What Is the Microbiome and How Does It Affect Our Health?


Today. We're going to explain a rather complex. And maybe it's unfamiliar term for many of you and that term is called the micro bio him and if you're a nutrition follower you more than likely have seen this term around whether it's blog articles you've read or podcast. Listen to but we want to take some time this morning to explain and explore and hopefully answer some questions around this concept of what exactly the microbiome is and how does it affect our health. If you'd like more information about the microbiome after this show you can go to our website which is weight and wellness dot com and read a blog article that I just wrote and we posted. I believe it was just last week on our website so the blog is titled. What is the microbiome? What does it do? And how does it keep us healthy? I know I've talked to a few clients of mine who have already read that and think it's just a really great resource so kudos on on putting that together and making it easier for our for followers in our listeners. To to kind of dive into this topic well thank. You shall be appreciate that. It took many hours actually more than I expected to get that blog together but it came together actually fairly nicely so in between that researching and the writing and trying to wrap my hat around this concept of the microbiome you know I I think I have a decent handle on what the microbiome is and just some of those impacts on our health but I also just want to preface this or throw this out there early in the show here that the study of our gut health in the microbiome. It's still a relatively new scientific field. Only the last fifteen to twenty years. We really had some firepower into the research behind this right. So there's things there's definitely a lot of things that we know but my guess is that there's a heck of a lot out there that we don't know exactly so we're going to hopefully break down some of those things that we do know for our listeners. This morning help translate that and give people some topics or some ideas on how we can make an impact on that microbiome right. Yeah so again. What is the microbiome And My name. I'll introduce myself now. I'm Leah Klein showed. I'm a registered and licensed Dietitian is see clients at our Mendota Heights location a few days a week. And you've heard her voice now but I have shelby Olsen who is in the studio with me as a co host. This morning shelby is a licensed nutritionist with a master's degree in applied clinical nutrition and she works with clients in our. Why's that a location? So we're kind of on the opposite side of the world for those of you who live in the twin cities Leah's than Mendota Heights. I'm in ways that we don't get to see each other very often but I thought it was really interesting. Li You and I both did our undergraduate degree in exercise science and then we went onto a master's program in clinical nutrition. And here we are getting to kind of nerd out over the microbial salute. So I hope that we can share some of our insights and some of OUR PASSION FOR HELPING PEOPLE UNDERSTAND. How Micro Ma how? The microbiome affects their health. And what you can do to keep your microbiome working for you not against you. Good morning everyone. Of course I'm excited to be in the studio here. I believe that understanding the microbiome helps us to see what's going on with our health but as humans. We are mostly made up of microbes. All of you a Germaphobe out here stick with US may surprise you that we as humans are mostly made up of microbes. In fact we have over one hundred trillion microbes both on the inside and outside of our bodies. And if you're thinking Micros what is that? Those are the tiny living things that are actually too small to see with the naked eye. But there on your skin there in your mouth or in that sinus cavity they're even in your intestinal tract really everywhere on the inside and the outside of your body and we know as we learn more about this research. We have more microbes in our body than we have human cells because there are are approximately ten microbes for every human cell that we have in our body. That's just those numbers one hundred trillion ten ten times more microbes for every human. Sell those numbers. You almost can't comprehend that. And the majority of those microbes live in our digestive system especially in the large intestinal tract or the colon. So I'm sure you've heard some of the names of these microbes like bacteria fungi protozoa and even viruses but in most cases when people hear bacteria or fungi or virus they automatically associate that with bad health or disease right. We've been hearing a lot about the corona virus clearly not something that We associate with good health but we are learning that not all bacteria not all microbes are all are bad for our health So that's really where we want to set that foundation for our discussion today. Absolutely yeah. There's some that they're more. They're more neutral but some that even work for us like you said earlier shelby. They work for us not necessarily against us. They actually help. Keep the bad guys in check right. So when we say the word microbiome. That's the good the bad. The ugly is a collection of bacteria viruses fungus. All of the above Yep absolutely so now that we know what microbes are so shall we did a nice job. Introducing that topic and some of the names of those microbes. Let me tell you now. So here's more scientific nerdy term for microbiome. We know the microbiome is all the genetic material that makes up all of these microbes. So all of those bacteria the fungi the protozoa viruses. Then those guys again. They live on our body. They live inside our body. This is all the genetic material that make up these microbes. So these microbes that are in the microbiome. They help us do a lot of things. So number. One first and foremost they help us digest our food. They help us break it. Down absorb everything like that. I think people have have started to buy into that idea a little bit more about you. Know breaking down our food or affecting our digestive system but tell us a little bit more because there are some other ideas about the microbiome right right so another huge concept about the microbiome and what they do for us is that it regulates our immune system. We know and I talked to my clients about this all the time about. What is it? Seventy eighty percent of our immune system is in that lining of our digestive tract especially our intestinal track. So we need all those. We need that like you said the good the bad the ugly all of that really lends itself to building up our immune system and keeping some of those bad guys at bay. So what? I'm hearing you say Leah. Is that if you have tummy troubles. You may actually be more likely to get a colder afloat definitely idea for you listeners. Yeah I'm going to share a little bit about that in my story little later on this show so I have some personal history with that but the microbiome also you know a protects us against the bad guys and it helps us produce some of our nutrients some of our vitamin specifically B twelve so might even be twelve Thiamine Riboflavin which are a couple other of our B. Vitamins and even vitamin K right. So it's very interesting that actually they we don't always necessarily get all of these nutrients from the food itself but from some of these microbes right and as I was researching for the show. I was thinking to myself. Well are the microbes on my skin. The same ones that are in my gut rate because we actually have lots of different microbes on our skin as that protective layer. It's not just a physical barrier. We actually have the bacteria the fungi. You know. Some of these other microbes on our skin so the short answer is no the different parts of our body all have different and distinct kind of communities or I sometimes call them. Families of microbes skin has their group or their family of microbes. The Vagina has a different family The intestinal tract has a different family of microbes. Each type of microbe likes to stay with their group or their family Much like humans do right. Yeah I've been don't travel too far out of that group typically right. Yeah and another interesting fact. Is that the microbiome from person to person differs so your microbiome. Shelby is not the same as mine. Ryan it's not the same as your husband's even the same my husband so lots of differentiation and individuality between people

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