Our digestive tract is home to 4kg of bacteria
With over 4KG of our body weight comprised of bacteria living in our gut, our digestion and health depends on having the right, friendly bacteria around to help. In fact, there are more foreign cells by number in our bodies. These invader cells are far smaller than human cells, the bacteria, viruses and fugi that envelope the body inside and out. See National Geographic’s How Many Cells Are in the Human Body—And How Many Microbes?
We live with many foreign living organisms in and on our bodies, some help symbiotically, some hinder pathogenetically. One of the causes of acne in pimply adolescents is the absence of a helpful bacteria on their face. Most kids are helped by a beneficial bacteria that kills the spot bacteria. We could not eat without helpful bacteria.
Our mouths, stomachs, large and small intestines are flourishing swamps of fungus and bacteria. Human bites have been shown to transmit hepatitis B, hepatitis C, herpes simplex virus, syphilis, tuberculosis and tetanus. But without our resident bacteria we would not survive a day.
At a most profound level we rely on bacteria as we have “merged” with some – the mitochondria in our cells, the batteries that give every cell energy – have merged with our own DNA to equip every cell with an embedded bacterial battery!
Our micro-biome affects our mood
The good guys, the helpful bacteria, help us break down complex foods like protein into more easily digested substances. The bad guys cause wind, cramps, digestive pain, immune issues, mal-absorption, mental ill-health, obesity and depression. Research is beginning to show serious problems with how modern lifestyles negatively impact our benign micro-friends.
- At caesarian delivery means the baby doesn’t pick its mum’s microbiome, but instead collects it from first contact
- Artificial sweeteners encourage the development of the bad bacteria that increase obesity and depression
- Antibiotics “napalm” the gut, wiping out all bacteria, allowing the bad to return stronger, often fungi like candida then thrive
- Toxins: mercury in tuna, chlorine in tap water, pesticides on our fruit – attack the good guys working diligently on our behalf
- We eat too little earthy, natural vegetables to keep conditions alkali rather than acidic
- High levels of sugar boosts the yeast bad guys
With all these assaults on the good bacteria, they needs some help. Firstly avoid harmful substances above, eat a natural healthy organic diet with no sugar, low to no carbs, plenty of veg and fruit (not juice), good protein (natural grass not corn fed), filter your water, cut out the crap. Boost the good guys by eating some. Those liquid yogurts like Actimel, claim a few thousand of limited varieties of bacteria will do the job, but I tend to better believe that pills from the health food store work better with often 50 million bacteria from a far wider variety of strains.
Medicine is waking up to the benefits from our micro-biome and shortly new medications will appear to help us restrengthen and replenish our symbiotic helpers, whether to prevent acne or lighten our mood.