When we think of the microbes inhabiting our bodies, the first to come to mind are often bacteria, particularly the ones present in our guts that play a vital role in our digestive system and immune function. However, there’s another thriving and often overlooked community that coexists within us—the mycobiome.
Containing a diverse array of fungi, the mycobiome is an essential part of the microscopic ecosystem that exists within the human body. Recent research has begun to shed light on the significance of the mycobiome, revealing its profound impact on our overall health and well-being. Join us on a fascinating journey as we delve into the realm of the human mycobiome, uncovering its hidden influence, and exploring some of the groundbreaking insights that research on this topic has revealed.
Understanding the Mycobiome
If you think that mycobiome sounds like it’s related to the gut microbiome, then you are correct. Generally, the term “mycobiome” refers mostly to the fungal organisms in an environment, and in this case, the environment we are talking about is the human body, specifically the gut microbiome. The fungi and bacteria that live within your gut, and throughout the rest of your body, live in harmony with each other.
There are many types of fungi that can exist within the mycobiome. Some of the most common strains that researchers have found include Saccharomyces, Aspergillus, Candida, and Penicillium. Just like with gut bacteria, the various types of fungi found within your body can be classified as either helpful or harmful. Certain types like Saccharomyces and Penicillium are believed to be beneficial to your body while other types, specifically certain strains of Candida are linked to various health concerns.
The Mycobiome and Your Health
Research on the importance of the mycobiome has only recently started, with the landmark study that definitively shone a light on the community of fungi within the human microbiome being published just over a decade ago in 2012. Since then, researchers have become increasingly interested in the topic, and they have begun to investigate further. While we still have a long way to go before we have a more comprehensive understanding of this fascinating fungal community, we are already starting to see how fungal microbes, which make up only about 0.1% or less of the human gut microbiome, play key roles when it comes to maintaining various aspects of our health.
For example, some researchers have found that certain strains of fungi seem to be able to influence the composition of bacteria within the gut microbiome. One study in particular uncovered that Saccharomyces boulardii, a beneficial type of fungi, may help keep harmful bacteria at bay by preventing them from sticking to your gut cells. This same study also found that Saccharomyces boulardii also seems to release a special substance that breaks down toxins that are produced by specific strains of harmful bacteria.
In addition to playing a role in gut health, researchers have also found that the fungi present in the mycobiome may also influence metabolism, specifically when it comes to gaining weight. One study explored this topic in regard to processed foods, which are already known to contribute to weight gain. The results showed that the weight gained on a diet full of processed foods may increase if certain strains of fungi have a strong presence within our bodies. Specifically, they found that subjects with more Thermomyces fungi in their guts were likely to gain more weight than the subjects that had more Saccharomyces present.
Last, but certainly not least, the fungi in your gut may support your immune system as well. It’s well established that including fungi like the favored shiitake and reishi mushrooms to your diet can support a strong and healthy immune system, but now studies are showing that having certain strains of fungi present in your body may influence your immune health both directly and indirectly. This seems to be due to the fact that these strains of fungi have a way of communicating with your immune system that can influence the development of certain immune responses.
Tips to Maintain a Healthy Mycobiome
Since your mycobiome makes up a small, but important part of the larger gut microbiome, many of the steps you can take to care for the fungi within your body are the same ones you are already using to care for your gut bacteria, including…
1. Choosing whole foods over processed ones. The foods you choose to fuel your body with are the ones that will be providing nourishment to all the microorganisms that reside in your gut. IN order to foster larger colonies of beneficial microbes, it’s best to skip the processed items and fill your plate with healthy, nutrient-dense whole foods as often as possible.
2. Move Your Body. Regularly incorporating physical activity into your routine is a simple and effective way to support nearly every area of your overall health, including your gut health. Even something as simple as 30 minutes of moderate exercise like walking or dancing is enough to help regulate your gut microbiome and provide your body with a variety of benefits.
3. Avoid alcohol and tobacco. Smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol are known to disrupt the environment of your digestive system, which can negatively impact the composition of both bacteria and fungi in your gut.
4. Keep the stress away. Thanks to the two-way communication highway known as the gut-brain axis, intense feelings like stress can wreak havoc on your gut health by altering the balance of the microorganisms that live there. Adopting stress-relieving activities like mindfulness, meditation, and yoga as part of your daily routine is a great way to help your mind and body destress and keep your gut healthy.
5. Try natural supplements. Gut-supporting supplements like probiotic blends can also provide a lot of support for the bacteria and fungi that live in your digestive tract. Just be sure to do some research and choose a product that is all-natural, high-quality, and properly certified so you can rest assured that it is providing your body with the most benefits possible.
Keep Your Gut In Mind with Essentials
Now you know the difference between the microbiome and the mycobiome, and you also realize how closely they are intertwined and how important they both are when it comes to your overall health. Naturally, we should all be doing everything in our power to support both of these vital communities of microorganisms that are working hard for our bodies, which is where a product like Essentials comes into play.
Here at New Earth, we designed Essentials with your gut in mind. These convenient daily gut health packets have everything you need to provide the microbes in your gut with the nourishment they need to thrive. With probiotics, digestive enzymes, and the nutrient-dense superfood known as organic Wild Microalgae®, Essentials packets are a simple and powerful way to support both your microbiome and your mycobiome.
The best part? You can put it to the test risk-free with our 90-day money-back guarantee.
At New Earth we are on a mission to positively impact the health of every body and soul we come in contact with. We specialize in producing third-party certified, organic whole food supplements including a variety of probiotics, and digestive support. Our supplements feature a rare, yet highly nutritious superfood, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA). Also known as organic Wild Microalgae® , AFA is a unique type of microalgae that is available in many forms including tablets, capsules, and powders all designed to help you on your journey to holistic wellness. The best part? We offer a 90-day money-back risk-free guarantee on all of our products. Visit our website to learn more.