How can 50,000-year-old Neanderthal droppings help us? In fact, we have no idea exactly how many bacteria live in our gut, but scientists say there are more of them than there are cells in our body, and now we're finding out that this symbiotic relationship has been going on for hundreds of thousands of years.

This was based on the 50,000-year-old Neanderthal feces, analysis of which showed that some of the bacteria were already living inside our last common ancestor. It is interesting because literally overnight we discover new tasks and the importance of bacteria, the role of which goes much further than we expected - we already know that the gut microbiome affects metabolism, blood sugar levels, the ability to lose weight, sleep, and also the likelihood of developing various diseases such as diabetes, cancer, sclerosis, heart disease Alzheimer, Parkinson and many others. In short, since our health is so dependent on these microorganisms, we should care for them and learn about them as much as possible, especially since the modern lifestyle, full of processed food and antibiotics, is not conducive to their well-being.

Researchers from the University of Bologna therefore set out to identify our "oldest friends", species that have been with us for so long that they must be associated with evolutionary advantages. The new analyzes are to help determine their priority, protect them and develop new methods of supporting them. To do this, scientists Hyperlinks site at fragments of very old feces found in a Spanish cave that had been attributed to the Neanderthals. They were able to analyze the DNA of the microbiome found in them, gaining insight into what connects us to our relatives in the past.

The team found many bacteria known to colonize the human gut, including Blautia, Dorea, Roseburia, Ruminococcus, Faecalibacterium and Bifidobacterium, so it turns out these are much older than homo sapiens. - Through DNA analysis, we were able to isolate the core of these microorganisms shared with homo sapiens. This discovery allows us to conclude that these microorganisms inhabited the intestines of our species long before the sapiens and Neanderthals split some 700,000 years ago. (...) The results also help to understand which parts of our microbiome are critical to our health, as they are integral parts of our biology from an evolutionary point of view. Nowadays, we see a progressive reduction in microbiome diversity as a result of lifestyle - this research can guide us in creating the right diet and lifestyle to combat this phenomenon, the researchers explain.