Dangers to the Microbiome
Why is the Microbiome endangered?
The advent of industrialized lifestyles in the twentieth century gave rise to a broad range of previously rare or even unknown diseases that are now seen in rapidly growing numbers. Researchers link these so-called environmental conditions like obesity, chronic inflammation, cancer or neurodegeneration to changes in microbiome composition. If an altered microbiome is a cause of modern disease that can be also defined as microbe deficit disorders – which factors are responsible for those changes to the microbial communities in our bodies and what can be done to counter these threats? In short: Why is the microbiome endangered?
Multiple lifestyle-related factors seem to influence the microbiome and endanger a healthy microbial colonization of the body. Which are the challenges we face when our microbial ecosystem changes and microorganisms in our bodies are depleted? With the observation that health depends on the symbioses with our colonizing microorganisms, it also became clear that modern lifestyles are disturbing the microbiome and thus interrupting the interactions between microbes and hosts. This realization only emerged after the consequences of depleted microbiomes became visible in the form of a broad spectrum of new environmental diseases. This led to a new theory that saw those missing microbes as the cause, leading to dysbiosis and thus a disturbance of a healthy metaorganism. The loss of microbial diversity in turn seems to be linked to lifestyle changes like massive use of antibiotics, excessive hygiene ore little contact to natural environments, among the many other factors. Our experts give answers about these different dangers to the microbiome: how we lose microbes, how altered microbial compositions may lead to dysbiosis and how this is ultimately challenging health in humans, animals and plants.