Why Am I Sick and What is the Microbiome?

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When scientists cracked the genetic code in the year 2000, they thought that it would explain human health and disease and help us conquer them – especially cancer! Our genes may predispose us to disease, but 80% of our health is determined by our diet and lifestyle. And the most recent scientific discoveries reveal that the gut microbiome plays a critical role in the expression of our genes! In fact, the entirety of human health starts in our gut!

So, what is the microbiome?

The microbiome is your unique collection of trillions of microbes, living on your body and in your body cavities – most of them in your gut. Your microbiome is 99% different from that of your family members, even though genetically you may be 99% the same.

Here’s a fun fact. Have you ever wondered why people kiss? There is speculation among scientists that kissing may be an unconscious way of sampling a potential lover’s microbiome for compatibility. They do know, however, that every time we kiss, we exchange eighty million microbes with our partner!

Our microbes help with:

  • Digestion.
  • A strong immune system – 70% of the immune system resides in the gut!
  • Regulating our metabolism and weight.
  • Our response to insulin.
  • Reducing inflammation.
  • Hormone balance.
  • Mood. Did you know that 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut; only 10% in the brain?
  • Cognition – got “brain fog”? Could be your microbiome!
  • The expression of our genes. They determine whether or not a gene for a disease that “runs in our family” gets activated or not.

Joan Gitzel is a Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant.