Incredibly, healthy bacteria in your gut called normal flora should make up about 90% of the cells that make up our entire body from head to toe! Think about that…all cells you can see that make up your body total about 10%. The other 90% should be healthy bacteria in your gut. Bacteria should outnumber the cells of your body 10 to 1 in other words. Or at least they should…
We tend to think of bacteria in terms of bacterial infections. You know things like strep throat and pneumonia, like they’re the only bad guys that are just trying to get us. In some cases that might be true. But…
Did you know that if we didn’t have enough of the good bacteria in our bodies we would actually get sick, in fact, we couldn’t even live!!
While there are some bacteria that are bad for us, the vast majority (about 200 different types) actually live in our digestive system. This is called our microbiome and the good bacteria that live there are called flora.
Each of us has a very unique pattern of these healthy bacteria which scientists are just beginning to understand. They say our microbiome is as unique as our fingerprints and absolutely essential to maintaining our good health.
You might be wondering why these bacteria are so important? In a moment I’ll be explaining just a few of the things they do.
But first, how did they even get there in the first place.
Most get there by being breastfed as a baby. It is essential to be breastfed for about 12 months and to go through the birth canal. As we travel through the birth canal we actually get coated in bacteria some of which makes it into our mouths and down into our intestines. Only about 10% of Americans did both.