A recent CNN article discusses the importance of gut health and more specifically, what our microbiomes say about us.

“There are more bacteria in your gut than there are stars in the universe,” said Rob Knight who is the director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation. With over 100 trillion microbes that make up your microbiome, these so-called “peacekeepers of the body” are crucial for your gut health.

The American Gut project in San Diego has collected over 10,000 samples from more than 43 countries and is hoping to understand what the bacteria do within our bodies and how they impact our health. The challenge that arises with this project is the fact that our microbiomes are frequently changing due to lifestyle choices such as diet, sleep and exercise; therefore, it can be difficult to determine the underlying causes.

However, one community seems to be achieving this diversity quite successfully.

Buried deep within the Venezuelan Amazon jungle is a remote, indigenous community that holds the most diverse human microbiome ever recorded. Untouched by modern medicine and the outside world, the Yanomami community contains exceptionally healthy individuals, and the goal of researchers is to discover why their microbes are providing such health and diversity compared to that of the Western hemisphere.

After significant research, the team surprisingly found that the bacteria residing in the guts of these civilians produced genes that made the people resistant to antibiotics, even though they have never taken them.

Ultimately, discoveries such as these are crucial and may lead to the resurgence of biodiversity amidst modernization. Read more about this project on CNN.