Our body is the host of 100 trillion microbes. These microbes weigh a total of just under three pounds. The microbes perform functions that we need to thrive. The gastrointestinal tract (stomach, small and large intestines) contains most of this bacteria. The flora is very complex and many species have not yet been identified. In addition to the large number of organisms, each person’s composite is unique and just as specific as a fingerprint.
The bacteria we harbor protects us from invading pathogens. They also provide us with as much as 10% of our energy needs, and supply a broad range of vitamins and are essential for the absorption of minerals. Our immune system is dependent on the microbes in our bodies. Our indigenous flora has protective, structural and metabolic functions.
If the balance of the microbes is disturbed, side effects and even disease can occur. One of the reasons it is imperative to use antibiotics only when absolutely necessary is that antibiotics are non-discriminatory. They destroy both bad and good bacteria.
There is a growing movement to incorporate ‘probiotics’ in our daily diet to protect this bacterial growth we need. “Probiotics” is formed from the Greek “for life” and can help prevent many diseases.
So eat healthy, stay away from unnecessary antibiotics and maintain a good balance.
Annandale Women and Family Center – Obgyn Alexandria VA
2839 Duke Street Alexandria, Virginia 22314