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17 May: Immune boosters – healthy microbiome

It seems that the human microbiome has become a hot topic in recent years. Lots of research has come out that shows us how important the bacteria (and other microbes) that live on our skin, gastrointestinal tract, lining of the respiratory system etc, are for our health. The Human Microbiome Project found 3,500-35,000 species inhabiting our body and there are actually more microbes in the body than there are body cells (9). Both good and bad microbes exist in our bodies, but in a healthy person there exists an appropriate balance between the two (1-3). However it is not exactly known what constitutes as a healthy microbiome, and what’s more, every person has their own unique composition of different microorganisms (9).