NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- It's being called the new frontier in healthcare, and it lives inside our bodies.
As CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez reported, it runs out that the bacteria that live in our intestinal tracts could be the key to treating all kinds of ailments.
Therese Ach said she felt something was wrong with her health for most of her life. She was always tired to the point where she could barely get out of bet. Doctors said it was psychological.
"I was dying. I had no life left in me," she said.
Then, 5-years-ago she met Dr. Raphael Kellman, author of the Microbiome Diet, a lifestyle he said is proven to restore a healthy gut.
"The reason we are suffering from obesity, and why so many people can't lose weight is because they are forgetting about the microbiome," he said.
The microbiome is the trillions of bacteria that live in our digestive tract. There are ten times more bacteria than cells in the human body, and each combination is unique and at least partly passed on from mother to baby at birth.
Dr. Kellman said the food we eat can change its makeup.
"The bacteria in the microbiome not only helps us prevent disease, and keep us healthy, but it plays a role in reversing disease too," Dr. Kellman said.
Dr. Kellman's microbiome diet includes fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi which contain live, friendly bacteria, and vegetables with complex carbohydrates that work as fuel for the microbiome like jicama, Jerusalem artichokes, and radishes.
While it's a generally healthy diet, other researchers said the microbiome is so complex and so different from person to person that it's too soon to know how or even whether we can affect it enough to make a difference in our health.
Therese's problem turned out to be a failing thyroid. Mediation for that along with a better diet and probiotics led to a 40-lbs weight loss.
"I don't feel bloated anymore. my face used to be this big swollen face. My stomach used to stick out really bad," she said.
The science behind these various microbiom diets is still a little soft, meaning we don't yet know enough about the bacteria in our guts to know what fiddling with them might do to our health.
The good news is that these diets are, for the most part, healthy diets so you probably won't do any harm by following them.
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