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WWW on sandThe most googled diet in 2013 was The Paleo Diet. The paleo diet is usually a good starting place for people who want to regain their health, because the focus is on eating “natural”, unprocessed food. However, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that traditionally prepared grains and legumes, grass-fed dairy products and other foods introduced after the advent of agriculture can be a part of a healthy diet. The paleolithic way of eating is therefore best used as a guide or template for good nutrition, rather than a strict set of rules.

Exposure to healthy farm soil could be one of the keys to good health

Humans have co-evolved with microorganisms found in soil, water and the rest of the environment for millions of years. When we lived as hunter-gatherers we pretty much consumed dirt on a daily basis (e..g, uncleaned food, dirty hands), but modern obsession with cleanliness and urban living have dramatically decreased exposure to soil microbes. A teaspoon of healthy farm soil contains millions of microorganisms from hundreds of different species, and it seems that one of the hidden costs of the disconnect from mother nature is that we’re no longer getting as much soil bacteria into our bodies.

Is microbial DNA the next frontier in forensic science?

Human identification using genetic fingerprinting has been one of the big breakthroughs in forensic science, and DNA evidence is today an essential part of the criminal justice system. However, the current technique has its limitations, and microbial DNA analysis is now proposed as a complimentary technique to the traditional approach using “human” DNA. Each person has an unique microbiome that’s comprised of the microbial communities in the lungs, vagina, gut, skin, mouth, and other body sites. Recent studies show that microorganisms left behind after touching a surface can be traced back to it’s source and that bacterial DNA recovered from saliva is a possible way of identifying the perputrader.

Will advanced microbiome modulators soon be on the market?

I’ve previously talked about the limitations of most probiotic supplements (e.g., few strains of bacteria, unability to colonize the GI tract), and how advanced probiotics and prebiotics soon could be on the market. A lot of health disorders are characterized by dysbiosis, and one company has now begun financing the testing and production of a Microbiome Modulator that could be used in the treatment of Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes. While I do believe that advanced probiotic supplements with hundreds of species of bacteria could be useful in the treatment of gut dysbiosis, it’s clear that most people will get away with changing their diet and lifestyle.

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