What Leading Research Is Saying About The Microbiome

September 20, 2018

What Leading Research Is Saying About The Microbiome

As you’ve likely been hearing more and more about the bodies’ microbiome lately, you may be wondering what scientific research has been showing. Far from a fad, the microbiome is becoming a huge opportunity for growth in both wellness and medicine, with a large body of ongoing studies revolving around it. Some may be surprised to find out how much the microbes in the gut affect our overall health!

Here’s just a few findings from recent microbiome research to help keep you educated on an exciting area of study.

The Microbiome Can Revolutionize Precision Medicine

We’ve known for a while that the microbiome can help maintain our health. For instance, it provides us natural resistance to pathogens. However, science is only now tapping into these abilities. As medicine advances, research believe that treatments will be able to be made for people based on their own microbiomes—taking advantage of what the person already has, and adding what is necessary. One of the areas that could take advantage of this is gut health, but treatments could be far more ranging than that.1

Long-Reaching Effects Based on Breast-to-Cow-Milk in Infant Microbiome

It’s widely acknowledged that diet affects the composition of the gut microbiome, but this study showed that the transition from breast to cow milk in infants specifically changed the types of bacteria present in the gut. This study shows a significant change in the infant’s microbiome took place within only five days and was permanent.2  The early years of one’s life are important for a number of reasons, including the proper development of a microbiome, and this research helps paint a clearer picture of how exactly that happens.

Effects of Environmental Chemicals on the Gut Microbiome

In our day-to-day lives, we live with chemicals all around us, but how do they affect our microbiomes? A recent study set out to discover how. Exposing rats to three common chemicals found in personal care products—diethyl phthalate, methylparaben and triclosan. Looking at the composition of their gut microbiomes in both adolescence and adulthood, researchers found a major effect. The major change was only seen in adolescent rats. By the time rats reached adulthood, the differences had diminished, despite the fact that the researchers continued to expose them to the same amount of chemicals. Though more research is needed to further understand the results of this study, it is another piece of data showing how many factors can possibly affect the gut microbiome.3

Gut Microbiome and Bone Health

It turns out, in addition to all the other benefits a healthy microbiome gives us, it can also help promote optimal bone health. In addition to the gut-brain axis, science is looking into the gut-brain-bone axis and how it can affect us. It may support healthy bone physiology through the positive influence of hormones that are created in the brain. The possible wide-ranging impacts of the microbiome continually amaze us.4

Development of the Preterm Infant Gut Microbiome

Another study looked at how the gut microbiome of infants develops, this time focusing on very low weight births. What they found was that not only is the early infant gut microbiome important for regulating the development of various bodily functions, but its development in early life can have repercussions into childhood and adulthood. This study also concluded that feeding the child with a mother’s milk is important in the creation of a gut microbiome. They also found that babies born with a very low weight are likely to develop an imbalance in their microbiome.5

Recent Findings are Clear: Our Microbiome is Important to our Health

It’s amazing how many aspects of our health the microbiome touches. With how much research has already been done, we will undoubtedly hear more in the near future about other ways a good microbiome can help maintain a healthy, vibrant life. Supplementation can be a great way to proactively improve the gut microbiome. There are quite a few things that may help do this, including Probiotics, Omega-3s and Black Rice Vinegar 

Want helpful health news delivered to your inbox? Sign up

1 Petrosino, J. F. (2018) The microbiome in precision medicine: the way forward. Genome Medicine, 10(12). doi:10.1186/s13073-018-0525-6

2 Davis, M. Y., Zhang, H., Brannan, L. E., Carman, R. J., & Boone, J. H. (2016) Rapid change of fecal microbiome and disappearance of Clostridium difficile in a colonized infant after transition from breast milk to cow milk. Microbiome, 4(53). doi: 10.1186/s40168-016-0198-6

3 Hu, J., Raikhel, V., Gopalakrishnan, K., Fernandez-Hernandez, H., Lambertini, L., Manservisi, F., Falcioni, L., Bua, L., Belpoggi, F., Teitelbaum, S. L., and Chen, J. (2016) Effect of postnatal low-dose exposure to environmental chemicals on the gut microbiome in a rodent model. Microbiome, 4(26). doi: 10.1186/s40168-016-0173-2

4 Quach, D., & Britton, R. A. (2017) Gut Microbiota and Bone Health. Understanding the Gut-Bone Signaling Axis: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 1033, 47-58. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-66653-2_4

5 Groer, M. W., Luciano, A. A., Dishaw, L. J., Ashmeade, T. L., Miller, E., & Gilbert, J. A. (2014) Development of the preterm infant gut microbiome: a research priority. Microbiome, 2(38). doi: 10.1186/2049-2618-2-38

6 Baxter, N. T., Zackular, J. P., Chen, G. Y., & Schloss, P. D. (2014) Structure of the gut microbiome following colonization with human feces determines colonic tumor burden. Microbiome, 2(20). doi: 10.1186/2049-2618-2-20

7 Giloteaux, L., Goodrich, J. K., Walters, W. A., Levine, S. M., Ley, R. E., & Hanson, M. R. (2016) Reduced diversity and altered composition of the gut microbiome in individuals with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. Microbiome, 4(30). doi: 10.1186/s40168-016-0171-4

Related Posts

  • Microbiome Basics: What Is It & Why Should I Care?
    Microbiome Basics: What Is It & Why Should I Care?

    For a long time, bacteria was the enemy. We were told to disinfect everything and take antibiotics whenever we got a little bit sick, because killing the bacteria was the only way to make us safe. However, as science has progressed, we’ve lea...

  • 5 Surprising Benefits of a Healthy Microbiome
    5 Surprising Benefits of a Healthy Microbiome

    It’s likely that you’ve recently heard about the “microbiome” for the first time and you may have some questions about what it is and why it’s such a big deal. Research is uncovering that our microbiomes are extremely important to not just ou...

  • How to Get Probiotics If You’re Lactose Intolerant
    How to Get Probiotics If You’re Lactose Intolerant

    If you struggle with lactose intolerance, know that you’re not alone. Experts say that as much as 65 percent of the human population loses some of their ability to digest lactose following infancy.1 In some cases, the impact that this has on ...

  • Berberine: The Microbiome's Super Booster
    Berberine: The Microbiome's Super Booster

    Written by Dr. Michael Murray Berberine is finally getting its day in the sun. It’s the superstar in botanical medicine research right now and may someday even supplant curcumin as the most important commercially available plant-based dietary...




Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Articles on Natural Digestive Health and Wellness

All Your Enzyme Questions Answered
All Your Enzyme Questions Answered

November 13, 2018

We’re passionate about how powerful and important natural digestive enzymes are, so we’ve assembled a helpful guide to give you simple, straightforward explanations to your enzyme questions.

Continue Reading

5 Ways to Encourage Healthy Habits in Kids
5 Ways to Encourage Healthy Habits in Kids

October 08, 2018

It can be challenging keeping kids healthy, especially with the demands of school, work and other life activities. Get a leg up on the season this year by following one of these five suggestions for healthier habits and healthier kids.

Continue Reading

Let's Talk About Poop... No, Really.
Let's Talk About Poop... No, Really.

October 03, 2018

If there’s one thing you’d rather not talk to your family, your best friend or even your doctor about… it’s poop. Yet, our poop can tell us so much about our health that it’s something we should be aware of.

Continue Reading