A microbiome is a community of natural microorganisms or microbes in the human body.
It has been with us since we were born, then gradually deteriorates and loses balance with time and lifestyle. The followings are some interesting facts about microorganisms or microbiomes.
- There are more than 10,000 species of microorganisms living in the human body.
- More than 95% of microorganisms live in the intestines.
- There are 10 times more microorganisms than human genes.
- Each person’s microorganisms are different and vary on different body parts.
Current scientific discoveries show a connection between the imbalance of the intestinal microbiome and the occurrence of diseases, both physical and mental illnesses, as follows:
- Intestinal microbiome and inconspicuous diseases, such as dermatitis, psoriasis, constipation, diarrhea, overweight, diabetes, high blood pressure, and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)
- Intestinal microbiome and cancer, associated with thyroid cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer
- Intestinal microbiome and infectious diseases, as 70% of immune cells are in the intestinal microbiome.
- Intestinal microbiome and mental health, intestines could affect mood through the endocrine, nervous and immune systems, including brain diseases such as autism, memory loss, insomnia, depression
There is a saying that “good health starts with a balanced microbiome” because the intestinal microbiome is linked to metabolism and genes.
The intestinal microbiome can be divided into 3 categories.
- Core bacteria: Most of them have neutral properties. That is, if most of the microorganisms are good, they would benefit the body. However, if there are too many bad microorganisms, it could be harmful.
- Bad microorganisms or harmful bacteria: Cause illness
- Good microorganisms, commonly known as probiotics: Keeping you healthy
The intestinal microbiome consists of 50-70% of the core bacteria of all microorganisms. The core bacteria can cause both good and bad effects on health. The most important period to build a balanced microbiome foundation is between the ages of 0.3. It can be built by adequate rest, breastfeeding, and a healthy diet.
The gut microbiome testing can be used as a health indicator. It gives insights into the balance between the core, bad, and good microorganisms (i.e., probiotics) allowing you to assess your health using the following criteria:
- Balance: If the result shows your gut microbiome is balanced, you should maintain your eating behaviors and lifestyle.
- Slightly out of balance: If the result shows your gut microbiome is slightly out of balance, you should start changing your eating behaviors and lifestyle as it increases the risk of having health problems but doesn’t mean you have one yet.
- Moderately imbalanced: If the result shows your gut microbiome is moderately imbalanced, it means you may already have health problems and that you need to change your eating behaviors and lifestyle.
- Highly imbalanced: If the result shows your gut microbiome is highly imbalanced, it is highly likely that your body already experiencing health problems. You must change your eating behaviors and lifestyle immediately.
The different levels of gut microbiome balance could tell you the risk of getting having health problems as follows:
Low risk indicates that the abundant and diverse gut microbiomes in your body are within the same range as the average healthy population. The risk of getting sick is relatively low and you should maintain your eating behaviors and lifestyle.
Moderate risk indicates the abundant and diverse gut microbiomes in your body when compared to the average population have lower good microorganisms and higher bad microorganisms. The risk of getting sick is higher than the average. You should start changing your eating behaviors and lifestyle while doing gut microbiome testing regularly.
High risk indicates that the abundant and diverse gut microbiomes in your body have high bad microorganisms, meaning a higher risk of getting sick compared to the average population.
Once we find out the balance of our gut microorganisms or microbiome, we can adjust our lifestyle accordingly. This includes adjusting eating and resting behaviors to a healthier pattern for a healthier you.
At present, the microbiome is tested using the qPCR test, which gives correct and accurate results. Taking the test is as simple as collecting stools, the specimen, for the test. We recommend anyone who is interested to find a place for testing ^^