If We Only Own 10% of Our MicroBiome Who Owns The Other 90%?
I don’t know how many of you people watch science programs like catalyst but I find them fascinating and a great arena for learning. Last year catalyst presented the ‘Gut Reaction’ which was about the human micro biome. I was surprised to learn that we only own 10 percent of the microbes so in effect we are a conduit for micro organisms. We do not know what the other microbes do yet we are killing them with antibiotics, prescribed and by stealth contained within the meat we consume.
Is This Wise?
After watching this program I had to learn more about our pet bugs so I started researching on the internet and reading books on the subject. One of the books I read was called missing microbes by Martin J Blaser and it is an excellent read.
In 2005 Dr’s Barry Marshall and Robin Warren were awarded the Nobel Prize for discovering Helicobacter Pylori in 1982 and fighting with skeptics for two years before finally proving it caused peptic ulcers in 1984 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2661189/
Martin J Blaser is in charge of the microbiology laboratory New York School of Medicine http://www.med.nyu.edu/medicine/labs/blaserlab/v1-mbr_blaser.html
Martin J Blaser thinks we have made a huge mistake in targeting the bacteria (H.Pylori) for eradication since this discovery. Blaser thinks all of these bacteria work in a relationship that is defined by them holding each other in check so dominance of one microbe doesn’t arise. Blaser thinks we are heading for a disaster where microbes that are normally held in check will cause all sorts of human health disasters. Even now diseases like autism, muscular dystrophy, allergies, dementia and a lot of others are on the rise and we can’t explain why. Dr Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello PhD is head of her own laboratory and she is another scientist studying tribes of people that have had little contact with humans to see what bacteria/microbes they have in their micro biome and this has yielded some big surprises. Dr Dominguez-Bello took fecal/skin/oral samples from a tribe in South America that had only been discovered in 2008 (by helicopter sighting), this tribe had very little contact with the outside world for the past 11,000 years. They carried bacteria westerners had never seen http://www.nature.com/news/bacteria-bonanza-found-in-remote-amazon-village-1.17348
We Have Not Preserved The Bacterial Importance
When a baby is born it travels head first, facing backwards through the birth canal getting inoculated with vaginal and fecal bacteria from it’s mother and this is how the immune system begins, without this bacterial load the baby will not develop as quickly as one that gets it.
After getting a liberal dose of bacteria to kick start the metabolic/immune system it is important to feed the microbes so they develop a healthy micro biome and a fatty/sugary western diet does not do that but vegetables and fruit do. Our microbes love vinegar and red wine so I wouldn’t deprive them of that. My microbes have a definite passion for Shiraz, Cabinet Sauvignon and ‘Coldstream Hills’/ Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir (2010), for some reason they thrive on it.
Primitive Tribes Still Have Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria.
Dr Dominiguez-Bello was amazed to find the primitive tribe the Yanomami had bacteria that were resistant to natural and synthetic antibiotics. We have a very long way to go but in the mean time shouldn’t we be limiting excessive usage of antibiotics in food production and prescription. We have already killed off a lot of microbes that we still do not understand. Powerful medicine has only been around a very small portion of our evolutionary time on earth and we must have developed a relationship with our microbes that allowed survival or we would not be here now.
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