The world that everyone once vied to define as "globalized" is experiencing a systemic crisis, but there is an even more important "ecological" crisis, which is slowly eroding our health. We humans are not the protagonists of this drama, but the trillions of microorganisms that live in our intestines. The gut microbiome is under attack, and it could be a real war for survival in its defense.
The pervasive influence of the gut microbiome
Dr. James Kinross, an experienced surgeon and senior lecturer in colorectal surgery at Imperial College London, is certain. For him, most of the problems plaguing global health are closely related to the gut microbiome and its devastation in the modern world.
The problem is that our lifestyles of the last hundred years have had disastrous effects on our internal ecosystem and, consequently, on our immune system. The overuse of antibiotics, particularly in agriculture, has significantly altered the composition and abundance of certain bacteria in the microbiome of some populations.
Hand in hand, the increasingly "stereotyped" diets based on hyperprocessed foods and low in fiber, the food marshes and growing urbanization are having a devastating impact on our microbiome.
Domestic climate change
If the fragile ecosystem of intestinal bacteria is compromised at an early age, for example by poor diet or overexposure to antibiotics, the microbiome can become virtually "scarred" and struggle to return to its original state.
To address this gut crisis, Kinross suggests the need for a paradigm shift. Scientists, clinicians and health authorities need to understand the importance of the gut microbiome and its critical role in the global health issues we face.
In particular, the doctor believes that protecting gut microbes is so important to everyone's health, happiness and future that we should consider pursuing legal protection for the gut microbiome.
An almost "heretical" paradigm, in times of geopolitical pressure, the one that suggests us for the umpteenth time to defend ourselves from within.
Change comes from afar
While science, technology and communication run ever faster, to be able to really say we have to think about changing our relationship with tiny bacteria in a progressing world.
Understand once and for all that bacteria are fundamental allies of our health.
How to balance the gut microbiome?
We can choose more fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha in our diet, because they can introduce beneficial bacteria into the intestines. We have to limiting antibiotics, however much we respect their usefulness when needed, because they can literally destroy the microbiome. Sleep, regular physical activity, and meditation can help keep your gut microbiome healthy.
Only then can we begin to put peace in body and mind, and have more energy to fix the rest of the world. The future depends on us, even in this.