Great Gut Extinction: Has modern life destroyed our health? - BBC News
Our modern lifestyle is often blamed for the explosion in conditions like asthma, diabetes and obesity - but the evidence that our predecessors didn’t suffer such ailments has been hard to come by - until now.
In 2008 a military helicopter chanced upon a previously uncharted group of huts in the remote Amazonas region in southern Venezuela, home to 15,000 Yanomami people.
Thought to have been completely isolated since their ancestors arrived in South America after the last ice age, the semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers have never been exposed to modern civilisation - therefore neither have their guts.
The community hunts for small birds and mammals as well as frogs and fish and the occasional tapir. They also eat wild bananas, plantain and cassava.
Water is collected from a stream about five minutes’ walking distance from the village.
An international team of scientists has studied the group - whose exact location has been protected - to see what micro-organisms (microbes) lived in and on them.
Some microbes cause disease but the majority are completely harmless but humans couldn’t live without them,
The microbes we are born with - which mainly come from our mother’s birth canal - form the basis of our lifelong microbiome.
We are literally covered in them, inside and out. But modern life can alter the microbial composition.
See on bbc.co.uk