According to some estimates, there are between one and two pounds of bacteria living in your gut right now! No need to worry, though— most of these bacteria are extremely beneficial, and in fact you wouldn’t be able to live without them!
That being said, not all bacteria are created equal. The bacterial ecosystem that inhabits your digestive system is made up of hundreds of distinct species; and each of these species plays its own special role in your body. Maintaining the right balance bacterial species is very important to your health. Unfortunately, due to a variety of factors such as diet and disease, this isn’t always possible.
Thankfully, a growing body of scientific research is being dedicated to understanding exactly how the microbiome works, and how doctors can fix potential problems. The ability to manipulate the makeup of the bacterial ecosystem brings about a number of exciting new possibilities in medicine. For example:
· Making sure bacteria work in conjunction with medication. Using prebiotics, doctors can boost the abundance of certain microbes within the digestive system in order to optimize the way the body interacts with certain medications. This can help reduce side effects, improve safety, and more.
· Adjusting the microbiome instead of using medication. Some health problems are caused by imbalance in the microbiome. Restoring healthy diversity to the body’s microbes can be an important component of addressing certain issues.
· Targeting harmful bacteria. Improving diversity in the microbiome can also help decrease the presence of potentially harmful bacteria.
· Targeting skin problems. The bacteria within the digestive system have an impact on many functions of the body beyond the breakdown of food; and studies suggest that cultivating a healthy microbiome can help alleviate problems such as acne and rosacea.
As microbiome research continues to explore new and exciting concepts, CosmosID will be there to assist doctors, scientists, and organizations identify and understand the microbes that affect our health. Visit our website for more information.