The Basics of Microbiome Diversity

What is diversity?

Diversity indicates the variety of different types of microorganisms present in your gut microbiome. A diverse microbiome has been linked with overall health, whereas reduced bacterial diversity has been linked to factors such as recent antibiotic usage, illness, or a diet high in processed foods and low in those nourishing the microbiota. Different types of bacteria have different strengths to create a versatile, strong community of microscopic gut warriors. This diversity improves resilience of the microbiome and is thought to prevent disease. A diverse microbiome is one that serves many functions and contributes to many bodily processes such as immune health, metabolism, and other aspects of your well-being in ways that are not fully understood yet.

How does diversity affect health?

You want to have the best bacteria for the job, whether it be to help manage your sleep health, reduce inflammation, or help you digest certain foods, but not all gut bacteria have the same strengths. That’s why you need a diverse array of microorganisms; one microbe can fill the gap of what another microbe can’t accomplish. Therefore, a low diversity means that your microbiome may lack the right workers for the many tasks it must perform to keep you healthy. Low bacterial diversity has been linked to the development of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other conditions, so increasing diversity with recommendations from your Phyla microbiome report is important for good health.