Microbiome Awareness Month – Microbes and Fitness

As the new year approaches, so too does the focus on getting fit.  

In one study, obese individuals appeared to have fewer different bacterial species in their guts than lean individuals.  The research identified a pretty big genetic component to visceral fat mass: heritability was responsible for 0.7 (or 70%) of the variance, so at least to some degree, it seems that you have a genetic predisposition to end up with a similar body shape to your parents, and this may be partly due to having a microbiome like Mom (or Dad).

As for increasing bacterial diversity, the study’s lead researcher, Dr. Michelle Beaumont, suggests that eating a broadly varied diet can help. Continue reading “Microbiome Awareness Month – Microbes and Fitness”

Microbiome Awareness Month – Poop: Flushing a Fortune

Did you know that your poop contains gold?

Scientists have detected microscopic amounts of precious metals in poop – including gold, silver, and platinum.  Apparently, the metals get into us through our interactions with a wide range of items, including hair products and detergents.  Among other mechanisms, microscopic fragments can probably be simply inhaled or end up in your food. Continue reading “Microbiome Awareness Month – Poop: Flushing a Fortune”

Microbiome Awareness Month – Copper: Your Microbe Resistant Ally

‘Tis the season of colds and flus and we are always searching for ways to stay healthy. Short of staying indoors all winter and wearing a hazmat suit when venturing out, you may want to consider the power of copper as it has amazing anti-pathogenic properties. Continue reading “Microbiome Awareness Month – Copper: Your Microbe Resistant Ally”

Microbiome Awareness Month – Health – Part Chance, Part Choice

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. Continue reading “Microbiome Awareness Month – Health – Part Chance, Part Choice”