Western Lifestyle Disturbing Key Bacterial Balance?
2012 09 27

By Jörg Blech | Spiegel

Trillions of bacteria living in and on the human body play a vital role in preserving health. But C-section births, antibiotics and excessive hygiene have been disturbing our microbial balance and possibly contributing to intestinal ailments, obesity, allergies and autism.

Deep in the Amazon basin, where traditional hunter-gatherers still live, researchers gave the indigenous population a lesson in biology. They used posters to explain to the inhabitants of the rain forest that a human being is never alone. Invisible, tiny creatures known as bacteria live on and inside our bodies -- and they can be quite useful.


Trillions of bacteria living in and on the human body play a vital role in preserving health. But C-section births, antibiotics and excessive hygiene have been disturbing our microbial balance and possibly contributing to intestinal ailments, obesity, allergies and Autism.


The lesson was part of a project to research the bacteria of the local people. "When we asked them for samples of their feces, the people laughed," said one of the participating biologists, Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, from the University of Puerto Rico. Researchers succeeded in winning their trust, and the inhabitants of 10 huts allowed them to take swab samples, not only from their stool, but also from their hands, feet, noses and mouths.

The search for microbes aims to shed light on the nature of mankind’s original bacterial flora. These indigenous test subjects have had almost no contact with outside civilization. Their bacteria are a virtually unadulterated product of evolution. Microorganisms help digest food, supply the body with vitamins, train the immune system and ward off harmful pathogens.

But how do these tiny benefactors fair when their host is exposed to a Western lifestyle? To answer this question, researchers not only took swabs from the traditional people living in the rainforest, but also from people in more highly developed locations in the Amazon basin, in larger settlements, in the Peruvian provincial capital Iquitos, and in Manaus, a Brazilian city with a population of nearly 2 million.

The 200 collected samples are still being analyzed in an American laboratory. But results might indicate that a Western lifestyle is harmful to bacterial colonists. Indeed, the use of antibiotics along with the rising number of cesarean section births, the increasing popularity of small families and excessive hygiene are threatening the microscopic helpers. "We believe these changes (in the microbial diversity) might be behind some of the most common diseases associated with modernity," says Dominguez-Bello.

Similar concerns are shared by Martin Blaser, a professor of microbiology at New York University in Manhattan, who also took part in the expedition to the Amazon region. "Our bacteria are not accidental; we have them for a reason," says Blaser. "Some of these useful guys are disappearing. As a consequence, human physiology is changing and therefore human health."

[...]


Read the full article at: abcnews.go.com






Related Articles
An Immune Disorder at the Root of Autism
Grandin on The Autism Surge
Nearly 200,000 tons of oil and gas from BP oil spill consumed by bacteria
Nanotech Dental Filling Kills Bacteria, Strengthens Teeth
DHS To Release Bacteria In Boston Subway System
Get Dirty to Get Joy- Bacteria in Soil Acts as Antidepressant
Autism Gastro Problems May Be Linked to Gut Bacteria
Bacteria-Busting Coriander
12 dead in Germany as killer cucumber bacteria spreads
34,000-year-old bacteria discovered...and it’s still alive
A History Of Personal Hygiene
New test predicts C-section deliveries


Latest News from our Front Page

Archaeologists discover 8,000-year-old HUMAN BRAIN? Norway skull ’harbours fragments of grey matter’
2014 07 21
Archaeologists in Norway have unearthed what they believe to be a skull 8,000 years old that could contain the oldest remnants of a human brain. The discovery was made at a dig site in Stokke, southwest of Oslo. Initial findings suggest the skull belonged to a child no older than ten years old, while an adult was also buried in a fetal-like ...
New York State Wants To Heavily Regulate Bitcoin Trading
2014 07 21
The proposal would establish a mandatory “BitLicense” for any company involved with the buying, selling, mining or trading of cryptocurrencies. In a move that has upset many in the bitcoin community, New York has become the first state to issue guidelines for the regulation of the trade and storage of bitcoins and other virtual currencies. With New York City being ...
Government agents ’directly involved’ in most high-profile US terror plots
2014 07 21
Nearly all of the highest-profile domestic terrorism plots in the United States since 9/11 featured the "direct involvement" of government agents or informants, a new report says. Some of the controversial "sting" operations "were proposed or led by informants", bordering on entrapment by law enforcement. Yet the courtroom obstacles to proving entrapment are significant, one of the reasons the stings persist. The ...
Russian Institute for Strategic Studies: NATO Is Attempting to “Revolutionize The Current World Order”
2014 07 21
West seeks “total reconstruction of the world” The tense situation between Ukraine and the United States is outlined in a paper released earlier this month by the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS). A week prior to the downing of Malaysian flight 17, the institute warned that the west “refuses to adhere to the principles and norms of international law and ...
MH17: Are Pristine and Expired Passports a Smoking Gun for a False Flag?
2014 07 21
As the dust settles on this latest air tragedy, a number of very visible anomalies exist, all of which have been willingly glossed over by western media analyists and government officials. Putting the current media storm into context, it’s essential to establish the political motives of those parties rushing to assign blame. Western government and major western media outlets, namely ...
More News »