By Angela Betsaida B. Laguipo, BSNOct 11 2019
Over the past years, the human microbiome has gained immense popularity due to its role in shaping one’s health. It is essential for human development, nutrition, and immunity. That’s why many studies have focused on how to improve one’s health by targeting or enhancing the microbiome.
Normal flora of small intestine - Illustration Credit: Kateryna Kon / Shutterstock
The bacteria living in humans are not invaders but beneficial colonizers. They provide a wide array of health benefits. Any alteration in the balance of these species has been tied to autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and muscular dystrophy.
Many studies have dealt with the microbiome, but one part of its study that makes it hard for observation is how the flora changes over time in response to different stimuli. Currently, most scientists study the microbiome by extracting the bacteria from fecal samples. From there, they sequenced the genomes. But, one of the limitations of this type of experiment is that the vital information about the changes in the microbiome occurring in the gut is lost. Scientists, therefore, won’t have a complete picture of the dynamics of the human flora.