Everyone has a unique microbiome - the natural mix of bacteria found in the gut. The microbiome co-evolved with us and lives with us in a symbiotic relationship as human health is closely linked to this microbiome. (Hooper and Gordon, 2001)
The diversity and make up of our microbiome is influenced by numerous things which include: Diet, your genes, age, ethnicity, medication, lifestyle and environment.
It's interesting to think that your environment; where you live, work, play affects your microbiome. How going about in your day to day life shapes something you may not know exists inside of you.
Studies have shown that peoples from rural or hunter gatherer backgrounds have much richer and diverse microbiomes compared to their urban, western counterparts.
This is usually due to selective pressures that arrive from living in these environments. It's not too hard to see that urban uses of antibiotics, germ sanitisers, our growing separation from the outdoors and how we are increasingly reducing the natural balance of soil bacterial diversity through modern farming practices are causing out internal microbiomes to shift and change. (Tasnim 2017)
Where as the hunter gatherer is toiling on the same soil that his ancestor did 10,000 years ago.
That is not to say that hygiene practices are bad or that running around in the dirt is good - It is more to bring an awareness that never before in the history of the human kind have we changed our external environment so completely. This leads to the downstream effect of changing our internal environment as well.
New studies our coming out everyday linking these microbiome changes to modern day health conditions and the new pandemic of mental illnesses.
What do you make of all of this?
If you're interested in getting your microbiome analysed follow this link.
Nishat Tasnim, Nijiati Abulizi, Jason Pither, Miranda M. Hart, and Deanna L. Gibson (2017), Linking the Gut Microbial Ecosystem with the Environment: Does Gut Health Depend on Where We Live? ,https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5635058/
Hooper L. V., Gordon J. I. (2001). Commensal host-bacterial relationships in the gut. Science 292, 1115–1118. 10.1126/science.1058709 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]