I Love You…Actually I Love Your Microbiome

What determines chemistry between two people? Who has not said, “They have good chemistry together?” We hear it so often that it seems trite. Typically, we direct that remark towards a couple that looks mismatched to our judgment. We ask ourselves, “What do they see in each other?” Our usual answer is that their ‘chemistry’ is just right. This is often our only way of reconciling the force of attraction between these two.

However, what if the concept of chemical attraction has a direct biological basis? New research is revealing that it does and many of those reasons had not been previously expected or explored. It is becoming increasingly apparent that our microbiome has a tremendous influence upon us. The microbiome represents all the microorganisms that are in us and on us. Astoundingly, these are so numerous that they outnumber our own innate cells by a factor of ten to one or more. The current estimate is that we harbor 100 trillion cells that we would not think of as our own. Importantly, our relationship with our microbial companions is essential to our well being. Their influence is a crucial element of metabolic pathways. They are critical participants in glucose regulation, the mediation of our immune systems, and even partially regulate our emotional responses to stress. Our relationship with these obligatory microbial partners is intimate. We cannot survive without them and they cannot exist as they prefer without us. It should not be totally surprising then that they can affect our social choices and even our love life.

How could germs influence our sexual choices? Those factors had remained hidden from our appraisal until recently. We simply did not have the technological means to assess it. Now we do and current research has found that the amount of microbial life —> Read More