Hi, I’m Jon, publisher of Microbiome Bulletin, and I’d like to introduce you to my friends.
All 39 trillion of them.
More importantly, I’d like to introduce you to your 39 trillion friends as well, the vast colonies of microorganisms you carry with you wherever you go. They’ve been with you since you were an infant, they will be with you your entire life, and when you die, they’ll die with you.
While that challenges the very notion of what it means to be “human,” there are far more immediate, practical, and decidedly unphilosophical considerations that need to be addressed first because, in a very real sense, your life, and the quality of that life, depends on it.
These infinitesimal inhabitants make up your microbiome (or if you prefer, microbiota), and consist of bacteria (and other microorganisms) that inhabit almost every part of your body, particularly your gut. And like any group of friends, they include their fair share of freeloaders and outright enemies that mean to do you harm.
The essential role these play in your health and well-being is a new frontier in health science, upending everything we thought we knew about how our bodies work. Indeed, without our microbiome, we would be unable to synthesize many vitamins, our immune system would be overwhelmed with pathogens, and our bodies would be ravaged by inflammation.
In fact, our previous ignorance regarding the role of our microbiome, such as the indiscriminate use of antibiotics, our high-animal-fat low-fiber western diet, and our super-hygienic lifestyle has quite likely unleashed whole new categories of chronic and acute illness that plague our society today including obesity, diabetes, and IBD, and has exacerbated others such as cancer and mental illness.
THE PROMISES AND THE PITFALLS
Like any new frontier, this one has its fair share of hype, hucksters and hustlers.
Probiotics! Prebiotics! Pills, potions, and powders!
Microbiome Bulletin is here to offer an honest, unbiased perspective, together with a very personal take on this exploding field. From examination of the latest news and research to reviews of products, Microbiome Bulletin is here to help you navigate these still largely uncharted waters so you can make more informed decisions about your own health, and the health of your microbiome. We can’t dictate what you should do, but we can give you some information to help you along the way.
A LITTLE ABOUT ME
I’m a health, fitness, and wellness professional working in the Washington DC metro area. While I am not a layperson, I am not a medical doctor or microbiologist either. This leaves me particularly well-suited to bridge the two worlds, to bring to the lay public the important work being done by researchers, in an understandable, actionable manner.
And I’ll do it without the hype, without the self-interested promotion of particular products, or the excessive enthusiasm that can infect any field that is as genuinely exciting and transformative as this.
If I like something, I’ll tell you about it. If I find something better, I’ll move on to that. If the research changes, I’ll change with it. My vested interest is in valid information. My vested interest is your health, in part, because it is my health, too, as I will be chronicling everything I’m personally doing, detailing my personal intake of probiotics, prebiotics, and any dietary changes I make.
I can’t do this without you. So please, if you ever have any questions, opinions, or perspectives you want to share, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below or in the posts themselves. I don’t pretend to know everything, but by working together, we can make things better for everyone.
All the best,