It’s not just the visible portion of the environment in which we humans find ourselves that has changed a lot over the past millenia; the invisible part has as well. Several studies have found that hunter-gatherers and traditional people harbor microbiotas that are more biodiverse than those harbored by industrialized people (1, 2, 3). They also have a different compositional configuration and contain microbes that are not found on the bodies of industrialized people (1, 2, 3). These findings, in conjunction with data derived from studies that have looked into the evolution of the human microbiome (4, 5), suggest that the human microbiome has changed a lot over the most recent millenia – and in particular the last couple of centuries and decades.
It’s not surprising that our microbiomes differ from those our primal ancestors harbored, seeing as our environment has changed tremendously lately. We modern humans are exposed to many environmental agents that were not present in ancestral environments. Many of these agents, including highly processed foods and antibiotics, are know to have a destructive impact on the microbial communities that colonize our bodies. In order to regain our health, we need to rebuild our microbiomes.
The infographics below depict a set of strategies that can help you protect, diversify, and repair your microbiome.