The sheer size of the gut microbiota is staggering. There are 10 times the number of bacterial cells living in the human body as there are human cells, and 100 times the number of bacterial genes to sequence in a person’s microbiome than genes in a human genome. Most of those microbes live in the gut. In fact, 70 percent of the immune system is found in the gut. In addition to the immune system, it is understood that gut bacteria help break down plant materials during digestion and create short chain fatty acids that are crucial to the body’s metabolism. Gut bacteria help to prevent inflammation, help the body rid itself of harmful toxins, help metabolize xenobiotics and even help create some essential vitamins.
Many factors that influence gut microbes are outside of the control of an individual. People have little choice over whether they were born by cesarean, whether they badly need antibiotics, or which foods they ate as a toddler. However, many other factors that have been shown to cause dysbiosis can be altered by an individual.
To learn more about the gut microbiota and how to restore balance and harmony to the gut microbiome, listen the 2014 Integrative Healthcare Symposium Presentation Recording: Restoring Balance and Harmony to the Gut Microbiome or download the associated Whitepaper