The Impact of Microbial Diversity on Health

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The Impact of Microbial Biodiversity on Health

Why microbes are friends, not enemies.

May 22nd marks International Biodiversity Day. And while we typically associate biodiversity with plants and animals, the importance of microbial diversity can't be overstated. By the year 2050, it’s projected that 70% of the global population will live in urban areas, where there's a rapid increase in health problems such as asthma and allergies. A growing number of scientists now believe that this is linked to biodiversity loss. While biodiversity encompasses all forms of life, microbes, in particular, have significant implications for our well-being.


Microbes are everywhere. They’re found in soil, water, and even the human body. They participate in nutrient recycling, soil fertility, and symbiotic relationships with plants and animals, making them an essential component of the ecosystem. They also play a vital role in human health. The human gut microbiome, for example, can weigh up to 2 kg and is home to up to 100 trillion microbes, playing a crucial role in digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune system regulation. Exposure to a wide range of microbes allows our bodies to mount an effective defense against pathogens, and early exposure to diverse bacteria helps shape the immune system.


Because of our mass-migration into cities and towns, where biodiversity is lacking, many of us no longer come into contact with these health-promoting microbes. Poor diet and lifestyle choices can also negatively impact the gut microbiome. 

On top of that, our misuse of antibiotics and excessive use of disinfectants (while both play an important role in society!), can disturb microbial ecosystems, resulting in imbalances and potential health consequences. Antibiotic resistance strains are becoming more prevalent and are now considered by the WHO one of the biggest threats to global health and food security..


1. Maintain a balanced diet of natural, plant-based foods that support a healthy microbial ecosystem.

2. Ditch disinfectants! Our homes greatly benefit from a rich microbial diversity. Traditional disinfectants kill both harmful and beneficial bacteria, disrupting the natural balance. Consider using probiotic cleaning products like YOKUU, which introduce good bacteria into your home to promote a healthy microbial environment.

3. Spend more time outdoors to foster exposure to diverse bacteria. Whether it's in the woods, the garden, or anywhere we have access to nature, spending time outside exposes us to a wider range of environmental microbes, which can positively influence our microbial diversity.

4. Grow more diverse native plants, and supporting efforts to create more inclusive and accessible green spaces

It's time to get friendly with microbes. From spending more time in nature to ditching the disinfectants, there are many ways to nurture microbial biodiversity. Who knows, they might just become your new best friends.

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