Updated: Apr 18, 2019
We received a question on social media this week asking about Probiotics so thought we would address via this post.
A microbe is a microscopic life forms that includes bacteria, fungi, viruses, protists, arcaea and mites. Microbiota is a collection or a community of microbes. Microbiome is the full collection of genes of all the microbes in a community. The human Microbiome is therefore part of the human genome, The human genome, which we have covered previously, is the collection of all the genes in all of the microbes in and on our bodies.
Did you know the genes in our Microbiome outnumber the genes in our genome by about 100 to 1!There are also about 10 times as many bacterial cells as human cells in the human body – that means microbes within us outnumber our own cells 10 to 1, in other words, 90% of the cells within us are not ours but our microbes.
Our Microbiome is extremely important for maintaining human health, we depend on our micobes for survival, Some microbes cause disease but most are harmless and even helpful.
So, how do Probiotics help us?
Harmful agents are all around us. Whether or not we succumb to an infectious agent is determined not only by the exposure but also by the balance of the bacteria. This is because beneficial bacteria both consume the nutrients that would otherwise feed the bad guys and also block receptor sites that harmful bacteria have to latch on to cause an infection – for example by entering the bloodstream. The main reason Probiotics help us is that they produce substances such as lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide which stop harmful bacteria from growing. Probiotics not only keep less desirable residents, such as E-Coli at bay but also make it hard for bugs such as Salmonella to survive. More than a million people die from food poisoning each year – this is a good reason why Probiotics protection is such an important aspect of our immunity.
Hope this provides a good starting point on the subject.
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