You might be surprised to learn that only 1% of the unique genes in our bodies are human—the other 99% comes from our microbiome.
Microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and even fungi make up our microbiome, largely residing in the gut but also colonizing our skin, nasal and oral cavities, and other parts of the body. Now, we’re even seeing a connection between the microbiome and neurological health.
The gut-brain connection has gained interest in recent years, as we’ve seen the role this bidirectional communication system plays in metabolic function, chronic diseases like anxiety, depression, autoimmunity, diabetes, and obesity, and now even progressive neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, ALS, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s.
It’s worth noting that many patients suffering from these diseases have high levels of corresponding gut issues, like Crohn’s, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and ulcerative colitis, spurring additional research into the connection between the microbiome, GI health, and the brain.
This is a topic I find super fascinating. For so long we thought the blood-brain barrier kept the brain separate from the rest of the body, but now we know that’s just not true, and that it’s talking to the rest of the body in ways we never expected.
That’s why I was so excited to have Dr. Jay Lombard join me on last week’s episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy, to discuss his work researching bacterial gut imbalances, including the dreaded C. diff, and how they relate to neurological symptoms.
Dr. Lombard is an internationally acclaimed neurologist, author, and keynote speaker specializing in neuroimmunological conditions and medical mysteries. Throughout the episode, we talk about how Dr. Lombard integrates biological, psychological, and existential components in his holistic treatment approach and what he thinks treating neurodegenerative diseases may look like in the near future.
I hope you’ll tune in to learn more about the incredible connection between our microbiome and the brain.
Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD