As we are born and travel down the birth canal, our bodies are awash in microbial helpers- bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa that are not of human DNA origin but that help us, nonetheless. Further, inoculation occurs when we kiss another being, roll around in the dirt, hug our pets, eat certain foods, to name a few. Microbes, good and bad, are all around us, and we need to sponsor the best ones to stay healthy. Most of our bacteria live in the large intestine, followed in number by dental plaque, then skin, saliva, small intestine, and stomach. Each microbe has a function and helps us in specific ways.
For instance, some microbes that we get at birth make lipopolysaccharides stimulate a healthy immune system. Children lacking these microbes may develop allergies and other disorders in more significant numbers late in life. Some bacteria, such as Bifidobacterium, are present in large amounts in children said to have sunnier dispositions. Certain strains of C. acnes influence acne and other skin problems. The presence of bacterium Veillonella refects a runner’s ability to recuperate from this exercise via its connection with lactate metabolism. These are just some of the fantastic ways our internal biome influences our health. It is vitally important to take care of this inner garden through healthful daily practices.
When we’re sick and take antibiotics, this knocks out not just the harmful invading bacteria but also the good ones who are responsible for keeping the harmful ones at bay. For this reason, it’s essential to make sure we follow the doctor’s advice on any antibiotics we need to take, and that we follow them up with probiotics to help restore proper microbiome integrity.
Our microbes communicate with each other and us and the outside world in several exciting ways. Using chemicals, they communicate through the bloodstream and nerves, and they send messages through the important vagus nerve from the gut to the brain. The enteric nervous system, so-called `second brain,` present in the stomach may be responsible for our gut reflex. Learn to harness the strength of your inner shield to improve your health into the new year and beyond.