Microbiomes

We humans are mostly microbes, over 100 trillion of them. Microbes outnumber our human cells ten to one. The majority live in our gut, particularly in the large intestine The microbiome is the genetic material of all the microbes - bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses - that live on and inside the human body. The number of genes in all the microbes in one person’s microbiome is 200 times the number of genes in the human genome. The microbiome may weigh as much as five pounds. The bacteria in the microbiome help digest our food, regulate our immune system, protect against other bacteria that cause disease, and produce vitamins including B vitamins B12, thiamine and riboflavin, and Vitamin K, which is needed for blood coagulation. The microbiome was not generally recognized to exist until the late 1990s.

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