All germs are icky and bad? Right?
Wrong! Not all germs are bad. There are good germs too, some even essential for life!
TV ads and our parent’s chiding have created a really bad impression of germs in our minds. Now don’t get me wrong, bacteria cause a number of diseases, allergies and other unpleasant things, my point is that not all germs are bad and dangerous! Our bodies are home to an estimated 100 trillion “good” bacteria, many of which reside in our gut. Not only do we live in harmony with these beneficial bacteria, but they are actually essential to our survival. Infact there are medicines called Probiotics that consist of good germs and are prescribed to people who suffer from certain conditions.
5 Good Germs that live off YOU!
This gentle creature resides in the digestive, urinary, and genital systems and all for a good reason. Certain types of lactobacilli help in digestion and even help fight harmful bacteria. Infact certain individuals with weak digestion are prescribed probiotics with lots of lactobacillus that help alleviate digestive conditions and even help cure lung infections.
Bifidobacteria make up most of the “good” bacteria living in the gut. These bacteria begin colonizing the gastrointestinal system almost immediately after we’re born but for a good reason as they aid in digestion.
Probiotics containing Bifidobacteria are reported to help prevent ulcers and even help prevent flatulence!
3. Streptococcus thermophiles
These bacteria produce the enzyme lactase, which the body needs to digest the sugar in milk and other dairy products. Some studies suggest Streptococcus thermophilus can help prevent lactose intolerance.
4. Saccharomyces boulardii
Saccharomyces boulardii is actually a type of yeast (the good stuff that helps ferment beer and makes delicious bread rise during baking). This was was first isolated by a French scientist Henri Boulard from the Lychee fruit. Boulard observed that natives who had cholera like symptoms would suck on the skin of the Lychee fruit and this would make them feel better. Today this yeast is used to treat traveller’s diarrhoea, as well as diarrhoea caused by antibiotics. It may also be useful for treating acne.
5. Bacteroides Thetaiotamicron
Humans cannot digest many plant food molecules on their own. The bacteria Bacteroides thetaiotamicron lives in the gastrointestinal tract and helps break down such molecules. Without these microbes, vegetarians would surely be in trouble!
We hope that you keep an open mind the next time you think about germs!