Bacterial microflora – why are bacteria needed?

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Most of the microbes we live in are good. They find shelter in our systems, which they repay with effective protection against pathogenic microorganisms. The natural microflora is a very important element of the immune system. The intestinal flora weighs about 2 pounds and is made up of more than a thousand different types of bacteria. The composition of the bacterial flora is influenced by factors such as lifestyle, diet, stress, disease, medication and individual experience.

The development of the first human bacterial flora occurs in the first three years of life. The future functioning of our entire body depends on this time. During this period, our actions may support or weaken the development of a variety of bacteria. How we then care for a child’s bacterial microflora can have a major impact on the later development of diseases such as atopic dermatitis or asthma. Natural childbirth plays a big role in this process. This is when the baby’s first digestive tract is colonized with bacteria from the mother’s skin, genital tract and anus. Bacteria protect against pathogenic conditions, train the newborn’s immune system and help digest food. By comparison, the bacterial flora in children born by caesarean section lasts much longer and is associated with an increased risk of metabolic disorders and allergies. Breastfeeding provides additional support to the bacterial microflora in the early stages of life. Breast milk contains many good bacteria that have a positive effect on immunity, metabolism, reduce the risk of overweight or gluten intolerance. Breast milk also protects the baby from harmful bacteria that often end up in the mouth of a newborn baby.

Human skin is the largest organ in the body. It plays a very important role in the immune system. It is the first line of defense against factors from the external environment and against the attack of pathogenic microorganisms. Microorganisms that are part of the skin’s natural bacterial microflora, such as bacteria, viruses, bacteriophages and fungi, also play an important role in this defense. Their diversity is associated with anatomical differences on the surface of the skin, in the form of areas with less permeability, such as groin or armpits, which are more susceptible to the development of pathogens. The microflora of the skin is also affected by the presence of sebaceous glands, age and sex. Due to the influence of hormones on the body, different microbes will be present in a woman’s skin and different in a man’s skin. The place where we work also affects the microflora of our skin, and the conditions on the skin are different due to the cosmetics and clothing used.

The oral cavity provides a unique environment for microbes. This is because it is in contact with food, air and the aquatic environment. Bacteria present in the mouth are involved in nutrient metabolism. It is a very rich place inhabited by more than 750 different species of bacteria. Such a large variation is influenced by the pH of the oral cavity, temperature, salinity and saliva. The latter plays an important role in the delivery of ingredients to the body. In addition, it removes harmful metabolic products, and thanks to the presence of amylase in saliva, it also has bactericidal properties. The condition of the bacterial microflora depends on brushing your teeth or rinsing your mouth. The tongue itself is also a space inhabited by bacteria.

Our gut is also populated with bacteria. Their beneficial effect protects the digestive system from pathogens that can enter it through food. Hard-to-digest food scraps and toxic substances are a great habitat for fungi and parasites. The weakened body becomes prone to infections. Healthy intestinal microflora is an excellent weapon in the fight against pathogenic microorganisms. Also, 80% of human lymphocyte tissue is located on the surface of the digestive system. It is a defense against the intrusion of pathogens. As a result, the digestive system is not only a place of metabolism, but also protects the body from pathogenic microorganisms. During the daily functioning of the intestinal microflora, it is exposed to harmful factors that impair its functioning. These include:

  • antibiotic therapy,

  • inadequate nutrition,

  • inflammation,

  • alcohol abuse,

  • stress,

  • chronic fatigue.

The female bacterial microflora is more susceptible to disorders. This is due to the anatomical structure and the short distance between the vagina and the anus. Proper vaginal microflora requires an acid reaction and a balance between the amount of good and bad bacteria. The vaginal microenvironment in healthy women depends on age, hygiene habits, hormonal changes, and sexual activity. The good bacteria that accumulate at this site protect it from bad pathogens and influence the formation of the immune response by secreting compounds with antimicrobial properties. Lactic acid rods play a key role in maintaining proper pH. Thanks to their adequate amount, the acid reaction is maintained and the reproduction of dangerous pathogens is impossible. Bacteria that multiply in the gut can migrate to the intimate area even if personal hygiene is poor. They then trigger incisions that often recur despite ointments and medications used.