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Exploring the Microbiome

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  • Microbes contribute more genes than humans contribute for human survival.
  • Human genome carries approximately 22,000 protein-coding genes.
  • The human microbiome contributes upwards to 8 million unique protein-coding genes (360 times more bacterial genes than human genes).
  • The bacterial genomic contribution is critical for human survival.
  • Genes carried by bacteria in the gastro-intestinal tract, for example, enable humans to digest foods and absorb nutrients that otherwise would be unavailable.
“Humans don't have all the enzymes we need to digest our own diet. Microbes in the gut break down many of the proteins, lipids and carbohydrates in our diet into nutrients that we can then absorb. Moreover, the microbes produce beneficial compounds, like vitamins and anti-inflammatories that our genome cannot produce.”

Curtis Huttenhower, Ph.D. (Harvard School of Public Health) states, “It appears that bacteria can pinch hit for each other. It matters whether the metabolic function is present, not which microbial species provides it.”

You could be looking at the very cause of acne as it relates to the microbiome and inflammatory response. 

Edited by guitarman01

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