The world is filled with all sorts of living creatures. Humans share the planet with many different life forms, from mammals to reptiles. The Earth is home to over eight million species, and many more are left undiscovered. However, some creatures people often overlook and forget about are not visible to the naked eye. These creatures are known as micro-organisms.
There are living creatures on the planet that the naked eye can’t see, and they are often known as micro-organisms. They are tiny, single-celled creatures that can only be seen through a microscope. There are three main types of micro-organisms: bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Among these, bacteria are the most common.
Bacteria are everywhere. They live in the air, water, soil, and even inside other organisms. They survive by breaking down organic matter and releasing energy. These organisms have a fundamental role in your body because they live inside and outside, creating a miniature ecosystem you cannot see. Here’s how bacteria can affect your body and your life.
The first place bacteria live in your body is in your gut. There are over 10,000 different species of bacteria in your digestive system, and they play a crucial role in digesting food. Bacteria help break down complex carbohydrates and fiber, which the body cannot digest independently. This process creates short-chain fatty acids that are absorbed into the bloodstream and used for energy.
Bacteria also produce vitamins K and B12, which are essential for maintaining a healthy gut. In fact, without these bacteria, you would not be able to absorb all the nutrients from the food you eat.
The Immune System
Your gut is also home to your immune system. Approximately 70% of your immune cells are located in the intestines. These cells protect you from infection by fighting off harmful bacteria.
Bacteria also help to train the immune system. When you are born, your gut is sterile and doesn’t have any bacteria. But, as you start to eat solid food and come into contact with the outside world, good bacteria begin to colonize your gut. These organisms then help the immune system to learn which bacteria are harmful and which are not.
Bacteria also play an essential role in keeping your skin healthy. The skin is the largest organ in the body and is covered in millions of bacteria. These bacteria form a protective barrier that prevents harmful bacteria from entering the body.
The majority of these bacteria are harmless and are often beneficial. For example, studies have shown that certain types of bacteria can help to fight acne. They are so helpful that microbiome-friendly skincare products are now available in the market. These skincare products protect and propagate the growth of healthy bacteria in your skin. It’s one of the natural ways for healthy and good-looking skin.
The Respiratory System
Bacteria also live in your respiratory system and play an essential role in keeping your lungs healthy. The lungs are filled with tiny sacs called alveoli. These sacs are lined with bacteria that help to keep the alveoli moist.
The bacteria also produce a slime that traps harmful particles, such as dust and viruses. This slime is then removed by the cilia, which are tiny hair-like structures that line the respiratory tract.
Salmonella is a type of bacteria that can cause food poisoning. It is often found in raw meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products. Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include diarrhea and fever. Some people end up vomiting too when infected with this bacteria.
E. coli is a type of bacteria that lives in the gut of animals. It can be found in contaminated water or food, such as unpasteurized milk or undercooked meat. E. coli can cause stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. In severe cases, it can lead to kidney failure and death.
Listeria is a type of bacteria that can infect pregnant women and unborn babies. It is often found in unpasteurized cheese, deli meat, and smoked fish. Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, and nausea. In severe cases, it can lead to stillbirth or miscarriage.
Klebsiella pneumoniae is a type of bacteria that can cause pneumonia. It is often found in hospital environments, as it can infect people with weakened immune systems. What makes them dangerous is that it’s estimated that 5% of the population carries this bacteria with them.
Bacteria are everywhere, and they play an essential role in our lives. However, not all bacteria are good. Some can cause diseases. Therefore, knowing the different types of bacteria and how they can affect your health is essential.