90% of the human body is bacteria, and 70% of them are good and helpful bacteria.
A Microbiologist would say that you are more bacteria than you are you. 90% of the cells within us are not ours but microbes.
According to Science Daily, the number of bacteria living within the body of the average healthy adult human are estimated to outnumber human cells 10 to 1."We compulsively wash our hands, spray our counter tops and grimace when someone sneezes near us—in fact, we do everything we can to avoid unnecessary encounters with the germ world. But the truth is we are practically walking petri dishes, rife with bacterial colonies from our skin to the deepest recesses of our guts." (Scientific American)
A study published in 2016 seem to question the ratio 10:1. The researchers state that "Our analysis updates the widely-cited 10:1 ratio, showing that the number of bacteria in our bodies is actually of the same order as the number of human cells. Indeed, the numbers are similar enough that each defecation event may flip the ratio to favor human cells over bacteria." Read more.
The infestation of bacteria begins at birth. Babies ingest mouthfuls of bacteria during birthing and pick up plenty more from their mother's skin and milk. A baby's interaction with their mother is the biggest burst of microbes they get. This is just the beginning because throughout our lives, we consume bacteria in our food and water...
Changes in our microbial communities throughout life may be responsible for digestive disorders, skin diseases, gum disease and even obesity.
Modern humans are bacteria-killing machines. We assassinate microbes with hand soap, mouthwash and bathroom cleaners. It feels clean and right.
But some scientists say we're overdoing it. All this killing may actually cause diseases like eczema, irritable bowel syndrome and even diabetes. The answer, they say, is counter-intuitive: feed patients bacteria.
Newborns Exposed to Dirt, Dander and Germs May Have Lower Allergy and Asthma Risk
According to John Hopkins Medicine (June 2016), here are some facts about babies exposed to dirt and germs.
Newborns exposed to household germs, pet and rodent dander and roach allergens during their first year of life appear to have lower risk of developing asthma and allergies.
The researchers note, however, that the protective effects of these exposures disappear when infants encounter these substances after their first year.
The findings are consistent with the so-called hygiene hypothesis, which states that children who grow up in too-clean environments may develop hypersensitive immune systems that make them prone to allergies.
There is continuing research work finding remedies for allergies using probiotics. So, what are probiotics?
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called "good" or "helpful" bacteria because they help keep your mouth, throat...and gut healthy.
Probiotics help move food through your gut. Researchers are still trying to figure out which are best for certain health problems. Some common conditions they treat are:
Irritable bowel syndrome
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Infectious diarrhea (caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites)
There is also some research to show they help with problems in other parts of your body. For example, some people say they have helped with:
Skin conditions, like eczema
Urinary and vaginal health
Preventing allergies and colds
Oral health, allergies, etc.
According to the book, Probiotics by Casey Adam Ph.D., there are more than 100 benefits to supplementing with probiotics. Hundreds of studies have shown different species of probiotics have different health benefits (full list of probiotic benefits here).
However, we must take these probiotics in their proper context. For example, almost every probiotic study requires the patient to take large, therapeutic doses, for at least two months. Often times, the studies conferred the benefits after an entire year of daily, large dose supplementation.
Probiotics may Kill Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
It is a well known fact that overuse of antibiotics is becoming a major problem and dire predictions if nothing is done about it now. The use of antibiotics can create antibiotic resistant, super bugs. MRSA (multi-drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is immune to many different antibiotics and in some cases they are immune to all antibiotics known to man.
However, probiotics may defeat these super bugs. Probiotic bacteria and pathogenic bacteria have been fighting since the beginning of time. Healthy humans have the perfect environment for probiotic bacteria to beat pathogenic bacteria. The fact that humans have been surviving before the invention of antibiotics is proof of how powerful probiotics are.