A Shout-Out To Microbes

by | Jul 31, 2021 |

The body is thrilling. Swiftly it adapts to its surroundings, a fine-tuned vessel performing its most impressive acts behind closed doors. We applaud the main players; the brain, the lungs, the heart. But today I’d like to give a little shout-out to the unsung heroes living within us, our microbes. For without them, we would cease to exist.

Working as a team, microbes are formidable. Defending against pathogens, they occupy various parts of the body, taking up space in order to prevent unwanted foes from moving in. A source of protection, microbes help train the immune system to accurately distinguish between the wanted and unwanted; a vital step in warding off autoimmune disease. And it doesn’t stop there, microbes also boost the body by binding to immune cells, stimulating them to divide and reproduce – a strengthening of the army so to speak.

In the body, an intact gut lining acts as a gatekeeper, allowing vital nutrients and substances to pass through while stopping large molecules, toxins and pathogens from entering the bloodstream. How we feel, our mood, and our general health is affected by the quality of our gut lining and it’s the trillions of microbes setting up shop in our gut who ensure the gastrointestinal system stays in top condition.

Out with the diet, in with the microbes! These little gut dwellers are also responsible for obtaining energy from food, absorbing nutrients in the intestine, and other vital processes. A change to the composition of the gut microbiota could therefore influence a person’s predisposition to obesity. And it’s not just fine dining in which microbes partake, they are also known to devour harmful toxins, sparing the body from demise.

With us from the start, microbes are predominantly acquired at birth and during the first three years of life. These life-long friends are crucial to human development in terms of immunity, metabolism and cognition, with the loss of ancestral bacteria at a young age being shown to have a deleterious effect on future health. For mothers, microbes are especially supportive, acting as little matchmakers by raising oxytocin – the love hormone – levels in the body, facilitating the all-important mother and child bond. 

So thank you microbes, thank you for all that you do. Though you are little, you are fierce, and it’s with your support, know-how and enduring efforts that we live to see another day.

Brigid xx

DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 


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