At Vivante, we’re the digestive health experts. We live for this stuff. Here’s a short summary of another article our gut health nerds found interesting…
The human gut harbors trillions of bacterial cells. It’s a number that’s difficult to wrap your head around, but consider this:
The number of bacteria in your GI tract is greater than all of the cells in the rest of your body combined!
The gut is the most heavily colonized organ, and its collection of bacteria, fungi and viruses is known as the microbe. Interestingly, no two human beings have the exact same collection.
Why so different?
It has long been thought that differences in our microbiomes are due to genetics, exposure to certain illnesses, or just our own natural gut flora. But new research suggests that gut microbiomes also differ among ethnicity. Researchers at Vanderbilt University discovered this intriguing fact while studying data on nearly 1,700 Americans of varying gender, age, weight and ethnic background.
Why it matters
Questions still surround the exact meaning of this discovery, but it holds promise in the growing field of personalized medicine. After all, it is far easier to change a person’s microbiome than their genes—the other major markers for disease. Also, many chronic diseases affect ethnic minorities more than others, with underlying causes of that difference unknown to researchers. The gut microbiome may hold the answers.
Changing the gut microbiome to beat illness might well be something we see in the very near future. With more research, we may be able to fine tune differences and doses of bacteria in an effort to reverse or prevent illnesses that have been historically difficult to treat, such as inflammatory bowel disease.
The field of gut microbiology is exploding with new research, new findings, and a new understanding of digestive diseases. This study highlights just how little we still know about the microbiome, but it also shows the future is promising. As each new finding comes along, we’re getting closer to re-shaping our approach and treatment of digestive disease.
Original article: Gut microbiome differs among ethnicities, researchers find