The Human Microbiome - Quiz

The human microbiome is the collection of microorganisms that include bacteria, protozoa, fungi, viruses and other one-celled organisms in and on the body. Human-microbe interactions play a crucial role in individual health. The microbes are both external on the skin, mouth, genitals and internal in the lungs and digestive organs. The microbiomes have many essential functions in the body – from helping digestion, to supporting the development of the immune system and preventing infections. Impressively there are also interactions between gut microbes and the brain which means we may be able to support mental health through changing the gut microbiome.
You probably knew already that tons of micro-organisms live in our bodies. But do you know the answer to these 5 questions?
Question 1
What is the human microbiome?
The collection of bacteria found on the surface of the skin
The population of viruses residing in the lungs
The ecosystem of microorganisms living in and on our bodies
Question 1 Explanation: 
The human microbiome refers to the diverse community of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbes, that reside in and on our bodies. Current research estimates there are about as many microbial cells as human cells in and on a human body!
Question 2
What is one of many ways the human microbiome affects our health?
It has no impact on our overall well-being
It helps in digestion and nutrient absorption
It is responsible for regulating our body temperature
Question 2 Explanation: 
The microbes in our gut play a crucial role in breaking down complex food components, producing certain vitamins, and aiding in the absorption of nutrients in our digestive system.
Question 3
What can disrupt the balance of the human microbiome?
Eating fermented foods
Regular exercise
Overuse of antibiotics
Question 3 Explanation: 
While fermented foods and regular exercise can have positive effects on the microbiome, the overuse of antibiotics can disrupt the balance by killing both harmful and beneficial bacteria, potentially leading to imbalances and health issues.
Question 4
How can we support a healthy human microbiome?
Avoiding all types of bacteria and microorganisms
Consuming a diverse range of plant-based foods
Exclusively relying on processed and packaged foods
Question 4 Explanation: 
A varied diet rich in fibre, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fermented foods can promote a healthy microbiome by providing the necessary nutrients for beneficial microbes to thrive.
Question 5
Can the human microbiome influence our mood and mental health?
No, the microbiome has no connection to mental well-being
Yes, imbalances in the microbiome can impact mood and mental health
Only certain types of bacteria in the gut affect mental health
Question 5 Explanation: 
Research suggests that the gut-brain axis allows communication between the gut microbiota and the brain, potentially influencing mood, behaviour, and mental well-being.
Question 6
Which group of microorganisms is most predominant in our gut?
Question 6 Explanation: 
Bacteria are the most abundant and diverse group of microorganisms in the human gut microbiome.
Question 7
When were the first steps of microbiome research made?
Question 7 Explanation: 
The first steps of microbiome research can be traced back to the 1680s when Dutch scientist Antoni van Leeuwenhoek described 5 kinds of bacteria present in his own and other people's mouths with his handcrafted microscopes! A long way to go to our advanced technologies today.
Question 8
There are many different microbiomes in and on the human body. Do you recognise which of the following is fictional?
Skin microbiome
Oral microbiome
None of the above
Question 8 Explanation: 
Microbes can be found all over the human body. Both the skin microbiome and oral microbiome are important microbiomes in the human body. The skin microbiome consists of diverse microorganisms that protect the skin and contribute to immune function. The oral microbiome plays a role in digestion, immune defence, and oral health.
Question 9
What part of the gut has the most microbes?
Small intestine
Large intestine
Question 9 Explanation: 
The large intestine, also known as the colon, harbours the highest concentration and diversity of microbes in the gut. This region provides a favourable environment for the growth and colonization of various beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion, fermentation of dietary fibres, and production of essential compounds like vitamins.
There are 9 questions to complete.

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