Can Bacteria be good?

Gut Bacteria : Gut Flora

Normally whenever we develop a cold/cough or loose motions, we hear the words ‘You are having a Bacterial infection and will need anti-biotics’ from most doctors.

Yes many bacteria are harmful to us but not all.

Some bacteria are normally found in and around the human body and are very helpful for us. Thus we may consider that there are friendly [good] as well as infective [bad] bacteria around us.

Good Bacteria are found in our intestines, on our skin, in our mouth and many other places of our body also and are very essential for the normal functioning of our body.

The bacteria found in our intestines are called ‘gut flora’ or ‘gut microbiota’.

During the seminar on ‘Self Health’, Dr. Aniruddha Dhairyadhar Joshi had spoken in detail about a topic which he introduced as, “The Epidemic of Absence”. Here the word ‘Absence’ refers to the absence of good bacteria from our intestines.

In the intestines of an average man or woman, there are more than 100,000,000,000,000 [Hundred Trillion] good bacteria

This number is 10 times more than the total number of human cells in our body.

Our body contains about 30,000 human genes. And the genes from our microbiota number around 3,000,000. This means that we have hundred times more bacterial genes than human genes.

Inside the mother’s womb, the Gut flora of the baby is absent. When the baby is born, he/she acquires the gut flora from the mother. This can be considered the first blessing from the mother to the child.

Bacteroides and Fermicutes are the two most common families of bacteria found in the human gut. There has to be a proper balance in the percentage of these two types of gut bacteria.

The Bacteroides bacteria are largely considered as very helpful for humans whereas as those belonging to the Fermicutes family are bad for us.

It is now known that the gut flora of a thin and healthy person is different form the gut flora of an obese person.

A few years ago scientists have confirmed that, in the obese person the gut flora has more Fermicutes than Bacteroides. This finding itself suggests that we need to take care of our gut flora very well.

This Gut-Flora is present in all human beings. 1/3rd of the gut flora is common for all individuals whereas the rest 2/3rd is unique for each one of us.

This 2/3rd portion is very important to each one of us and is derived from the diet that we consume.