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The Microbiome, Optimal Health & Longevity

Preventative medicine has long been a passion of mine and more recently the topic of immune function linked to our longevity.


We can measure our lifespan on two things

  1. Quantity - the number of years we have i.e., what age do we live to

  2. Quality - how many of those years were lived in health, able to do the things we love

Now I agree that no one really wants to live longer if it means giving up on quality of life. But what if we didn't have to choose. What if we can support our health, even when we are younger, to allow us to live longer in better health.


Lots of research goes into to longevity. Now when I talk longevity, I'm talking quantity with quality!

And it has been found that one of the cornerstones of immune function, the microbiome, has a direct relationship with our longevity.



What is the microbiome?

The microbiome is a collection of organisms that live in an environment, here we are talking about the gut microbiome, so we are talking about all the bacteria that live in your gut and there's a lot of them. In fact, the average man was estimated to have 30trillion human cells and 39trillion bacteria, but these are average figures, and the numbers of bacteria can vary widely.


It has been found that a lack of diversity in the microbiome as we age has many detrimental effects. People with a lack of diversity in the gut microbiome have been found to be:

  • more frail in later life

  • more prone to infections

  • more likely to suffer from chronic inflammatory disorders

  • more likely to develop degenerative diseases


Whereas people with a greater diversity in the gut microbiome were found to have:

  • more resiliency even in old age

And clients wonder why I go on about diversity in the gut and diet so much!



Now the main shifts in diversity of microbiome are linked to age, with two main phases:

  1. Age 0-3

  2. Age 40+


Between the ages of 0-3 it is normal to see the diversity grow and develop. That being said there are things that have an impact on this, such as antibiotic use.

Over the age of 40 we can see a decline in the microbiome diversity, and this is when we start to develop many of the issues related to this. We link a lot of these things to old age, but actually we could do ourselves a massive favor if we started looking after ourselves earlier.


Our diet and the foods we eat, our lifestyle such as exercise, stress and sleep, our environment such as pesticides and plastics, our hormones, all these things can impact our microbiome diversity.


Researchers have found a 200% increase of risk of death from the most common diseases in middle to old age, in people with a low microbiome diversity. So, my question to you is this...can you really afford not to invest in your health.


Many of you may say well I get an annual health check, but the problem here lies in the fact that the standard annual health check is failing us, but more about that in another post. For now, the focus is on the importance of keeping ourselves in optimal health if we want to live longer, healthier and more successful lives.


If you want to find out more about keeping yourself in optimal health book a free call at the button below.




But what can you do right now to benefit your microbiome diversity? Here are 6 tip tips to try:

  1. Eat two new plant foods a week, either food you have never eaten before or haven't had in the last few months

  2. Aim to consume 30-50 plant foods a week

  3. Consume adequate fiber in the diet, choose lots of plant foods and whole grain foods.

  4. Choose different varieties of food you eat regularly, i.e if you always eat Gala apples, each week pick a different variety, if you always eat red onion buy white.

  5. Buy mixed variety foods, i.e., heritage carrots so you can orange yellow and purple in one bunch, heritage tomatoes for the same reason, mixed lettuce, mixed herbs.