The Invisible Universe of the Human Microbiome

Every day science learns more and more about the critical role that beneficial bacteria play in our health. We were thrilled to see this article from NPR that supports everything we have been saying for years now about beneficial bacteria, fiber, and gut health.  Read the whole thing, but here are a few highlights:

  • This amazing video produced by NPR that summarizes the role of probiotics in human health. The best 5 minutes you’ll spend this week.
  • There's another of type of extinction that may be occurring, right now, inside our bodies. Yes, I'm talking about the microbiome — that collection of bacteria in our intestines that influences everything from metabolism and the immune system to moods and behavior.
  • The trend was clear: The further away people's diets are from a Western diet, the greater the variety of microbes they tend to have in their guts. And that includes bacteria that are missing from American guts. In a way, the Western diet — low in fiber and high in refined sugars — is basically wiping out species of bacteria from our intestines.

  • But Sonnenburg is placing his bets on another dietary component: fiber — which is avital food for the microbiome. Over the past few years, we've come to realize how important this gut community is for our health, and yet we're eating a low-fiber diet that totally neglects them," he says. "So we're essentially starving our microbial selves.

The conclusion is clear: Take the right probiotic that supplements the beneficial gut bacteria missing from the western diet, and make sure you eat enough dietary fiber from sources like fruits, nuts, beans, and other fiber-rich foods. However, our modern western diet is as deficient in fiber as it is in probiotics, so supplementing with a great prebiotic fiber supplement might be the right thing for you.

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