Sunday, August 8, 2021

Gut Microbiome Affected by Genetics More Than Once Thought

Why the Gut Microbiome Is Crucial for Your Health 

Our gut microbiome is made up of microorganisms that live within our digestive tract and ensure the proper function of it. While our lifestyle and diet has a large impact on the health of it, a new study shows that genetics can also play a large role. Researchers studied baboons for over fourteen years in Kenya's Amboseli National Park and looked at over sixteen thousand gut profiles. What they found was that up to 97% of gut microbiome phenotypes were heritable. This is in contrast to older studies that found only 5 to 13% were heritable. This stark difference is likely due to older studies only focusing on profiles at one point in time and not across time. While researchers did find more connection to genetics with gut health, they also found that environmental factors such as weather and age also had a big influence on the gut. Finding this connection between genetics and the gut microbiome can be very useful in the future in order to help shape treatments for people with gut problems.


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