Humboldt Journal of Microbiology


Humans are mostly made up of microbes. Multiple studies have estimated that bacterial cells outnumber human cells in the body, with our digestive systems harboring the highest concentrations of bacterial life. The oral microbiome is densely populated and of significant physiological importance. These microbial communities maintain tooth and gum health, aids in pre-digestion of foods, and even plays a defensive role — guarding their host from external threats that may lead to oral and systemic pathologies. Studies have shown that fasting can affect the gut microbiome, but there is currently insufficient research on how fasting intervals can affect the oral microbiome. This study will compare the oral microbiome of subjects with similar dietary and oral hygiene habits (n=3) before and after a 24-hour fasting period. If the abundance and diversity of bacteria in the subjects’ mouths change in a consistent and significant manner, then intermittent fasting could play a role in reshaping the oral microbiome and influence human wellbeing.

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