Are hygiene mania and poor nutrition causing the microbiome to dwindle?

Can poop donations help?

In western countries, people now lack around half of the important bacteria in their bodies. Researchers suspect that this promotes numerous diseases such as Crohn’s disease, rheumatism, allergies and obesity. Why is our microbiome dwindling? And can the destroyed intestinal flora be restored?

There is a surprising amount going on in the body. Billions of germs are wandering around there. Bacteria, fungi, protozoa – every human being carries at least 1000 different species. The tiny microorganisms colonize the intestines, but also the skin, nose, mouth and genitals. This is by no means disgusting or even harmful, as we know today. Rather, these germs, also known as the microbiome, keep us healthy. But there’s a problem.

“Probably around half of the microbiome in western countries has now been lost,” says Till Strowig, who studies the protective effect of bacteria in the intestinal flora at the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig. The problem that researchers are increasingly pointing out is that many people are becoming more susceptible to diseases because of the dwindling microorganisms.

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