By this point you probably know that there are several factors that have a hand in your full-body health including your existing gut microbial habitat (the microorganisms living in your digestive tract), your genetic makeup, metabolic factors (think blood sugar and lipids), the diet you follow, movement, and more.

Now, while each of these aspects can affect your overall health status, is there one factor that’s more significant than the rest? In a new video posted to Instagram, gastroenterologist Will Bulsiewicz, M.D., MSCI, author of The Fiber-Fueled Cookbook, offers his take.

Key factors determining your health status.

When it comes to narrowing down which factor plays the biggest part in determining your health, we must first look at two things: blood sugar after eating and blood fat. To do this, Bulsiewicz pulls up a study published in Nature Medicine by chief scientist at Zoe Sarah Berry, Ph.D. “We look at these factors because they are a measure of your metabolism and are predictive of your risk for cardiovascular [concerns] in the future, so we want to control what we can,” Bulsiewicz explains in his caption.

Through looking at the findings, Bulsiewicz lays out a scenario in which you eat a meal and then take a look at your blood sugar afterward. According to Bulsiewicz, the “[gut] microbiome is more important than your age, more important than your gender, but what you eat, how you choose to eat it, and your genetics are very important” when it comes to blood sugar. The good news here is that since it’s what you’re eating and how you’re eating it that determines blood sugar levels, you have the freedom to make changes to your nutrition choices to lower spikes and support your health with balancing foods.

Meanwhile, after eating a meal, Bulsiewicz notes it’s the gut microbiome that has the most say in terms of your blood fat. “Your microbiome is actually more powerful than your genetic code, than what’s on the plate, and the context in which you eat your meal,” he reveals.

In short, your overall health (and major metabolic parameters like blood sugar and lipids) are mediated by both your gut microbiome and your dietary choices, with the former having a larger impact on your blood fat, and the latter playing a more significant role in blood sugar, according to Bulsiewicz.

How to support your gut microbiome.

Since caring for your gut microbiome is essential for keeping you healthy overall, it’s important to take steps to support it to help you feel your best. Our recommendation? A colorful, nutrient-dense diet laden with healthy fats, quality protein, and prebiotic fibers from plants, plus this targeted tool: mbg’s probiotic+. Formulated with four targeted strains specifically chosen to elevate your gut microbiome and clinically shown to help reduce bloating, aid in proper digestion, and even promote regularity.*

With 32 billion CFU of shelf-stable bacteria in each capsule, in combination with balanced nutrition, this supplement is an excellent way to prioritize giving your gut everything it needs to thrive.

When you’re looking at blood sugar, according to Bulsiewicz, your nutrition choices are going to have the biggest impact. On the other hand, when it comes to blood fat, your gut microbiome is in charge, showing that there are a range of factors playing into your well-being. Through supporting your GI tract and gut microbiome with a targeted probiotic such as mbg’s probiotic+, you can ensure that this aspect of your health stays in tiptop shape.*

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.