Throughout the 1990s, scientists around the world collaborated on the largest biological research project of all time—The Human Genome Project. The premise of this 15-year, NIH-funded undertaking was to map all genes of the human genome, identifying their physical and functional characteristics. The fundamental purpose of cataloging the human genome was to form an exhaustive database of humankind’s past, inherited present, and—possibly—its future.
After the success of the HGP, medical scientists embarked upon a similarly encyclopedic task on a similarly microscopic scale—“Determining the normal microscopic inhabitants of ever organ and knowing how to restore the proper balance of organisms when it is disrupted.”1
The Human Microbiome Project was a seven-year effort to lift the veil on the largely unknown elements of our biology. The human microbiome consists of all the bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms that inhabit a human being. By analyzing the microscopic matter of human tissue, we can better understand what constitutes “normal” in various bodily processes. The project encompassed several, more focused research topics, including the skin, vagina, blood, and the gastrointestinal tract.
A deep understanding of a healthy gut environment is important to repairing or bringing stability back to a digestive system experiencing gut dysbiosis, or bacterial imbalance in the digestive system. Differences in bacterial growth and balance in the gut can have wide-reaching effects, not only on digestion, but also on overall health. This segment of the Human Microbiome project seeks to “explore how the microbiome affects the body’s use of energy the development of obesity.”1
The project was extended and expanded in 2014 in order to explore the role of the microbiome on specific disease states. With research ongoing, there’s still more to learn about the role of bacteria on overall health. In the meantime, it’s important to take advantage of what we already know about digestive balance. Prebiotic fiber is vital to the growth of “good” or “friendly” bacteria in the digestive tract, which work to improve digestive and may help reduce the risk of developing certain dangerous conditions.
Taking a daily prebiotic fiber supplement can help you foster a healthier gut environment, by providing more of the daily fiber you need for overall wellness. Learn more about how Fiber Choice can help your microbiome.
1 Body J. Unlocking the Secrets of the Microbiome. The New York Times. November 6, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/06/well/live/unlocking-the-secrets-of-the-microbiome.html. Accessed December 20, 2018.