Our gut microbiome – the name given to the collection of bacteria living inside us – continues to attract attention, and the prevailing belief is that the gut is the epicentre of health, affecting everything from our immune response to our allergic reactions and rate of ageing.

Understanding the role of the microbiome in health and disease is not what this article is about (although if you wish to investigate that particular topic, check out this blog). What we wish to do is answer a rather simple, yet kind of confounding, question: how many species of gut bacteria reside in our gastrointestinal tract?

Armed with this knowledge, you will have a greater appreciation of the relevance of the microbial composition residing within you – bacteria that represents around 2% of your body weight. Let’s dive right in.