The human microbiome, the collection of trillions of microbes living in and on the human body, is not random, and scientists believe that it plays a role in many basic life processes. As science continues to explore and better understand the identities and activities of the microbial species comprising the human microbiome, microbiologists hope to draw connections between microbiome composition, host genetics, and human health. This report from the American Academy of Microbiology addresses this growing area of research.
Did you know that the key to relieving the terrible pain of rheumatoid arthritis may lie in your stomach?
Inside every single human on the planetincluding youthere is a community of millions residing. Its called your microbiome, and its made up of millions of tiny bacteria that work to help keep your body functioning. In fact, these little creatures are so abundant that they outnumber your cells by about 10 to one.
Your microbiome is largely determined by genetics, but it can be altered through diet and other lifestyle and environmental factors. Therefore, it is in flux depending on how you live. When you eat poorly, smoke, get older, have a hormonal imbalance, or get infected, your microbiome changes. An imbalance is created, and this can cause a number of problems.
One of which may be rheumatoid arthritis.
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Explorations of how the microscopic communities that inhabit the human body might contribute to health or disease have moved from obscure to ubiquitous.Here are good reasons to think that bacteria influence us in a host of ways. But there are many other — possibly more important — influences, such as diet in the earlier example. Whenever a study links a microbiome to a disease, wise critics should ask whether other contributors to disease are considered, compared and reported.
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