"Every adult is made up of 100 million, million human cells (that’s a one followed by 14 zeroes). But the human body is also home to ten times this number of bacterial cells, which, collectively, are called the microbiota.
Exactly the same processes we see in external ecosystems – loss of diversity, extinction, and introduction of invasive species – are happening to our own microbiota. And damaged ecosystems don’t function as well as they should.
Modern medicine has been very successful at controlling bacterial diseases with antibiotics. Unfortunately, antibiotics cause considerable collateral damage to innocent and beneficial bacteria. After antibiotic therapy, the microbiota may never return to their original abundance, and genetic diversity is reduced in those bacteria that remain.
Collectively, these changes mean that our microbial ecosystems have become degraded, much like natural ecosystems globally. The microbiota are less functional and resilient than they should be. And it turns out they have essential roles in developing our immune systems, and in regulating metabolism. So it shouldn’t be surprising that altered microbiota are now being associated with many diseases of the modern world.
These diseases include obesity, allergic reactions, chronic inflammatory conditions and autoimmune disorders. More recently, it’s also been suggested that psychological conditions, such as depression and anxiety, are linked to the bacteria that live inside us."
Chris/Cllcanada, will be pleased to know the article continues on to discuss how a “poo transplant”) can help restore a healthy ecosystem after Clostridium difficile (C diff) infection .
Complete article by Michael Gillings, Professor of Molecular Evolution, Macquarie University, Australia:
So why is this relevant to us? With our compromised immune systems, we are much more likely to need antibiotics to help us fight off bacterial infections and these infections are likely to last longer than is the case in otherwise healthy people - even with antibiotic assistance. So we are therefore more at risk of health challenges caused by having a damaged internal ecosystem. Also, because we have compromised immune systems, probiotics may not be appropriate for us. Here are some previous community discussions on probiotics:
Photo: Mosses don't flower, they produce spores: