The Annals of Cardiology No.22 | Bacteria and Leaky Guts
You can read the introduction below or read the full version here.
Are you tempted to sign up for one of those 23andMe DNA saliva tests to find out who you really are? For $69.00 this company challenges you to “Go beyond your family tree and find people who share DNA with you.” DNA is the genetic material which contains all the information needed for growth, development, and functioning of living creatures. But what if I told you that most of the cells you carry around don’t have your DNA? In fact, most of what makes up “you” is bacteria. There are hundreds of trillions of them, and collectively they’re known as your microbiome. Some are like commuters jumping on and off your skin, but most live and work in your intestine, and they outnumber nucleated human cells by a factor of 10 to 1. It’s a shocker. When I first heard this, I stopped looking in the mirror to figure out who I was and instead spent some time peering into the toilet. It wasn’t a high self-esteem day.
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