27 April 2007

hacking your body's bacteria

from this article:
" 'The microbes that live in the human body are quite ancient,' says a pioneer in gut microbe research. 'They've been selected (through evolution) because they help us.'

And it now appears that our daily antibacterial regimens are disrupting a balance that once protected humans from health problems, especially allergies and malfunctioning immune responses." (Vindication!)

"Microbial exposures early in life, scientists believe, cause mild inflammation that calibrates the body's responses to other pathogens and contaminants later in life. Without exposure as infants, researchers say, people can end up with unbalanced immune systems."

also from the article: "To hack the gut bacteria more precisely, Blaser calls for a Gut Genome Project, modeled after the Human Genome Project. It's a daunting task: The human genome, mapped to great fanfare but still dimly understood, contains a tenth of the genes believed to be in our gut bacteria."

oh yes, and they mention that: "Consumer probiotics don't always contain medically recognized bacterial strains, he said, and often the bacteria they contain are dead."

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