This is because microbes that cause disease build up over time, altering gene activity and producing an inappropriate immune response to chemicals that are usually present in the body.

 

Why is it important?

Achieving a greater understanding of the microbiome can not only help you have better health, but it can also lead to research that can result in better health for everyone. If we can actively grow “good bacteria” and get rid of “bad bacteria,” then worldwide health care and overall health will vastly improve. 

Amado Krsul

My name is Amado Krsul. I am a junior from Croatia who was raised in Bolivia and loves video games (mostly Apex Legends and Rocket League). My favorite food is paella. A word that would describe me would be industrious.

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