History provides valuable lessons. In fact, it is often said that if we aren’t sure where we have been, we will have a tough time figuring out where we are going.
I have written extensively about the current state of microbiome research, with regard to where we are in our understanding of the role of the hundred trillion microorganisms living within us play in our health, as well as our resistance to disease. Researchers around the globe are aggressively categorizing various arrays of gut organisms and studying how these organisms differ in their representation in various cultures, locations, as well as changes that are noted in correlation with disease states.
In addition, fascinating research is looking at the microbiome of our ancestors in an attempt to understand how environmental changes impacted the microscopic inhabitants of the human body, and how changes in such things as diet influence the microbiome and pave the way for disease.
In this video, I explore how researchers are now able to perform DNA analysis of dental plaque dating back thousands of years as a way of characterizing the oral microbiome of our ancestors.
In addition to the discovery that this is a viable technology, providing rich information about our ancestors, these researchers are able to correlate historical changes in the human diet with changes in the representation of various bacterial species that correlate with disease. Their findings are sobering and extend well beyond diet. I think you will appreciate the commentary as it relates, for example, to the use of antibiotics, in terms of challenging the microbiome.