The Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Mark Hyman is one of a growing number of doctors who believe the path to wellness lies in our intestines in something called "gut flora," or "microbiome." More specifically, it's the relationship between the good and bad bacteria there that determine whether we'll be healthy or sick.
"Many of the things floating around in your blood are informational molecules produced by bacteria that control your biology," Dr. Hyman told CBN News. "So that's how the gut microbiome can be linked to everything in terms of what's going on with us and chronic disease from cancer to heart disease to diabetes to dementia to autism to autoimmune disease to depression and much more."
As the Gut Goes, So Goes the Rest of the Body
Scientists at America's top medical institutions are churning out mounds of data on the microbiome. The bottom line: As the gut goes, so goes the rest of the body.
At the Mayo Clinic's microbiome lab in Rochester, Minnesota, scientists examine human feces to find out exactly which bacteria are in a patient's gut, how much of it is there, and which bacteria may be missing.
Microbiome researcher Dr. Purna Kashyap and his team found more than a thousand different species in the intestines of the healthiest people. It's an important discovery, because 80 percent of our immune system resides there.
"All of our guts have different kinds of bacteria and the more different kinds of bacteria we have, the more diverse. And the less different kinds of bacteria we have the less diverse," Dr. Kashyap explained. "And so if you can imagine, the more different kinds of bacteria—that's generally considered to be good for us because they will be able to tackle intruders much better than if you have less different kinds of bacteria."
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