Throughout the body, there are trillions of tiny microorganisms that perform essential jobs and keep our bodies fighting fit. Despite what the word bacteria might conjure up, they’re extremely important for our overall health and wellbeing!
There are collections of bacteria in almost every part of the body, but by far the largest collection is in the gut. It’s estimated that there are up to 1000 different kinds in the gut alone. To give you an idea of the scale, it’s believed that the raw genetic data held in the gut is up to 150 times the amount held in the rest of the human body!
We refer to the collective bacteria in the gut as the ‘gut microbiome’, and it has several key roles to play in overall health and wellness. Your gut bacteria and the composition of the microbiome can affect how different foods are digested. Some kinds are also able to produce chemicals, vitamins or minerals. Not only that, the bacteria in your gut can communicate with the brain, as well as the immune system! Notably, gut health science is still a relatively new field of study in the full timeline of health, and research is continuing to uncover the full extent of the gut microbiome’s influence on the human body. Studies indicate important connections, but the precise mechanisms at play are yet to be fully revealed.
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