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Health Begins in the Gut: What is the Gut Microbiome?

The human gut microbiome contains around 100 trillion microbes.

There are only about 10 trillion human cells in the body.

That means that approximately 90% of the cells in your body are actually non-human organisms living in your gut.

Research has linked microbiome health to many illnesses.

These include:

  • Obesity
  • Arthritis
  • Autism
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

All of these issues are affected significantly by the makeup of the gut biome.

(Watch this video to learn more!)

How do we get our microbiomes?

Babies gain the first dose of their microbomes from their mothers as they pass through the vaginal canal.

It is possible that many babies are not receiving the proper amount of exposure to their mothers’ microbiomes due to the rise of C sections.

As evidence of this, children born from a C section have higher rates of asthma, allergies, and eczema.

Babies can also lose parts of their microbiome from early life antibiotic exposure.

Continued development:

The baby’s microbiome continues to grow as they begin eating different kinds of food.

At the earliest stages, breastfeeding will provide them with even more exposure to their mother’s microbiome.

The intake of solid foods contributes to the growth of organisms already present in the gut.

What can you do?

There are many different ways to affect your gut microbiome.

One of the main ways to help your gut biome is to stop hurting it with a limited diet, antibiotic usage, and excessive alcohol intake.

You can improve your gut health with probiotics, which are foods/supplements that contain healthy bacteria.

Along with probiotics, be sure to consume lots of prebiotics. These are foods that your gut biome likes. Usually these foods are high in fiber.

Taking steps to improve our microbiome has a cascading effect that can make every other part of your body healthier! Look out for those little friends so they can look out for you!

Click here for a high quality probiotic supplement from Creating Health.


This blog is based on a group visit David Ferriss, MD hosted with patients who are part of our MaxWell Care program. Our weekly group visits (available only to our MaxWell Care patients) are designed to change your life and supercharge your health.

If you have questions about MaxWell Care and how to join please click here to learn more or call us at 615-370-0091. We’d love to help you Maximize your Wellness!

David M. Ferriss, Jr., MD, MPH

David Ferriss, MD is a board-certified preventive medicine physician with a special interest in the role of a healthy lifestyle in the prevention and reversal of chronic disease.