I was reading a really interesting email from Dr. Tyna Moore yesterday about how researchers are studying NCDs, Non-Contagious Diseases, to see how they could possibly be shared or spread or “contagious” to people who live together, or even to people who spend a lot of time together such as close friends and family.
According to research, some NCDs, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and autoimmune diseases, have been shown to “spread” through families and close relations. How are they testing this? Through the gut and skin microbiome.
What they are finding is that people who cohabitate often have nearly identical microbiomes, meaning that the bacteria, fungi, and archaea found in and on the body are very similar. Some researchers have even said that they can look at a fecal sample, for instance, of dozens of people and correctly choose which ones live together.
How crazy is that?!
Of course, these are not the only factors in determining if you can “catch” an NCD from someone close to you. In fact, you actually have quite a bit of control over this. Yes, genetics play a role, but so do environmental factors, many of which you have complete control over. Eating right, exercising, and maintaining metabolic health can certainly sway things in your favor, and likely keep your microbiome looking different from those around you who are not doing so.
What does this have to do with my dog?
Now that I have given you the back story when I clicked on the link to one of the studies (https://elifesciences.org/articles/00458) I saw that they also tested dogs in the home. What they found is that the microorganisms living on the skin of you and your dog are more common than on your skin and a dog that lives with someone else. The internal microorganisms were also more similar between the humans and dogs who lived together, but the skin had the most in common.
From what I’ve already told you, this makes sense, doesn’t it?
What’s most interesting about this new research, other than another kick in the butt to keep me healthy and metabolically sound regardless of my family and environment, is that my health, or lack of it, can also have an effect on my dog -and vice versa.
Yet another reason to do everything possible to keep me and my pets naturally healthy!
What does this make you think about?