We’re born with an entirely sterile gut and the process of our microbiomes growing starts at birth.
The 20+ trillion bacteria, funghi and viruses in a healthy microbiome takes a lifetime of eating, drinking, hygiene and healthy lifestyle choices to develop well.
Whenever we need to take a course of antibiotics we cut the flora back enormously but it can be built back up again by eating lots of different live/low processed foods. The live bacteria contained in some diary products, the yeasts in breads & beers and the live foods which have short shelf lives and aren’t cooked all help to rebuild the microbiome.
The short chain fatty acids that break down roughage respond unsurprisingly to roughage as they grow when they’re fed.
One problem people talk about is the gut becoming sensitive- which tends to make us less likely to eat a varied and unprocessed diet. Introducing small amounts will make it more digestible. You need to keep eating new interesting things and not to fall back onto a small group of food-types that you trust.
We know that chronic inflammation is a clear sign of ageing. The inflammation disease such as T2 Diabetes, IBS and obesity are associated with a smaller microbiome.
As we age all large studies show that our microbiome declines- exactly as it does in younger people with inflammation. So which comes 1st the fall in microbiome size or the ageing ?- we don’t know but we do know the maintenance of the microbiome helps the immune system and the gut to digest.
Don’t fall into the trap of eating a small variety of food types. A comfort zone of food can be bad for the microbiome. Eat well and pay attention to your bowels as they’re the best way of knowing how healthy your microbiome is.