New Study Looks at Ancestor’s Gut Microbiome to Improve Health

New Study Looks at Ancestor’s Gut Microbiome to Improve Health

A fascinating new study shows our gut microbiome has been experiencing a potentially catastrophic loss of diversity over the last millennium, possibly giving rise to various common chronic diseases. Is it too late to avoid irreversible damage to our health?

While most of us don’t ever think about it, we coexist with over 100 trillion microbes, the majority of which live in our gut and are essential to our health. Though the existence of the microbiome was first recognized in the 1990s, the full understanding of its importance and mechanisms is still in its infancy.

Dr. Alex Kostic is a microbiologist at Harvard Medical School, who has been studying the microbiome as a mediator of disease. “You know, this concept of the microbiome as a community of organisms living on humans and other mammals, and playing an integral role in our physiology really is a new concept, something that people have only been studying for the past 10-15 years or so,” Kostic said. “But what we’ve come to realize, as we study the ecology of all of the microorganisms living on humans, especially in the gut, is that it’s incredibly diverse, and pathogens are really the exception to the rule. Everything else has a lot of other roles that we’re still trying to tap into, but we can be fairly confident that they’re not driving disease in people.”

In their quest for a clear picture of the microbiome, researchers have recently turned to studying its history.

“What’s really gotten me interested in the history of the human microbiome, is this concept of being able to identify, if it exists, a ‘universal ancestral human microbiome,’ something that was common to all of us before the process of industrialization,” Kostic said.

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One Expert Shares His Favorite Herbs and Plants to Heal

One Expert Shares His Favorite Herbs and Plants to Heal

If you knew you could easily and effectively enhance your mood, energy levels, and brainpower, what would it take for you to do it?

BulletProof founder and New York Times best-selling author, Dave Asprey knows what’s possible when it comes to making changes to the human body through what he calls ‘biohacking’. This knowledge of ourselves enables us to transform our lives, live longer, slow-down the aging process, increase brain power, and enhance our overall performance.

So how do we do it? The first place to start is by cleaning up your diet, getting plenty of sleep, and managing your stress. We can easily boost the nutrient value of our foods, facilitate a healthy rest, and regulate our cortisol levels – the stress hormone – by using specific plant compounds as medicine. These can come from fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices, or even some of your guilty vices. A cup of coffee, for instance, can enhance your performance and contribute to all the feel-good benefits that cascade as a result.

Plant medicine has been around for centuries and is still widely used in the East. Some of these plants we know and love, like turmeric and mushrooms, are incredibly medicinal when used correctly. Others are newer discoveries, and exploring the science behind their properties and benefits, like polyphenols and adaptogens, is a realm that we have longed to delve deeper into.

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