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EP05: Andrew Holmes PhD and the Microbiome

Shannon Harvey

If you’re a regular listener to The Whole Health Life you’ll know that I dive with gusto into the scientific evidence showing links between our health and our emotions, stress levels, relationships, beliefs, diet, sleep, exercise and daily habits. But of all the topics in health science that I closely follow, there is one that stands out as having the greatest potential to revolutionise the way we approach wellness and the treatment of chronic disease – the microbiome.

It’s thought that up to 100 trillion microbes call your gut home. Disruptions to the balance of your gut “wildlife” are associated with  a range of chronic diseases. I also find it enthralling that our gut bacteria have even been shown to influence our behaviour.

Recently, I spoke with Associate Professor Andrew Holmes from The Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney, a scientist at the forefront of studying the link between our health and our microbes. One of the stand out messages that came from my conversation with him was that we are in a two-way relationship with the bacteria in our gut. We can influence them, and they can influence us. In fact, he explained that we have co-evolved with them and that we can no longer think of ourselves as an individual, but rather, as part of a dynamic ecosystem. In essence, we can no linger think of ourselves as an I, but rather as a “we.” We also chat about why the microbiome is so powerful, why our diet affects our gut bugs, the often controversial topics of antibiotics and probiotics and the future applications of this amazing research. 

I hope you enjoy my conversation with Andrew Holmes.

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