This week in my Human Nutrition course at university, we are tackling the digestive system’s mechanisms in digestion, absorption and metabolism; as well as the gastrointestinal microbiome, prebiotics and probiotics.
One of the course’s recommended content is this video, the Invisible Universe of the Human Microbiome. A very charming animation explaining our gut microbiome.
- That we are more microbe than human!
- How we first acquired our gut health from our mothers as we pass through the birthing canal. Followed by bacteria combined with breast milk, and other microbes we encounter early on.
- These microbes become very personal, like a finger print or blood type, and they tend to resemble our parents and siblings and may stay with us for much of our lives!
- The role of these microbes are to educate our immune system: teaching them the difference between things they should fight off, bad bugs that make us sick, and things that are not a threat – like good microbes.
- Microbes become our first line of defense, fighting off germs that try to invade our bodies, and overall, protecting our health!
- These microbes live in different ecosystems across our body:
- Wet places like our mouths, nose and armpits
- Oily places like our scalps and backs
- Dry places like our forearms
- The biggest, complex, diverse and most important microbial habitat is our gut! It fights off infections, rev up and dampen down our immune system, signal cells, regulate our metabolisms, how much energy we burn and how much fat we store.
- Some scientists believe that diseases like colon cancer, diabetes and obesity, are caused by the lack, or loss, of good gut microbes.
There is a long list of intersting and thought-provoking information in this sweet animation that you must see for yourself to deepen your understanding of your own body.
And then, if you are interested ways to increase your prebiotic and probiotic intake to improve your microbiome, check out this Functional Food Fact Sheet about Probiotics and Prebiotics (2018) prepared by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) to improve your gut health today!
Everyone can achieve health and wellness through informed choices supported by science and research.