Did You Know? …that your skin is not your body’s largest barrier.
While the skin is the body’s largest organ, and its main function is to act as a barrier, it is not your body’s largest barrier! The gut is. The intestines, measuring an average of 25 feet, serve as both a physical and functional barrier. They help the body to discriminate pathogens from benign microorganisms, and in doing so, educate the immune system.
While the structure of the intestinal barrier is formed early, by the end of the first trimester, its functional development continues into the postnatal period. By age 3, the gut microbiome has an adult-like profile.
Although mainly harmless, the microorganisms that live on and in our bodies provide benefits to the host, in priming the immune system, in contributing to metabolic functions, and in protecting the body against pathogens. The structure and function of the microbiome can vary depending on whether the host is in a healthy state or a specific diseased state, and many medical conditions may be caused by or related to changes in the microbiome. Your gut microbiome is important for optimal health.