You have had a friend living within you. Since birth. It is a tribute to their nature that you might not have noticed, but they are there. Upwards of 10 trillion of them and more likely 100 trillion of them that live within you. I kid you not. They are known as the microbiome. They live in your gut and exist symbiotically with you. When ever you eat, you are feeding them as well. Your genetic code might have easily originated in or co-mingled with them. Do not be surprised by this as just one study was able to catalogue over 3.3 million non-redundant genes in microbiome as opposed to the 22,000 known to exist in man.

While you may be almost similar genetically to your neighbour, spouse or relative, you are remarkably dissimilar to almost any other human when you compare the microbiome. Think of it as each person owning a unique signature bouquet of 100 trillion microbiomes within them. This diversity further undergoes change with the seasons and what you eat. Not surprisingly microbiome has proved to be hard to study, catalogue or comprehend. So why do they exist anyway?

Digestion and metabolism are increasingly being linked to the microbiome as they seem to be able to affect the metabolism of amino acids and fatty acids or protein and fats. It is no wonder that microbiome is also being linked to obesity and fat deposits being accumulated in your body. Evidence was found in a research study that showed that the nature of microbiome evolved as a person went from being overweight to being lean. Obesity can also be affected by the fresh microbiome you ingest via your food an important reason to eat kimchi or pickle for example. One of the biggest enemies of the microbiome is believed to be the multitude of medication that we ingest as medication ends up destroying the bacteria. Weren’t you taking the medication to heal yourself?


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.