Microbiome: A Powerful Ecosystem

It’s little known that there is actually a close relationship between the gut microbiome and the immune system. We’re going to explain what that relationship is – but first, you might be wondering ‘what exactly is the microbiome?’

What is your microbiome?

Your microbiome is an ecosystem of trillions of microbes on and inside your body, it is a powerhouse of influence when it comes to your health. The most important thing to know about your microbiome is the connection it has to numerous facets of your well-being.

This often-forgotten inner community helps with the daily operations of your body, communicating with distant organs and influencing many aspects of your health such as aiding in digestion, helping with the absorption and production of essential nutrients, and supporting our immune systems.

An easy way to picture our microbiome and how it works is to imagine a natural ecosystem, like a coral reef. Just like a reef, our body is a complex ecosystem, made up of parts that all work differently to come together in harmony, but within both us and reefs and their corals, there are even smaller, more complex microbial ecosystems, and that is our microbiome. Many ecosystems found in nature thrive when bustling with diversity, all to help keep the balance from the inside out, it is the same with our bodies. Diversity in many ecosystems is fundamental, if a reef only had a single species of coral it would not survive, similarly, although to a lesser degree, variation in our microbiome is one of its key factors, and can have influence on our health.

Credit: Great Barrier Reef Foundation

Katerina Katopis, Ocean Image Bank

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