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Many thanks to Michelle Blyth for this.


This popular and fascinating subject was begun by an excellent talk by Dr. Alcock, who explained that perhaps our bacterial buddies aren’t always the friendly organisms we make them out to be. Applying evolutionary principles, Dr. Alcock made the case that our microbes could be in conflict with us if they are sharing resources with us, which could help explain the poor health outcomes of “Westernised” diets of simple carbs and fats.

These microbes were then accused of changing what we eat, with the idea that what we eat has a large effect on our microbiome, so they should control our diet if they can. However, so far there doesn’t appear to be evidence of oral flora changing eating habits.

To finish up, the relationship of armpit microbes and skin health were discussed. Genetic variation changes your skin microbiome composition, which in turn may effect your chances of developing various skin conditions. With further research we may be able to treat these diseases more effectively by altering the bacteria that grow on the skin.

Hope that helps!
Michelle Blyth