In the 18880's we discovered germs. We saw them as universally bad. Now we are starting to understand that we are in reality a huge ecosystem of bacteria. It may be that the health of this ecosystem is the most important aspect of our health. A healthy Biome = a healthy me.
This is where Paleo hits science. The aim is to eat what makes our gut healthy.
I follow this with Michael Pollans's NYT article that will tell you more.
Here is the lede: (Full Link Here)
"I can tell you the exact date that I began to think of myself in the first-person plural — as a superorganism, that is, rather than a plain old individual human being. It happened on March 7. That’s when I opened my e-mail to find a huge, processor-choking file of charts and raw data from a laboratory located at the BioFrontiers Instituteat the University of Colorado, Boulder. As part of a new citizen-science initiative called the American Gut project, the lab sequenced my microbiome — that is, the genes not of “me,” exactly, but of the several hundred microbial species with whom I share this body.
These bacteria, which number around 100 trillion, are living (and dying) right now on the surface of my skin, on my tongue and deep in the coils of my intestines, where the largest contingent of them will be found, a pound or two of microbes together forming a vast, largely uncharted interior wilderness that scientists are just beginning to map."
I end with a link to a short book that has the whole story up to now. This short book is very easy to read and is short. You will know a lot in an hour.
Here is the blurb
"To paraphrase famed biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky, “nothing in nutrition and health makes sense except in the light of the gut microbiome.” In Honor Thy Symbionts, the lens of our evolutionary past is focused on modern issues of obesity, GMO foods, diabetes, the rise in C-section births, ecology of our gut microbes, our African microbial origins, government dietary recommendations, probiotics vs. prebiotics, food poisoning, and more.
This collection of 21 short essays is not organized as a single book – with a beginning and obvious end. But a collection of musings ranging from 600 to 2,000 words in length. Though a wide range of topics is covered, a microbial thread connects all of the essays. This decidedly Darwinian (evolutionary) perspective is a nod to the reality that ninety-percent of the cells in the human body are not even human, but microbial. This makes humans super organisms – however, more microbe than mammal. This biological truth is reframing the scientific and philosophical conversation around Who are we? The ultimate questions of health and disease in our modern world will hinge on the speed at which we discover and accept that we have always lived in a microbial world and much that ails us is in fact discordance with the once symbiotic relationship we coevolved with these tiniest forms of life.
Jeff Leach is the Founder of the Human Food Project."