The Human Microbiome & Diversity
Our body is a rich ecosystem that is inhabited by thousands of different microbial species which have co-evolved with humans over hundreds of millennia. This microbial community has a fundamental role in human health and well-being, helping us digest our food, strengthen our immune system, and protect us against pathogens.
However, over the past century, and particularly the last 50 or 60 years, people around the world have become increasingly urbanized, leaving farms for cities and along the way, losing exposure to the important beneficial microbes in our plants and soil. As a result, for nearly everyone, the microbiome has loss bacterial diversity, and we see the result in an increase in metabolic diseases, immune diseases, allergies and food intolerances.
We need to get back on track and increase overall gut microbial richness. Probiotics currently available don’t do this: they typically contain only a few strains, and we aren’t always certain they survive to reach our digestive tract at all. In addition, 75% of the probiotics market is animal dairy based – while dairy consumption is something that increasing numbers of people want to reduce or eliminate.
At RootBioMe, we believe the answer can be found in root vegetables; and more specifically the use of them as a rich source of probiotics and prebiotics. Our scientific team has spent several years studying root vegetables, and specifically the Jerusalem artichoke.
We have worked closely with farmers to ensure they grow their root vegetables in ecologically rich soil. Our studies have indicated significantly higher microbial diversity and robust microbial communities in ecologically grown vegetables as compared to intensive production.
We have tested these vegetables extensively, using genetic sequencing, analysis of the vegetable microbiome, and testing the roots at various stages of processing and from different farms.
Along the way, we have referenced the published work of other scientists in the field as well, drawing from a vast body of work that gives insight into the benefits of root vegetables. Our research has revealed the rich, natural, beneficial bacteria they contain, including a diverse population of probiotics, as well as the prebiotics, in particular in inulin and fructooligosaccharides (FOS).