From page 144/145 National Geographic Jan 13 ( explorer) issue:

Graphically illustrated these facts:

OUR MICROBIOME : In our bodies human cells are outnumbered ten to one by bacteria.  Some eight million genes function in this invisible universe- more than 300 times the number in our own cells.  Though some of our microbial tenants pose threats, we literally can’t live without most of them.  They help digest our food, guide our immune system, and ward off deadly germs.

The Body’s Neighborhoods:  Different regions of our body have unique populations of bacteria: some more diverse than others.

  • One in 10 cells in the body is human
  • Nostrils:  2264 species.  Major player: Staphyloccoccus epidermidis.   (I am sure I either type these spelling wrong or read these small fonts wrong) This species keeps the nostrils’ teeming bacterial colonies in equilibrium and suppresses dangerous strains of staph. 
  • Behind the Ears:  2359 species.  Major player: Proionbacterium acnes.  Although associated with acne, this bacterium also inhibits the growth of fungi and yeast on the skin.
  • Throat: 4154 species.  Major player:  Neiseria lactanica.  Babies have more of this microbe than adults, perhaps because it may help build immunity aginst meningitis. 
  • Tongue:  7947 species.  Major player: Stephocuccus Sailvius.  This bacterium is an ally, helping prevent tooth decay, gum disease and throat infections.
  • Inner Elbows:  2012 species.  Major player:  Corynebacterium simians.  Generally beneficial.  This species has antimicrobial properties that inhibit or kill more harmful pathogens. 
  • Vaginal Opening: 2062 species.  Major player: Lactobacillus acidophilus.   Lactobacillus produces lactic acid which maintains a low pH and inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria.
  • Large Intestine:  33627 species.  Major Player: Bacteroides thetaioiaomicron.
  • This microbe digest starches from plants, allowing infants to sift from mother’s milk to table food.

Baby’s First Bugs:

The microbes that colonize an infant “teach” the immune system as it develops in the first three years of life and influence the baby’s risk of allergies, eczema and more.

Graphic pie chart of MICROBIAL DIVERSITY ON NEWBORN’S SKIN.  Each color represents an order of bacteria: Microbes from the mother’s vagina make it easier for a newborn to live on he outside.  Bacteria in the Lactobacillus order ( bright blue) help the baby digest milk.  C-section babies have fewer lactobacillus bacteria and more potentially harmful microbes picked up from adult skin, including staphylococcus and Acinetobacter.   

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