Microbiome restoration should be the number 1 priority of our health-care system! Unfortunately, it isn’t. Instead of advising their patients on how they can repair their microbiome and eat healthier, doctors typically prescribe various drugs that cover up symptoms of disease, but do little or nothing about the underlying causes of illness. This approach to medicine rests on a foundation built by pharmaceutical companies and people who know little or nothing about human biology or evolution, but seem to view the human body as a machine that’s composed of various components that can be repaired with tools in the form of pharmaceutical drugs if they are damaged.
The patients are swallowed whole by the medical/pharmaceutical system and digested, gradually broken down. Most never make it out intact.
Obviously, I’m exaggerating to make a point here. Not all drugs are equally bad, and not all doctors are slaves to the pharmaceutical industry – there are some good guys out there. However, as a whole, I think it’s pretty clear that our health-care system is broken (Was it ever unbroken?). There are some sections of it that work pretty well, but unfortunately, most don’t. At the moment we’re not doing a good job of preventing or curing disease; we’re mainly treating symptoms of disease. This is particularly true for the chronic diseases of civilization.
So, what can we do about this? Darwinian medicine may not hold all the solutions we need to fix this faulty system; however, it probably holds many. One of the key tenets of this emerging field of medicine is that genome-environment mismatches are at the root of many of the illnesses and health problems that affect contemporary humans.
Microbes are a key component of humans’ environment. Humans’ microbial milieu, including the microbes that colonize the human body, has changed dramatically over the past 12.000 years (1, 2, 3). A large body of evidence shows that these changes have provided a platform upon which a long range of chronic diseases and health problems have been allowed to develop (1, 4, 5, 6).
The key principles of microbiome restoration
It’s not 100% clear what constitutes the best course of action for repairing a damaged microbiome. We’re still tweaking things and figuring out the details. With that said, there is a lot we do know.
In a recent article here on Darwinian-Medicine.com I laid out 12 science-based strategies that are useful for repairing and diversifying a dysbiotic microbiota. That post was long and comprehensive. I realise that a lot of people may have found it to be too long and complex. To make everything clearer, I’ve now created an infographic that depicts some of the key principles of microbiome restoration.
Keep in mind, the main focus of this infographic is on microbes. Other organisms that have been known to colonize the human body (e.g., worms) are not included in the mix. Moreover, it’s important to point out that all of the strategies are general in nature; they are obviously not tailored specifically for you. You may have to make some adjustments based on your current health status and living conditions.
I hope you find the infographic useful! Please share it with your friends and family!