Dr. Nicola Finley (Internist)
Microbiome in Different Parts of the Body
The microbiome is an exciting field of medicine, as it is constantly evolving. The definition of the microbiome is a community of microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses) that inhabit a particular environment, and especially the collection of microorganisms living in or on the human body. The microbiome is often discussed in terms of gut health. Yet, the microbiome exists in other areas of the body, including the skin. The quantity of microorganisms varies in different areas of the body. For example, skin microorganisms have been estimated to average 1 million per cm², whereas gut microorganisms have been estimated to average more than 1 trillion microorganisms in the large intestines.
“The microbiome is often discussed in terms of gut health.
Yet, the microbiome exists in other areas of the body, including the skin.”
Pivotal research about the microbiome comes from The Human Microbiome Project, which studies five areas of the human body – gastrointestinal tract, skin, oral cavity, urogenital tract, and nasal passages. Also, there is microbiome research that includes the eye and the lungs. However, the skin microbiome is of particular interest, as the skin is the largest organ in the body. This skin microbiome research adds to our understanding of how the microbiome influences a person’s health.
To advance your journey toward a deeper understanding of the microbiome, and to get a grounding in the basics including how the microbiome is defined, and a couple of examples, please visit here.
You might also enjoy checking out a terrific article entitled ‘Skin Microbiome – The Next Frontier for Probiotic Intervention’ specifically focusing on the skin microbiome by McLoughlin, I.J., Wright, E.M., Tagg, J.R., et al, read it here.
And, if you would like to go even further and understand some of the important research in this area, a good place to start is by taking a look at NIH Human Microbiome Project.