Improve your gut health with handshakes

In our increasingly digital world, the traditional handshake has remained a steadfast symbol of human connection and trust. But did you know that this simple gesture might have a profound impact on your gut health? Let's delve into the fascinating science behind how handshakes can contribute to a healthy gut microbiome through the exchange of beneficial bacteria.

The Microbiome: Our Internal Ecosystem

The human gut microbiome is a complex and dynamic ecosystem composed of trillions of microorganisms. These microorganisms play crucial roles in digestion, immune function, and overall health. A diverse and balanced gut microbiome is essential for maintaining these functions and protecting against various diseases.

The Science of Bacteria Exchange

When we shake hands, we are not only exchanging greetings but also swapping a small amount of our microbiota. Research has shown that direct skin-to-skin contact, such as a handshake, can facilitate the transfer of bacteria between individuals. This exchange is generally harmless and can even be beneficial, promoting microbial diversity.

Microbial diversity is a key factor in a healthy gut. A diverse microbiome is more resilient and capable of adapting to changes, protecting against pathogens, and supporting the body's physiological processes. By increasing exposure to a variety of microbes through social interactions like handshakes, we can help foster a more diverse and robust gut microbiome.

Positive Impacts of Handshake on Gut Health

1. Enhanced Microbial Diversity

Handshakes can introduce new bacteria to your microbiome, contributing to its diversity. This diversity is associated with improved digestion, better nutrient absorption, and a stronger immune system.

2. Strengthened Immune System

Exposure to a variety of bacteria helps train the immune system to distinguish between harmful and benign microbes. This can enhance the body's immune response, reducing the likelihood of allergies, autoimmune diseases, and infections.

3. Reduced Inflammation

A balanced and diverse gut microbiome helps regulate inflammation in the body. By supporting microbial diversity through bacteria exchange in handshakes, you may experience reduced chronic inflammation, which is linked to various health conditions, including heart disease and diabetes.

4. Improved Mental Health

The gut-brain axis is a well-established communication pathway between the gut and the brain. A healthy, diverse gut microbiome can positively influence mood and cognitive functions. By exchanging beneficial bacteria through handshakes, you can support mental health and emotional well-being.

5. Community Immunity

Regular social interactions and microbial exchanges can contribute to community-level health benefits. When individuals in a community have robust and diverse microbiomes, the collective immune strength of the community improves, offering a form of indirect protection against infections and diseases.

Embracing Hygienic Practices

While the exchange of bacteria through handshakes can have positive impacts, it's important to balance this with good hygiene practices to prevent the spread of harmful pathogens. Regular hand washing with soap and water, especially after using the restroom or before eating, remains crucial. In times of illness outbreaks or pandemics, following public health guidelines regarding physical contact is essential.

Supporting Gut Health Beyond Handshakes

In addition to embracing the potential benefits of microbial exchange through social interactions, you can support your gut health with a balanced diet rich in fiber and fermented foods. R's KOSO can help maintain a healthy gut microbiome. Incorporating R's KOSO into your diet can further enhance the diversity and balance of your gut bacteria.


The simple act of shaking hands is more than just a social custom; it can be a powerful tool in promoting gut health. By facilitating the exchange of beneficial bacteria, handshakes contribute to microbial diversity, strengthen the immune system, and support overall well-being. As we continue to navigate a world where human connection is invaluable, let's appreciate the unexpected ways in which our interactions can positively impact our health. Embrace the handshake and nourish your gut microbiome with the help of R's KOSO for a healthier, happier you.


Let’s get started!

Written by Eriko Shintani

Certified holistic nutritionist/Holistic nutrition advisor

Raulo, A., Ruokolainen, L., Lane, A., Amato, K., Knight, R., Leigh, S., Stumpf, R., White, B., Nelson, K. E., Baden, A. L., & Tecot, S. R. (2018). Social behaviour and gut microbiota in red-bellied lemurs (Eulemur rubriventer): In search of the role of immunity in the evolution of sociality. The Journal of animal ecology87(2), 388–399.

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