by Lisa Keilhofer

Microbiome now entering public awareness

The microbiome has apparently entered public awareness.
The microbiome has apparently entered public awareness. For us, this is an important step to report on.

The recently published edition of >>> SPIEGEL magazine (27/2019) is under the headline „The super organ – gut and the secret of a long life“. The title of the actual essay is „Eat good now“ (in German being a pun on „let’s call it a day“ or „let’s end it on this“). Judging from the title, one might think this is just one more – more or less profound – guideline on dieting. But this essay takes it one step further. It is scrutinizing the gut microbiome and its bacteria together with their influence on our physical and mental health.

Diet and influence on gut microbiome

The essay quotes various scientists (e.g. the microbiologists Erica Sonnenburg, Stanford University, and Mahesg Desai, Luxembourg Institute of Health) as well as science based media (such as the „British Medical Journal“, or „Science Magazin“) and the reader has to digest pretty complex scientific matters.

Microbiome now mainstream

Frequent visitors of our homepage may not learn anything new from the essay. That is why we are not going into details of content. The reason, why we are referring to this publication is another: most of the articles we have published so far refer to scientific essays of university labs, science magazines and US-American media, at best. This article, however, is clearly showing that the microbiome is now no longer a mere marginal phenomenon but has entered public awareness.

Our recently published reference to „Apotheken-Umschau“ also showed this tendency. The readers of „Apotheken Umschau“ are no scientists, as well, but one can assume a certain general interest in health issues. Readers of the SPIEGEL can be described as mainstream: an average of society in interests and education. The microbiome has apparently entered public awareness. For us, this is an important step to report on.

Understanding beyond diet tips

Diet recommendations for an intact gut are nothing new. We know all about the right nutrition for our bowel ever since Giulia Ender`s >>> „Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Underrated Organ“ or Bas Kast's >>> „Ernährungskompass“ (published only in German, so far), at the latest. These books, however, spare the reader the scientific biochemical background, leaving him or her clueless about that entire field. This seems to have come to an end now.

Gut microbiome as introduction to the matter

It is also obvious that most people enter the issue „microbiome“ almost always via the gut. Also and above all in science, the gut was the only micriobiome of interest, leaving lung, mouth, and skin, widely neglected until only recently.

Our publications on the skin microbiome are until today almost exclusively referring to scientific findings or publications of the cosmetics industry. The latest SPIEGEL essay lets us hope that also in Europe, the microbiome (starting with gut, then proceeding to skin) will enter the public awareness.

Lisa Keilhofer
Lisa Keilhofer

Lisa Keilhofer studied at the University of Regensburg. She works in internationalization and as a freelance editor.

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