Western Lifestyle Disturbing Key Bacterial Balance?
2012-09-27 0:00

By JŲrg 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 mankindís 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 itís still alive
A History Of Personal Hygiene
New test predicts C-section deliveries


Latest News from our Front Page

White Women Are Getting Fed Up
2015-09-03 23:09
We are sick and tired of having our countries ruined, seeing our folk demoralized, and being hated and blamed for all of the worlds problems. We are speaking out, and standing up for our people. We will not let this continue. Let’s get this video trending on Twitter with #Whitewomenarefedup, and get this video to go viral! ... Read ...
Serbian government bans anti-mass immigration protests, and plans ahead for mass immigration
2015-09-03 22:54
Nebojsa Stefanovic, Serbia’s Interior Minister said protesters who are concerned about “an EU plan” to settle thousands of illegal immigrants into the country, will not be allowed to voice their concerns in a protest march on Monday, 31st of August. “We will not allow the expression of intolerance and hatred to be something that is characteristic of Serbia” said Stefanovic. “The Ministry ...
Iran Commander: We're Getting Prepared to Overthrow Israel
2015-09-03 22:51
As the White House secured their last needed vote to block a veto override in the Senate on the nuclear deal, Iran unleashed a double-pronged attack: vowing to block inspector access to some sites, and vowing to continue preparations to destroy Israel. Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said today that the International Atomic Energy Agency — which inked confidential ...
Jailed for Not Marrying the Gays
2015-09-03 21:21
Five of six deputies in the office of a Kentucky county clerk taken into custody Thursday for her refusal to issue marriage licenses after the Supreme Court allowed gays to wed say they will process the paperwork starting Friday. But Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, whom U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning found in contempt of court, said through her lawyers that she will not authorize ...
German Government Evict Poor Germans From Their Homes For Migrant Asylum Seekers
2015-09-03 2:40
This is a video of a report on replacement of poor Germans with Middle Eastern asylum seekers. This was made broudcasted on a German Left-leaning TV station on August 28, 2015. It's original title: The most poor of the poor have to vacate their homes for asylum seekers. Source: youtube.com
More News »