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Q&A with Dr. Brett Finlay, Co-Author of The Whole-Body Microbiome

By January 4, 2019No Comments

Everyone wants to know the secret to living a longer and better life. Dr. B. Brett Finlay, UBC Peter Wall Distinguished Professor at the Michael Smith Laboratories, teamed up with his daughter, Dr. Jessica Finlay, a recognized environmental gerontologist, to write a new book that explores the human microbiome and uses scientific fact to highlight the connection between microbes and quality of health. The Whole-Body Microbiome dispels common health myths—for example, airplane air isn’t filled with abundantly more germs and early signs for Parkinson’s disease start in the gut or nasal cavity, not the brain—and emphasizes the beneficial impact of seemingly simple lifestyle choices such as eating more kimchi, enjoying a glass of wine, or taking weekly walks outdoors.

In recent years, there has been an enormous interest with gut microbiota. Microbial communities extend further than just our guts and live on our skin and other parts of our body. Together, they affect our immune system, brain, digestive system, bones, hearts, and even our mental health. Additionally, the microbes that live in our environment such as everyday objects we use, and on our pets and plants, have an influence on our well-being. When we travel or move to a new place, the change in the dynamics of the microbial communities we are in contact with can potentially improve or worsen our well-being.

In this book, the Finlays point out that nine out of top ten causes of death in the United States are linked to microbes. Understanding microbial communities on a whole-body level can change our perception of what a healthy life entails and offers new scientific information on how we can all be healthier and live a longer life.

Dr. B. Brett Finlay, the co-author of Let Them Eat Dirt, answered a few questions in an interview with the Michael Smith Laboratories communication team about his new book, The Whole-Body Microbiome: