Are Your Good Bacteria In Balance?

July 27, 2012

Lab Rats

Studies on mice show promise for a new cancer treatment.A new study found that mice without bacteria—on their skin or in their gut—didn’t have the proper immune response when pathogens, including parasites, were introduced.

Although inflammation is bad, and some skin problems are caused by excess inflammation, without it the body can’t protect against intruders. Having a healthy mix of friendly bacteria, including Staphylococcus epidermidis, which triggers the skin to make the right immune response, are necessary.

Of course, as with everything. balance is key. In the gut for instance, the right bacteria not only shape our health—our brain, our weight, our immune response—the wrong bacteria can cause problems ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to cancer. On the skin, having an imbalance of fungi to bacteria and viruses, for example, can lead to skin problems like athlete’s foot.

So how do you keep a healthy balance? Eating lots of probiotics—found in any food marked as having “live and active ingredients”, which includes yogurt, non-pasteurized pickles, and other fermented foods—will support healthy stomach bacteria. The theory goes that the more friendly bacteria you supply your gut with, the more disease causing bacteria will get pushed out.

For your skin, keep it dry to prevent fungal growth, wash your hands frequently (they pick up tons of “bad” bacteria which can easily be spread to eyes, mouth, and cuts) and take care of wounds, which can become an entry point for what are normally friendly bacteria to become an infection.

What are your thoughts on balancing germs in the environment?

{ 2 trackbacks }

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{ 2 comments }

Emma July 31, 2012 at 6:02 pm

 Greek yogurt is a good source of protein, too!

James Purdy July 27, 2012 at 11:14 am

Several times a day, I eat some plain Greek yogurt with live cultures, plus flaxseed, psyllium,  cinnamon, sweetened with stevia and inulin. All those prebiotics and probiotics make me feel much better than when I eat wheat, grains, and other junk foods.

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