Your own bacteria

Along with our cells, we share our lives with a huge number of organisms that are also part of ourselves and we are in constant interaction. A community of organisms that live with us is called microbiome. Here are some startling facts about the creatures they call "home" to your body.

Your body has more germs cells

The human body is full of microbes. These microorganisms far exceed the number of our cells: estimates are ten to one in his favor. The exact number does not matter as much as the idea that our bodies are more bacteria than human cells. We also found a large amount of virus in the body. The year 2013 marks the end of the Human Microbiome Project, a five-year effort that has involved hundreds of scientists to catalog the human microbiome.

Born Free from bacteria

People are born free of bacteria and we gain in the first years of life. Babies get their first dose of microorganisms as they pass through the birth canal of the mother. Of course, babies born by cesarean not acquire these microorganisms. In fact, studies show that babies by Caesarean section have a very different microbiome of natural childbirth and babies may be at increased risk of certain types of allergies and obesity. A child acquires most of its microbiome at 3 years,

Bacteria can be both good and bad

As is well known, while some germs can cause disease, others are important for maintaining health and defend against infections. Sometimes, the same bacteria can do both cosas.Tomemos example Helicobacter pylori, responsible for causing stomach ulcers. Most of us do not present symptoms, but a number of people develop stomach ulcers. Helicobacter infections can be treated with antibiotics, but, as there is always a "but" has been associated with the absence of Helicobacter esophageal diseases such as reflux esophagitis and certain types of cancer of the esophagus.

Antibiotics can cause asthma and obesity

Penicillin was a breakthrough when it was discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928. Antibiotics have enjoyed good reputation since then, but overuse of them has led to the proliferation of strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus resistant to methicillin (MRSA). There is evidence that antibiotics may increase the risk of developing asthma, inflammatory bowel disease and obesity. Of course, there are circumstances where antibiotics are essential. However, some childhood illnesses, such as ear infections or throat, can desaparer alone.

Probiotics are overrated

The recognition that the bacteria can be good for our bodies has led to a kind of madness in the development of probiotic foods containing live microorganisms that supposedly offer a benefit to our health. Many people take probiotics after antibiotic treatment. But do they really work? The concept of helping restore our microbiome is correct. Although we believe that restoring all species of microorganisms in our intestines taking a milk derivative seems naive. Current Probiotics are good marketing but low effectiveness.

The ability to modify the interactions between microbiome, diet and our body is a therapeutic option for the future.

Picture by Yutaka Tsutsumi, M.D.Professor Department of PathologyFujita Health University School of Medicine [see page for license], via Wikimedia Commons