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Aug 22, 2018 1402

Microbiome

What is the microbiome?

The microbiome is the unique collection of the trillions of microorganisms—bacteria, fungi and viruses—that live in and on your body.

Why is it important to protect the microbiome?

Your microbiome helps you absorb and digest food, balances your blood sugar, trains your immune system, regulates your mood, and more. In fact, the health of your microbiome is the key to your overall wellness. It can even affect your skin health and vitality. In short, most of our physiological functions are directly or indirectly affected by the health of our microbiome.

Is there a microbiome in my home?

Yes! Each home has its own unique microbial ecosystem made up of the bacteria shed by everyone who lives there. Antibacterial cleaners and disinfectants get rid of both the bad and the good bacteria in the home environment and alter the microbiome. When the home’s microbiome isn’t healthy and balanced, your own microbiome can suffer as a result. This is where natural cleaners come in!

How do products that are gentle on “good bacteria” still get my home clean?

Contrary to popular belief, regular household messes don’t actually call for strong chemical and antibacterial cleaners. Natural cleaners like Castille soap, vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils will do the trick. Probiotic cleaners will also keep the bad bugs away without getting rid of the good ones. 

Pest Solutions

Studies show that exposure to pesticides changes the microbiome of the body and the home. Even spraying pesticides outside of the house can be troublesome when it’s tracked back inside by shoes and pets.

Although it may be effective in ridding our homes of unwanted house guests, using chemical pesticides upsets the natural balance of bacteria in our space and can lead to serious issues like asthma, allergies and even skin conditions like eczema.

Avoid disrupting this important balance and choose pest solutions that get rid of the bad guys while keeping the good guys around—products that utilize essential oils and probiotics to help keep the good microbes around. 

Personal Care

You don’t have to rely on toxic products to keep your body clean. Conventional deodorants work by indiscriminately killing off bacteria in your armpits, opening up space for new (smellier) bacterias to thrive.

New deodorants infused with prebiotics, control odor by feeding the body’s good bacteria which in turn, helps fight the bad bacteria that is causing the stink.

Not only does prolonged use of antibacterial soaps and products cause resistance to bacteria, but research actually shows that plain old soap and water is just as effective against the bad bugs as antibacterial soaps and it won’t alter your skin’s microbiome.

Basic Cleaning

Our homes are made up of hugely diverse populations of bacteria—both good and bad—that have a direct impact on our bodily microbiome and health.

Most standard cleaners you’ll find on grocery store shelves aren’t selective—they kill everything—both the bad and the good bacteria—which is actually more harmful than helpful to our overall health in the long run.

Cleaning your home with harsh chemicals can disrupt your microbiome’s natural balance and can lead to issues like asthma, allergies, skin conditions and more. 

Gut Health

Nearly 80% of your immune system lives in your gut, which is also where the largest part of your body’s microbes live and work. It’s here in your gut where the good guys—known as probiotics—crowd out the bad bacteria, make vitamins and antibodies for the immune system to use, and seal the gut barrier so toxins can’t get into the bloodstream and cause inflammation throughout the body.

Without these happy helping probiotics, our immune system can become wildly imbalanced—not to mention our mood. Our gut bacteria also help to make things like neurotransmitters (like the all important serotonin) that play a role in managing our stress levels and regulating temperament.

Quick Facts About the Microbiome

  • The microbiome is the genetic material from all of the microbes—including bacteria, fungi, viruses—that live on and inside the human body.
  • Our microbiome also appears to train and regulate the immune system, helping it to decide between which bugs are friends and which bugs are foe, and not go crazy attacking possible allergens.
  • Throughout the day, your body sheds bacteria from your skin into your environment. As a result, your home has its own personal microbiome, made up by the bacteria shed by everyone living there—your family and home’s specific microbiome.
  • There’s a microbiome on your skin, in your gut, in your home—just about everywhere. Everyone’s own personal microbiome is distinct and is always changing depending on the environment and lifestyle factors. 

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