By Laura Stec
Help! I'm Covered in BugsUploaded: Jun 25, 2015
You've probably heard by now that you and I are covered inside and outside with bugs.
Our microbiota supposedly make up 70% -90% of our cells, which means we are more them than us!
I've been researching the topic, and just took a test of my gut and mouth to see who's actually living within. It was a mail order process: swab yourself, put your samples in tubes, mail, wait for results. When registering online, you check whether you want to keep the information to yourself, or allow it to be used in international comparison studies. The research is so new, science doesn't even know what a normal / healthy microbiome actually looks like, so we are figuring it all out together.
I love the questions Ubiome asked when I registered. I never really thought about all the ways we might be helping and hurting our live-in residents.
Do you eat raw or pasteurized cheese?
Do you eat miso, yoghurt, sauerkraut, kombucha?
Do you burn or tan easy?
What products do you use on your skin?
Were you given a lot of antibiotics as a child?
Have you had wisdom teeth pulled?
Do you wash your vagina with soap?
Where do you get your water?
How are you feeling these days: stressed, happy, anxious?
Does your toothpaste have fluoride?
Do you use dandruff shampoo?
How often do you eat sugar? What kind?
Have you had a colonoscopy?
How would you describe your diet? paleo vegetarian, vegan, gluten free?
Did you have a vaginal birth, or was it by C-section? (my mom had a good laugh when I called to ask)
Plus about 25 more.
I'll pass on the results when they come back. Until then - if you want to learn more, KQED's Forum just had a show on this very topic this week, Can Your Gut Bacteria Affect Your Mood?
It discussed research looking into the various ways gut bacteria affect us, discovering links to obesity, asthma and allergies. Now they are investigating whether the microbes in our stomachs also affect our moods and behavior. Just what are all those bacteria inside us up to?
Science is fascinating.
On a separate note ? good news! We just learned the judge refused to allow the merger of food service providers Sysco and US Foods (a deal valued at 8.2 billion). Read more about the problems associated with Big Food and how it relates to Silicon Valley corporate food service in Burger Please, Side of Integrity.
p.s.s: Did anyone go to the vegan 520 Chef's Table at Garden Court this past Thursday?