Since the introduction of antibiotics in the early 1940s, and more recently the popularity of Caesarean section as a method of birthing babies, the diversity of the microbial biome in and on humans has been degraded. Our bodies normally carry around about three pounds of microbial life, most of it in our intestines, but our externals are coated in microbes, too. There are vast numbers of species in and on us, and vast numbers of individual members of these species struggling with each other for their daily sustenance. Until the introduction of antibiotics their struggles were mediated by one another, and after millions of years of interactions they reached a dynamic balance that permitted their host species, humans and others, to survive and prosper.
Of course sometimes some of these microbes came from outside of their animal host’s environment, from another animal species for example, and were temporarily able to thrive exceptionally well and cause an imbalance to the system and disease to their personal animal host.
What makes sense is to have a storage facility for all of the microbiomes of the world, and to have readily available intestinal flora to be given to people after various disease threats to their natural intestinal biome had subsided. It could become routine to save a person’s small intestinal material when they were healthy, store it in a repository, and then after a course of antibiotics had eliminated some serious disease viruses, to reintroduce some of this healthy intestinal material. That may seem a little disgusting to us at present because that material is presently associated with disease and epidemics, but notice I put in the proviso, and it is a supremely important one — the stored intestinal material to be transferred should be healthy and well-balanced. A sick microbiome would just create a sick person, but a person who had been stripped of their natural intestinal viral species would be greatly improved if they had ingested some healthy ones. What I am referring to as the biome is the half-digested material in the small intestine.
That’s the solution to the problem. The problem, what problem? The problem is that for some seventy years now children have been given a course of antibiotics approximately once a year, and every time that happened their existing biome was degraded. Because a mother transfers a lot of her personal microbiome to her baby during natural birth, those children born by C-section grow up without those viruses in their bodies, and if the mother’s flora were degraded by repeated antibiotic encounters her vaginally born children will start off their lives also with a depleted biome. With a generational age of twenty years a modern mother would have been born in 1995 and has had her biota degraded twenty times by antibiotics by 2015, and her mother born in 1975 will have passed on a degraded biome from her mother born in 1955, and her mother born in 1935 will have had maybe ten years of antibiotic treatments. If with each of these births the baby was only receiving half of what her mother was born with, that would be ½ of ½ of ½ of ½ or 1/16th of the intestinal biome of a mother born in 1935. It’s not quite that bad, but the trend is obvious, and the people of today are suffering the new modern diseases of obesity, diabetes, allergies, asthma, etc., because their intestinal microbial life has been greatly diminished. If some really healthy people could give their small intestinal juices to the world, all humanity would be greatly improved.
Sometimes we need antibiotics, but when they are used our intestinal biome should be replenished with healthy biota.
[Update:2015Nov12 Tribe Found to Host Amazing Array of Bacteria]