Shifting Climates, Foods, and Diseases: The Human Microbiome through Evolution
Human evolution has been punctuated by climate anomalies, structuring environments, deadly infections, and altering landscapes. How well humans adapted to these new circumstances had direct effects on fitness and survival. Research is showing how the gut microbiome could have contributed to human evolutionary success through contributions to host nutritional buffering and infectious disease resistance.
In other words: your microbiome responds to your environment and directly affects how your body functions.
Changes in human genetics, diet, disease exposure, and social environments have altered our microbial community. Emerging research points to the microbiome as a key player in host responses to environmental change. Therefore, the reciprocal interactions between humans and their microbes are likely to have shaped human patterns of local adaptation throughout our shared evolutionary history.
Recent alterations in human lifestyle, however, are altering human microbiomes in unprecedented ways. The consequences of interrupted host–microbe relationships for human adaptive potential in the future are unknown.
Ensuring a healthy microbiome involves more than taking a probiotic supplement. Our digestive tract can have up to 1000 different strains of microbes, so taking a supplement that contains (at best) 15 strains, will not achieve balance. In fact, some probiotic supplements only contain two strains which can significantly imbalance this delicate environment.
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Source: BioEssays 16 Sept 2019 https://doi.org/10.1002/bies.201900034