The human microbiome is a wonderous thing. These are the microbes that live in and on our bodies. We each have somewhere between 10 and 100 trillion microbes with us. They outnumber the cells that make up our bodies. Many of these microbes are bacteria that inhabit our intestinal tracts or gut. Most are symbiotic, which means that they work together with our cells for our benefit. Others are potentially harmful but are kept in check by other microbes. Research has repeatedly shown the important role the human microbiome has in maintaining our health and, when out of balance, in triggering disease.

The microbiome has been shown to play a role in many diseases like depression, autism spectrum disorders, some cancers and in the process of human development. We are constantly uncovering new information about how the microbiome works. Recent research has shed some light on the effect of artificial sweeteners.

Medical Discovery News is a weekly radio and print broadcast highlighting medical and scientific breakthroughs hosted by professor emeritus, Norbert Herzog, and professor, David Niesel, biomedical scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Learn more at


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