Our bodies are made up of trillions of microbes that live in a symbiotic relationship with us. And since December is traditionally a wonderful season for celebrating with friends and family over holiday parties and get-togethers, how might this season of togetherness affect your microbes?
Microbes are all over our homes (especially when we throw a successful party). One study found that the bacteria on doorknobs and floors in our homes closely match the microbes of the residents living in that home. So what happens when visitors come to stay or when we take a trip? Well, this same study found the bacterial mix in a house shifted when just one person was gone for a long weekend and perhaps our visitors are affecting our own household environment by contributing their microbes.
Researchers studied the microbial composition of six homes and the people and animals who lived in them. They found more similarities between people, their pets, and their homes than they did between people from different homes (Song et al., 2013).
The research also showed that different residences can have significantly different bacterial profiles. According to the study, although bacteria within homes can vary considerably from room to room, the most substantial similarities occur between the kitchen, front door knob, and bedroom floor. Likewise, the hands and feet of any home’s occupants have the greatest tendency to share the same bacteria. If you are interested in reading more on this – check out our past blog post Sharing Our Microbiome.
But don’t worry, during this season of togetherness, we share our food, our drinks, our happiness and even our microbes with those we hold close and dear to us. Let’s celebrate our microbes by keeping them healthy and happy this holiday season.
If you are interested in learning more about your health and your microbiome come check out our clinical microbiome test SmartGut™.