In November 2014, the world’s leading chess players, Magnus Carlsen and Vaswanathan Anand, will battle each other for the world championship. Both players have elaborate teams of player-coaches, analyzing their opponent’s games and preparing surprises to catch him off-guard.
The players are backed by elaborate computer systems and substantial corporate sponsorship deals. However: bright coaches, electronic armadas, and money may do little good if the players do not fortify their immune systems for challenges they face – especially when traveling. In fact, the ultimate decision maker of the match may be the lowly microbe.
Microbes play a big role in how humans function. How could it be otherwise? For only 10% of cells in human bodies are really human. The other 90% of cells are microbial. Some are friendly, while others are pathogenic, thus potentially harmful.
All bacteria in your body – good and bad – maintain a balance with your immune system, which must identify each one and react appropriately. And that is key: react appropriately. Some people’s immune systems react less effectively to microbial challenges than others.
People have individual microbial “fingerprints,” determined by genetics, where they live, the weather, antibiotic intake, diet, toothpaste, soap, and many other variables.
The way that a person’s microbiota (bacteria and fungi) work with their immune system to respond to challenges affects how energetic they feel and how clearly they think. Disease risk and mortality are also affected.
Travel affects the microbiome mightily. From the moment the two chess players set foot in the principality of Genovia, where the world championship match is being played, their microbiomes must react to the unique microbial mix of that country: water, food, air – everything will be different.
If their microbiomes are healthy, they will adapt quickly. But if they are compromised, their ability to play at peak performance for a long, grueling chess match will be affected negatively.
Fortifying against Immune System Challenges
One way to improve your response to immune system challenges is to increase your balance of beneficial microbes. LivingTheCRWay members have lots of resources to help accomplish that including the Gastrointestinal Health, Gut Microbiome and Others forum. Become a free Healthy Start member or a full contributing member to access this and other content for better, longer life.
Full, contributing, members — make sure that you visit the Microbiome section, on the left navigation menu, particularly the Meal Plans for Optimizing Gut Health, for suggestions on how to tip your balance towards good microbes.
So what should the two chess contenders, and anyone else who travels, do to fortify themselves against undue microbial challenges? The latest research indicates that a strong microbiome is diverse. No single organism should dominate over the others. In fact, in cancer patients, a higher than 30% concentration of any microbe makes it likely that stem-cell transfers (bone-marrow transplants) will fail.
CR Way Research includes a focus on how to create a strong, diverse microbiome. See CR Way DNA HACR to find out more.