Human Optimization: Your Microbiome - Part 1

Written by Anil Bajnath, MD
Posted November 5, 2020

Dear Reader,

Your life story is one of your most valuable assets.

It contains everything you need to navigate your health and wellness. When you take the time to look at it, your story also connects all of the dots that make you, YOU! You are made of not only the genetic blueprint you were born with, but your environment, your experiences, your choices, and yes, the state of a little-known, hidden organ:  your microbiome. Let’s find out how!

What is my microbiome?

Do you know that your body is home to around 100 trillion microscopic organisms living and working in delicate balance? To put that number in perspective, the height of a stack of one hundred trillion (100,000,000,000,000) one dollar bills measures 6,786,616 miles – this would reach from the earth to the moon and back 14 times!!  These microorganisms even outnumber your human cells 10 to 1! In fact, you have more foreign microbes within your body than human cells, and when you consider DNA, only 1% of your body’s gene expression is performed by human genes. The rest is by your unique microbiome!

These diverse, complex communities of microbes live on your skin, in your mouth, in your intestines and elsewhere. It is estimated that there are over 10,000 different types of microorganisms living within our bodies, and each of us carry a distinctive manifestation of microbial diversity, just like a fingerprint!

Your unique microbiome started as soon as you were born and is continually influenced by your diet, your experiences, what you’ve been exposed to and where you live. You depend on these complex social networks of microorganisms to help break down nutrients and produce important vitamins and enzymes in your digestive system, which in turn strengthens your immune system. Are you starting to see how important your microbiome is to your life story?

What happens if my microbiome is out of balance?

When this healthy community of microorganisms gets tipped out of balance, certain types of bacteria can grow out of control, causing illness. It’s easy then to see how the microbiome is being linked to so many areas of health, including obesity, autoimmune disease, diabetes, anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart disease, colorectal cancer and more! It’s also the reason why dieting might not have worked for you in the past. Scientists have even identified that your microbiome influences your mood and behavior via bacteria and other microbes signaling pathways throughout your body, which influences your brain chemistry.

There is a plethora of research out there, so let’s look at some quick details to give you an idea of how this imbalance can show up in your story:

complications

Next Tuesday, we will take a deep dive into these sure signs of imbalances... and what they can mean for you.

But before we jump into Part 2 next week...

Here's something for you to read over the weekend.

To your longevity,

Anil Bajnath MD
CEO/Founder, Institute for Human Optimization
Chief Medical Advisor, Longevity Insider HQ

                                                                                                                *Today's content is provided by the Institute for Human Optimization (www.ifho.org).