Digestive Health, Immunity, Probiotic Health

LOMD = Loss of Microbial Diversity – Should I Care?

LOMD - good microbes

Yes, you should care about LOMD! Read on.

It’s incredible to think that so many of our health issues start from an imbalance in the gut. And when we say “imbalance,”, we’re talking about an abundance of “bad bacteria,”, and not enough of “good bacteria” – also known as probiotics.

Typically, in an imbalanced gut, not only is there too much bad bacteria, but there’s a decline in the NUMBER of beneficial probiotic strains that normally exist inside of us and keep us healthy! The word “strains” refers to the multitude of specific types of probiotics. This decline even has a name – Loss of Microbial Diversity, or LOMD.

LOMD transition image
Contrasting High Diversity and Low Diversity of Microbes in the Gut

Why does LOMD matter?

Because our immunity and our gut health are directly impacted when the number of probiotic strains declines!

What causes LOMD?

When we were a hunter/gatherer population, we had very high strain diversity. Then we moved into traditional farming and fishing, which caused a mild decline in strain diversity, but it still remained fairly high.

However, now we’ve moved into our western urban industrialized society, and it’s rapidly wiping out strains of our beneficial bacteria, making way for all kinds of health problems, including a weakened immune system.

LOMD in populations

The introduction of processed foods, high sugar, and high stress – all link to this decline in our beneficial strains of probiotics that naturally occur in our gut.

What’s even more alarming is that researchers have stated that this rapid decline in strain diversity isn’t improving anytime soon – in fact, generation to generation, it’s getting worse and worse!

This is why you can’t use the argument that “my grandparents ate this way and lived until their 90s” anymore! You don’t have the same defenses that they did!

But wait, there’s good news!

We can support our own health and immune system, by making simple changes to slow this decline!

Eat a more wholesome diet. Strive to cut out processed foods, wheat, sugar, & alcohol whenever possible.

Manage stress levels by prioritizing time in your day:

  • Take a walk
  • Carve out time to spend on a hobby
  • Meditate (no, really, do it!)
  • Practice yoga
  • Spend time with your family or pets
Healthy person with dog

Lowering stress is key to keeping a strong immune system and healthy body…we talk a lot about stress in some of our other posts so be sure to check those out!

And lastly, take a daily probiotic supplement with high diversity so you have a variety of strains to support your immune system, your gut, and your health.

Loss of Microbial Diversity (LOMD) is a serious issue. A higher diversity of gut bacteria is linked to better health, so we need to do whatever we can to preserve it.


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