Germs in your body, without which you can not live

In order for your body to be healthy and full of "good" bacteria, will need much more than a probiotic yogurt, says Adam Rutherford. It all started with a brilliant invention. This foldable sheet with adhesive areas in front and behind, like a flat starfish. These patches adhere to the toilet seat. Once in place, the sheet forms a sort of a hammock on which the sample for analysis is placed. It remains only to wear rubber gloves to prepare for the procedure.

Germs in your body, without which you can not live

Once on the "hammock" is what is needed, the sample is taken with a small spoon attached to the inside of the tubes with a blue cap. Cover tightly twisted on a plastic tube. Then, all wrapped bag with ice, prepared in advance, and precious goods ready for shipment.

At the destination - Map My Gut - promise to reveal the microbial life that is hidden in the depths. Over the past years there have been a variety of studies that suggest that the microbes in our digestive system are far more important to our health and well-being than originally anticipated. But Rutherford found that it bacteria do not thrive - and some diets can change their fate.

Germs in your body, without which you can not live

Methanobrevibacter helps squeeze more calories from food

In our intestines contain an average of about a thousand different species of bacteria. In general, they are quite easy to calculate: the trillions of them. And almost all of them are doing good work for us.

Our genome contains about 20,000 genes, but our microbes contain 500 times more. This allows them to make some very interesting tricks - they help digest food, produce vitamins and minerals and even prevent the development of disease, displacing and killing the infectious bacteria. Moreover, they make us what we are, inside and out. As said Ed Yong, the author of 'I Contain Multitudes', "Our microbes are helping to build our bodies, they sculpt and renew our bodies as we get older."

"Perhaps they may even influence our behavior and how we think. It conducted a lot of research on animals, which showed that the microbes in the gut can influence mood, personality, and resistance to stress and anxiety. "

How do these results apply to people who have yet to understand. But what we know for sure is that between the microbiome people are more differences than between genomes. Our microbial composition depends on our medical history, our locations and our diet. This signature, which may be very different, even among close relatives.

That's why Rutherford defecated in the paper tray and scooped up a bit of it.

He told how uneven gait (the nerves) came into office Tim Spector, professor of genetics at the hospital of St. Thomas to pick up the results. What could he tell about the mysterious inner world of bacteria? What exactly it is hidden in the depths of the human?

The results were "slightly dermovatymi".

Germs in your body, without which you can not live

"You're almost at the bottom of its class. You enter in the lowest 10% of the diversity of the population, "he told spectrum with ill-disguised glee in his voice. The joy experienced by a scientist when it detects something unusual, is not always possible to divide.

Variety is one of the keys to a healthy gut, he explained. The bottom line is that different microbes have different tasks, and a variety of labor brings greater variety of skills.

Not that he lacked variety, just a gang of bacteria that hang in his intestines were not pleasant. In them, a report showed 65 times more Clostridium perfingens, than the national average, and 211 times more E. coli - both bacteria associated with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

Germs in your body, without which you can not live

"These results show that you have a very unhealthy microbiome," the report said.

Rutherford said that he could defend himself, that just returned from a business trip, and probably ate some shit. But Spector said that at one time bad food so much the balance of power has not shifted.

What about the good bacteria? About 100 species of bacteria cause infectious diseases. Thousands of species of microbes that are found in our intestines, "mostly harmless", as it were, by Douglas Adams said. Where is hiding the good guys?

At the beginning of the list of "most desirable" microbes are Akkermansia and Christensenelkaceae. Both are associated with protection against weight gain. Methanobrevibacter helps squeeze more calories from the food so you can eat less. Oxalobacter helps prevent the formation of kidney stones.

How many of these beneficial bacteria was Rutherford? Zero. He has not just happened to be on the bottom of the class - his guts could go into denial. And it would have gone if he had not thought about and would not want to change it. How can improve your microbiome? Diversity - that's the secret. Diversify the diet - it means to diversify their inner demons, ie bacteria. Not all bacteria are bad, quite the contrary, the majority - good.