Your gut microbiota (GM) is like your fingerprint: its composition is totally unique to you. That’s because it comprises over 100 trillion bacteria, viruses and fungi. Identical twins only share around 34% of their GM, demonstrating that genetics only play a small part in your gut microbial make up. Diet, lifestyle, stress, medication and other factors also contribute. In fact, the people you live with, and even your pets, can influence your GM. One study showed that a 10 second kiss results in an average transfer of 80 million bacteria!
The good news is most of the above factors are adjustable. We can change our microbiome, and our health, for the better (not that I’m suggesting we should change our partners of course). Best of all, research shows changes in our gut can take place within days of dietary modulation. In this article, I focus on prebiotics and probiotics, explaining how their synergistic relationship can influence our overall health.