This article helps detail some of the new findings emerging relative to the effects of the Microbiome and perhaps start to explain the significant differences found in populations based on where they grow up. In a controversial claim from the Irish study
the study also suggests that this microbial make-up is driven by a diet high in fat and lacking in fibre, and that a decline in our microbial community underlies ill health as we grow old
This does run back to the challenge of correlation vs causation but there is a suggestion that altering your microbiome can ave significant positive effects...unfortunately we don't know how:
We just don't have a very good idea yet of the specific parameters that could set the microbiota in a good direction versus a bad direction
It puts an interesting perspective on the increasing incidence of cesarean deliveries which remove the exposure of the infants first exposure to the microorganisms that would have occurred as they passed through the birth canal.
The current study focusing on the "Mediterranean" diet will offer not only insights into the value proposition that people from those areas seem to have benefitted from a longer healthier life with a diet rich in olive oil, fish and fresh vegetables but perhaps help explain this effect