We’ve talked before about the fascinating human microbiome, the 3 trillion bacteria that live inside our bodies. It’s said to be the next frontier of research now that the genome is mapped, and it impacts our health in tremendous ways.
But lurking even deeper than those 3 pounds of bacteria is another frontier, one that gets into our very DNA. It’s the virome, the viruses that also live within us, so numerous that they outnumber every other organism on earth.
The potential for research and healing of various ailments so many of us suffer from, particularly gut health issues, is immense.
I sat down with Catherine Clinton, ND, recently and asked her to explain what the virome is and how it’s going to impact the way we think about health:
If you can’t see the video above, view it directly on YouTube at What’s the Human Virome?
Dr. Catherine always has the greatest research-based info to share with me, like when we talked about the best time to introduce food to infants – something I pretty much got wrong with all 4!
She’s the founder of WellFuture and creator of WellBelly, the infant and child probiotic that Gabe takes daily (when we remember).
If you’re not a video watcher, I got you covered too.
Notes on the Human Virome Interview
- 1:06 – Fun fact: the 3 trillion bacteria living inside us weigh up to 3 pounds!
- 2:27 – Science is discovering something new – the human virome! Learn more about how the virome is virus based – which is different from the gut biome that we often associate with bacteria.
- 3:13 – Viruses impact our health. Viruses are the most abundant biological entity on the earth.
- 4:50 – Learn how virus-infected bacteria (bacteriophages) live in symbiosis in our body and can actually fight infection and inflammatory bowel disease. These viruses attack only the bad bacteria that are hurting us and have zero direct impact on our own bodies.
- 6:01 – This tidbit about a research study that scientists did with mice and the norovirus (one of the common stomach bug causes) will surprise you! Find the study here.
- 7:37 – Dr. Katherine explains how Eastern European medicine actually used viruses (bacteriaphages) in medicine, since there was limited to access to antibiotics. This means it’s actually quite well studied, even though it’s “new” around America! Here’s one study about the use of bacteriophages.
- 8:08 – How can viruses help someone with Irritable Bowel Syndrome? How does one take these beneficial viruses/bacteriophages? (Hint: I had to get over the idea of taking viruses as no different than drinking water kefir or eating homemade yogurt…)
- 10:37 – How are viruses/bacteriophages better than taking antibiotics? (Hint: This isn’t in the interview exactly, but they won’t infect the good bacteria because each bacteriophage is specific to a certain bacteria thus leaving us and the good bacteria alone. I asked Dr. Catherine that question after telling my son about our interview and HE asked about that – Mr. smartypants!!!)
- 11:51 – Keeping your virome healthy is both clinical (supervised by a health practitioner) and practical at home. We can see in infants that the health of the virile is tied to the health of the bacterial biome. So how do we keep both healthy?
- 12:51 – Learn the secret benefits to environmental diversity and the value of getting outside. Find out how opening your windows and putting up house plants can impact the virome! In other words, for best health we need to focus on exposing our bodies to as many different kinds of food and environmental factors as possible (more on that here on my blog and here is some research on infants and the virome).
- 14:15 – The type of cleaning products you use can actually disrupt your body’s virome and biome (get outta here, bleach!). Want a safer way to clean? Here’s a list of what I use from floor to ceiling.
- 15:33 – Dr. Catherine’s Common Sense Rule
- 16:44 – A little more about WellFuture probiotics designed by Dr. Catherine
- 18:04 – Dr. Catherine’s exciting update about a change in Well Future’s probiotic formula:
And I’m really excited to say that this new formula of WellBelly uses completely organic food based carriers rather than maltodextrin or some of the other industrial by-products. We use organic banana and apple powder as the carrier. I’m excited to be able to offer a whole food probiotic product that doesn’t contain any solvent derived carriers or non food carriers.
Those little babies deserve organic, whole food supplements, especially with daily supplements, not a daily exposure to solvent derived, non food fillers as carriers for probiotics.”