Not all bugs are bad. We are just beginning to understand how the microbes that symbiotically coexist within our Small Intestines contribute to our well being. The Human Genome Project revealed the humans have approximately 20,000 working genes. It now appears the the gut microbiome contains 5-8 million genes, contributing 36% of the small molecules found in human blood. At present 60% of the molecules identified have unknown functions. As scientists delve deeper into the mysteries of the gut microbiome, links between microbiome imbalances and diseases as diverse as cancer, diabetes, obesity, inflammatory bowel disorder, psoriasis, asthma and possibly even autism have been established. There is no aspect of our musculoskeletal, visceral or neurological systems that are isolated from the influence of the gut microbiome. It is highly likely that variance in the effectiveness of pharmaceutical products is partially explained by the differences between individuals in their gut microbiome , dimming the hope that all disease may ultimately be conquered by taking a pill.
The gut micro-biome is a rapidly evolving area of study, as illustrated in this graphic:
(Click to enlarge the image to view the detail)
Prebiotics and probiotics can be extremely beneficial to guide the gut microbiome into an optimal communal relationship. People suffering from allergies, inflammation, weight issues, cognitive fogginess, fatigue or other diffuse symptoms that don’t have a recognizable origin can simple take on learning to cultivate their gut flora by adding prebiotics to their diet and supplementing with probiotics, and notice if and how symptoms change. There are many over the counter products to experiment with. For those people experiencing a more severe symptom set, working with a nutritionist experienced in the gut microbiome is highly recommended.