The microbioma is the topic of fashion. Understanding the microorganisms that inhabit our gut can open the door to better understand certain diseases and processes that occur in our body. For example, it has been proposed that intestinal bacteria can influence our weight gain and our mood, among others.
But, how important is our microbiome, how do different factors influence it? A study that focuses on a Tanzanian tribe can give us many clues. The research, published in Science, looks at how microbes change depending on the seasons.
In the dry season, the Hadza tribe feeds mainly on vegetables and meat, while in the wet season they substitute meat for fruit. Analysis of its bacteria reveals that its microbiome varied very important between these two seasons. What’s more, in one of them the researchers found bacteria that humans living in industrialized areas have lost forever.
Once the scientific community has become aware that the microbiome is an important element, the next step is to analyze how it can be modified. And the case of the Hadza helps to understand how food can change it. An important fact is the enormous amount of fiber that the inhabitants of this tribe ingest, far superior to the doses that we take in the ‘first world’.
Although there are also variables that are difficult to extrapolate to our culture. For example, one hypothesis is that part of the bacterial diversity exhibited by the Hadza is due to the fact that they consume the meat that they hunt moments after obtaining it, so that they eat much of the bacteria that inhabit the animals.