What is Human Internal Ecosystem?
Your Microbial Menagerie - Two hundred Triliion Microsopic Organisms
Two Hundred Trillion Microscopic Organisms are Swarming Inside You!
Like Our Environment, A Healthy Microbiome inside and outside the Human Body is a Diverse Ecosystem of Balance
With trillions of microscopic organisms that include bacteria, viruses, and fungi; the largest collection weighing as much as four pounds clings to our gut. There is more: our bugs each have their favorite hangouts. Our skin has more than a million microbes per square centimeter. Another bug enjoys and prospers inside our hair follicles, while an entirely different microbe lives in the crook of your elbow. Our mouths are home to over a 1,000 different species. Each have a favorite pace to live. Different sides of our teeth sustain distinctly different combination of bugs. Harmony is the key to all of the bugs living peacefully with each other. When this happens, we are "healthy!"
Little is Known About these Invisible Communities and How They Affect Us
It appears that our comparable body part host similar microbial ecologies - whereas contrasting areas - like sweaty underarms and dry forearms - have different communities. Our scalps share similar bug communities. My back bug community is different from my scalp bug community. Bug specialization is the norm for each of our bodies. We represent a segregated community of specialist that live in harmony when each different bug community needs are met - but not at the cost of their neighbors. The "bad" bugs are kept in check.
Homeostasis (Balance) of Bugs: the Key to Our Health
Our happy residents (freeloaders!) educate our immune system and outcompete and block potential pathogens (bad bugs). We have as an example; lots of Staph germs on our skin. Our good bugs live all over our skin prevents deadly staph germs from taking over and harming us.
Go Easy on the Anti-Bacteria Medicines and Soaps!
When you use antibiotics, you are dropping a bomb on your microbial community. It is like setting the forrest on fire to kill your weeds.
How does This Help Me?
An example of how the balance of our external and internal microbial community affects us is where a lady was treated for six months for life-threatening Clostridium difficile infection. Which causes severe inflamation of the colon. She had a poor prognosis. All antibiotic treatments had failed. In desparation, the doctors mixed a small sample of her husband's stool with a saline solution and injected it into her colon. Within 24 hours her diarrhea had stopped. In a few days her symptoms were gone. The doctors were surprised to discover there was nearly a complete replacement of the woman's microbial flora (bugs) with her husband's microbes. The doctors had destroyed her good microbiome with antibiotics. When the doctors transplanted the new bacteria, they simply moved in to occupy the empty space. More research needs to be done on how fecal transplants work and how the impact the microbiome.
The Future for Our Microbial Community (Our bugs externally and Internally)
With the cost of human genome sequencing dropping, personalized medicine is a real possibility. Individualized therapies and synthetic drugs that are tailored to us individually based upon our genectic makeup. A genetic profile of our microbiome will be taken with treatmnents prescribed from instant molecular data. Apparently, healthy germs helps to keep our body healthy!
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