The study of the microscopic world has been attracting more attention as we seek methods to improve the health of humans, animals, and the environment that surrounds us. As such, interest in the trillions of microorganisms that comprise the unique microbiome found in each human, animal and across nature has also increased. With an enhanced understanding of the good as well as the bad bugs (pathogens) found in these various microbiomes, researchers have focused their efforts on learning how an optimal balance of good and bad bacteria can be maintained. Whether it’s a plant, animal, or human, a balanced microbiome is essential as it allows for enhanced immunity, as well as energy and vitamin production.
The Human Microbiome
More specifically, control of unwanted microorganisms in the gut, production of vitamins, regulation of hormonal metabolism, inflammation, immunity, and weight control are a few of the beneficial functions attributed to a well-balanced microbiome. In addition, the good microorganisms in human microbiomes may help relieve schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, and other neuro-chemical imbalances. Equally interesting is their ability to serve as beneficial forms of cancer, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and possibly, diabetes treatment.
All of this raises the question of how the “right” balance for the human microbiome can be achieved. When one considers that the trillions of microorganisms making up the human microbiome outnumber the human genes by a factor of 100 to 1, you may wonder if it’s even possible to control this powerhouse. The answer is yes, it is feasible. Diet, medications, and ongoing health conditions all affect the microbes found in the human gut, where the microbiome lives. In effect, scientists continue to seek ways to enhance human health through methods that harness their natural hosts –think probiotics, the beneficial microorganisms that confer a positive benefit of their host.
The Animal Microbiome
The microbiome isn’t something that is restricted to humans. In recent studies, information has been presented that suggests the microbiome shapes behaviors across many animal species. These same studies have shown how basic behaviors like diet and social interactions affect the microbial communities in the microbiome. We now know that, in turn, these microorganisms can influence host behavior in dramatic ways.
As a result of these findings, the animal industry has harnessed probiotics to address a number of species-specific health conditions, while using these beneficial microorganisms to enhance everyday health by keeping the microorganisms in the gut balanced.
The Plant Microbiome
Just as in the human and animal body, microorganisms play a significant role in plant health. Growth-promoting bacteria or fungi can be added to plant soil to improve overall plant health. The reason for this phenomenon is the close relationship plants have with their microbiome counterparts. Having better control over this relationship allows for pathogen-outbreak control and ecosystem stability to be better achieved.
Using Biotechnology to Power Universally Healthier Microbiomes
Probiotics for humans, animals, and plants can provide support for balanced microbiomes. How it works is simple. Probiotics are viable microbial supplements that have a beneficial impact on health. Probiotics help make their hosts healthy by outnumbering the bad microorganisms with the good microorganisms. With mounting studies about these beneficial microorganisms, one thing has become abundantly clear: as biotechnology continues to advance, it is very easy to find and utilize high-quality probiotic products that support our microbiota, and those of the world that surrounds us.