We have been taught that germs are bad. Over the past two years, we have been very concerned and attentive with our proximity to germs and viruses. We may be over concerned. I remember a time when my grandson was in high school. There was concern about that year’s flu virus. The morning announcements advocated for frequent hand washing. Within just a few days, my grandson’s hands were raw from the continual use of hand sanitizer. Because our skin is our first defense against infection, red and bleeding palms did not bode well for long-term health.
We have an entire community of virus, parasites and bacteria that we share our bodies with. If you are like me, the thought of that just make you itchy…. What we don’t know is that these myriad species are mostly beneficial and are mostly good for our immune systems.
Did you know:
- 700 different types of bacteria live in our mouths?
- 8,000 strains of bacteria live in our large intestines?
- At least 2 types of parasites are on every human face?
For those of us who believe ‘cleanliness is next to Godliness’ varying degrees of discomfort are discernible. (I personally use a LumiSpa every day to keep the parasites off my face.) However, scientists have studied these life forms, and are convinced that:
- Healthy people have different sets of microbes than chronically ill people.
- Your gut bacteria affects your metabolism and your disease risk.
- Bacteria determines if you like the taste of good food.
- Bacteria diversity impacts the level of a competent immune system.
In short, the more diverse microbiome we carry, the healthier we will be, the better able we will fend off disease, and the longer we will live. Make sure you keep yourself from unhealthy habits and places. However, we need to learn to live with the germs in our environment.
Until next time,