Microbes are the dominant life form of Earth. Bacterial organisms living on our planet they outnumbered all others combined. Microbes dominate not only the planet, however, but also new people. Few know that the body of each of us is 10 times more microbial cells than the cells that compose the human body, and the number of microbial genes is 150 times than that of human genes. All these beings living in our body and its surface form an ecosystem that is called "microbiome" and symbiosis of these small beings with human cells creates a true "super-organism".
The term “microbiome” was developed by Joshua Lederberg, one of the giants of molecular biology to designate all microbes, their genetic elements and their interactions in an environment. In 1958, Lederberg became one of the youngest Nobel laureates, receiving the largest award in medicine just 33 years.
We are “colonized” by bacteria from birth
Bacteria that form our digestive tract microbiome colonized as early as 24 hours after birth and stabilized around the age of two years, becoming a permanent presence in our lives and forming a true “body”.
Our microbiome varies from birth: scientists have discovered that babies are covered with microbes naturally present in the birth canal, and those who are born by Cesarean section are covered with germs that are normally on the skin of adults.
Experts estimate that trillions of microbes that live in our body weighing a total of almost 2 kg. Most of them live in the intestines, and their destruction can have unpleasant consequences, such as obesity or development of diseases of the colon.
Our relationship with bacteria that live in us is symbiotic: in exchange for food, they help us digest food, produce vitamins that we need to strengthen our immune system. To coexist with our microbiome, the immune system must tolerate thousands of species of bacteria harmless. Instead, these bacteria play an important role in the fight against pathogens – bacteria “bad”.
Knowing the microbes that live in our bodies, scientists hope to give everyone a better life through personalized diet, disease diagnosis and faster treatment of their custom.
Why are essential microbes of us
Numerous studies in recent years have shown that disruption microbiome may have unpleasant consequences for human health, among them are allergies, eczema, asthma and obesity.
In recent decades, it was observed that in industrialized areas of the planet increased number of patients with allergies in a fast pace. After years of study, researchers concluded that “ obsession with cleanliness ”is the main cause. The hypothesis was confirmed by a Swiss study last year in which researchers have reached a firm conclusion: the dramatic increase of allergic diseases in industrial societies is related to rapid disappearance of organisms that inhabit the human body. According to a study by experts in microbiology and immunology in the Stanford School of Medicine, people who have the body the bacteria Helicobacter pylori has a lower risk of asthma, allergic rhinitis or skin allergies, compared with the other. Also, scientists say that Helicobacter pylori plays an important role in the functioning of the hormone ghrelin, the disappearance of bacteria contributing to obesity, type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders.