This individual combination is known as your gut microbiome, and can have a tremendous influence on health and well-being.
The diversity of your gut microbiome begins to be established when you are an infant, and is affected by genetics, whether you are breast or bottle fed, and your immediate environment. Later in life your microbiome is significantly affected by your food choices.4
Diets high in sugar and processed foods may reduce the diversity and your overall health, while diets high in whole foods high in fiber tend to have a beneficial impact.
For example, a number of studies have found obese individuals tend to have a less diverse gut microbiome,5 in addition to having greater numbers of certain harmful bacteria and fewer beneficial ones.
Studies have shown obesity is associated with as much as a 40% decrease in diversity,6 and that improving that diversity through probiotic supplementation can help resolve metabolic defects, resulting in fat loss.7