The recent discovery of a semi-nomadic community of about 15,000 Yanomami people in southern Venezuela(1) has doctors and scientists wondering what we can learn from their guts.
Specifically, what do the gut flora of people who have never been exposed to a modern Western lifestyle look like?
While the exact location of the community has been protected in order to preserve the residents’ privacy, a small team of scientists have been granted permission to live in and study the health of the community in general, especially in direct comparison to the health of the average contemporary Westerner.
What they’ve discovered so far has them looking in new ways at the impact our lifestyles may have on our gut bacteria.
Gut Bacteria Diversity Among The Yanomami People
We are all born with a team of microbes living in our guts. These microbes form the basis of our lifelong microbiome, which is undoubtedly affected by modern lifestyle factors such as diet and modern medicine.
In particular, the use of antibiotics, antibacterial soap, and processed foods may be leading to less diversity in our guts. According to the researchers, the Yanomami people appear to have a more diverse gut microbiome than most people living modern lifestyles.
What’s The Connection Between Gut Microbiome Diversity And Disease?
There is a large body of evidence supporting the theory that gut bacteria diversity – or lack thereof – plays an important role in the pathogenesis of irritable bowel syndrome (or IBS) and other related disorders(2).
Many doctors believe that modern diets and other lifestyle factors are a root cause of disruptions in the gut flora that can lead to the development of such diseases.
The Delicate Balance In Our Guts
Some doctors believe that exposure to antibiotics, especially early on in life, can affect the development of gut flora. Since the Yanomami people have never been exposed to antibiotics, they present scientists with a unique opportunity to test this hypothesis.
The Yanomami people have consented to having the microbes in their mouths, skin and feces studied by international researchers(3). So far, some of the findings have been in line with what researchers anticipated – the microbes from the Yanomami peoples’ skin and guts are significantly more diverse than those of urbanized people – but some have been more surprising.
Antibiotic Resistance: A Complex Problem
One of the more surprising findings that researchers came across was that the microbes from the Yanomami people exhibit signs of antibiotic resistance – despite the fact that the Yanomami have never encountered modern antibiotics.
This has scientists looking at antibiotic resistance in a new light.
“Antibiotic resistance is a natural feature of bacteria in the human body,” says Dr. Dantas, in a report for BBC News(4).
“It’s not something created by antibiotic use. But it does get amplified when antibiotics are used.”
However, Dr. Dantas still believes that doctors and patients have a responsibility to limit antibiotic use as much as possible.
- Practicing Mindfulness Can Help Improve Your Blood Sugar Levels
Mindfulness exercise training has been proven to be therapeutic in various aspects of health. It can improve cognitive function, reduce stress, …
- This Novel Microfluidic Device Helps Identify Cancer Cells That Can Spread Throughout The Body
What makes some cancer cells break away from tumors and spread to other parts of the body? Cancer becomes increasingly …
- Eating Vegetables and Proteins Before Carbs Helps Keep Your Blood Sugar Levels In Check
A new study published in the Journal of Diabetes Care says that how, in addition to what, you eat may …
- Researchers Warn Against The Use of This Popular Brand of Statins Because of Serious Side Effects
Have you ever looked into just how many drugs there are to treat heart disease? Go to any medical website …
- Aboriginal Plant Extracts Show Properties That Can Help Treat Diabetes and Cancer, Study Finds
Type 2 diabetes is a serious public health concern in many countries – it’s one of the fasted growing metabolic …
- Researchers Expose How Fluoride In Water Supply Is Making Us Sick and Depressed
New research from the Centre for Health Services Studies at the University of Kent is leading to calls for more …
- Phosphates Artificially Added to Dairy And Cereals For Improved Flavor Can Harm Your Kidneys
Phosphates are artificially added to a number of food products, including dairy and cereal products. These artificially added phosphates cause …
- Scientists Discover a Simple Way To Make Chocolate More Nutritious (And It Tastes Better Too!)
Chocolate is one of those foods you just can’t help but love! – 7.2 million tons of chocolate are eaten every …
- Depression Can Affect Every Aspect of Your Body and Mind…Right Down to Your DNA, Study Says
Depression affects almost 7% of the US population, according to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance(1) and the effects of …
- Teach Your Grandparents How To Use Facebook. It Could Help Keep Their Memories Sharp, Study Finds.
According to preliminary research from a University of Arizona graduate student, learning to use Facebook could offer adults over the …
- Here’s Why Listening To Heavy Metal Music Can Actually Benefit You
No, we’re not talking about minerals – heavy metal music, as well as music in the emo, hardcore, punk, and …
- Sugar Helps Suppress Stress Levels But Comes With Serious Health Risks, Scientists Say
It’s common knowledge for many of us – especially those of us who actively fight to curb our sweet tooth …
- 4D Ultrasound Scans Reveal Not So Surprising Effects of What Smoking Does To a Fetus
There is no two ways about it: smoking is bad for your health. Every health and wellness website cautions you …
- A PHD Student Made Yoghurt From Vaginal Bacteria, Because Science
There are some pretty weird foods on the planet! Here are a few of the strange things that people ACTUALLY …
- Green Tea Extract And Daily Exercise Shows “Remarkable” Effects Against Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease remains a major public health concern, with nearly 5.5 million Americans affected and even more suffering from the …