Studies suggest that the exposure — or lack thereof — to microorganisms in our early years could contribute to predispositions toward allergies and asthma, among other conditions. Certain babies are more at risk for these conditions when they possess low levels of common bacteria such as Bifidobacterium, Akkermansia, and Faecalibacterium and a relatively increased presence of fungi (Candida and Rhodotorula). At just three years of age, our microbiome stabilizes and roughly resembles the profile of an adult.
Lifestyle can also impact our microbiome and wellbeing. For example, a Western diet — typically consisting of low fiber, high sugar, animal-based protein, and processed food — tends to generate a different gut microbiome than a non-Western diet. A traditional Western diet can be a risk factor for some chronic diseases, including irritable bowel disease (IBD).
So, while some of your microbiome health is determined by environment and exposure, there is also much we can do to positively impact our health, especially in terms of diet. Take time this month to do what you can to make your microbiome healthier and happier.
For more information on factors influencing microbiome health, read our classic blog post.
If you are interested in learning more about your health and your microbiome come check out our clinical microbiome test SmartGut™.