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Bowel Flora

Important for general health and a strong immune system

Bowel Flora and Health

The importance of understanding our metagenome.

Bowel microorganisms

Outnumber human cells by 10 to 1

“The knowledge of the hundreds of genomes that we host and their interaction with our own genome shall provide a much more complete understanding of the individual nutritional needs and may be an obligated part of future personalized healthcare approaches.”

The organisms in our bowel, outnumber our human cells by a massive 10 to 1. So what does this mean? It means that we are more organism than human. Add all the organisms on our skin, in our noses in our upper respiratory tract including sinuses and in our mouth and we have microbial DNA outnumbering our human DNA by over 100x at least.

Intestinal bacteria have an essential role in priming the immune system. Mice born in a sterile environment suffer severe immune dysfunction which returns to normal once normal bowel bacteria are established.

We thus need to understand our 'metagenome' to understand how our health is affected by these vast colonies of organisms. The metagenome is all the DNA [human and microbial] that make up a particular individual.

This NutriDesk tutorial outlines some important facts about our bowel flora and describes the metagenome concept.

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