Microbiome 101

Micro-what?

So as you (obviously) know, Gallinée is the first brand to take care of your microbiome. But one might rightly wonder what exactly do we mean by that? 
Our resident microbiome specialist and co-founder Marie put together a Q&A to try to shed some light on the matter.

Disclaimer: be aware that there’s no turning back once you’ve read the rest of this post. Bacteria will come into your life and be your friends forever. Prepare to be mindblown.

So what’s the microbiome?

The human microbiome is defined as the entirety of micro-organism living on and in the human body. It can also be called Microbiota or Microflora. I have recently heard it called “your personal Amazonian rain forest”, that is as close as it gets of the truth.

Sounds like a pretty big deal, so why did I never heard about this before?

The concept and the name are quite new.
It really started to be talked about in 2012, when the Human Microbiome Project was completed. The aim of this program was to get a map of all bacteria living on humans helped by the new technique of genetic sequencing.
The results were amazing: it was literally a new world just under our nose (and on your nose, and in your nose too…)

Why is it important?

To put it simply, it redefines what it means to be human.

90% of cells in your body are bacterial cells (they even made a book about it!) and 99% of the DNA is bacterial.

The communication and interaction between the “you” you and the “bacterial you” is extremely intense. It turns out that your microbiome helps you absorbs food, trains your immune system, regulates your mood, and it seems like we discover new roles every day.
Think about it as a new multi-function organ, or even an extension of your self.

So, wait does it mean that I have bacteria on my body?

Yes, you sure do. Bacteria Here, There and Eve-ry-whe-re.

Generally we talk about 5 microbiomes:

  • The gut microbiome: the hot one at the moment, especially for all the people selling yogurt and food supplements. A lot of your neurons are located next to it and communicate constantly, creating an information highway.
  • Then there’s our favourite, the skin microbiome: it keeps you protected against aggressions, keeps your immune system in check and reduces inflammation.
  • The other microbiomes are in : the vagina, the mouth, the nose and the respiratory system. All still quite uncharted.
  • Another one is the belly button microbiome, and it’s totally amazing - they even found extremophiles bacteria in there (that’s the ones that usually live in volcanoes or glaciers).
  • And even zones we thought totally sterile like the lungs and the placenta might have their little bacterial ecosystem.

This new research opens a world of possibilities and the future of the microbiome research looks bright and very sunny.

All right, that’s it for today, I wanted to tell you more about the Amazonian rain forest but Anais says I talk too much so come back on Friday!

Until then, stay warm (yep, we love to talk about the weather, we are getting too English).

Cheers,

Marie 

 

Anna Needham