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Beneficial Bacteria for Your Body
- Although bacteria often get a bad rap in the health department, they actually can possess some major health benefits
- Some bacteria produce some antibacterial properties, in the sense that they help clean our bodies of dangerous toxins
Bacteria are simple, single-celled organisms that exist either individually or in colonies. No distinct nucleus is found in their body cell, which is why they are called prokaryotes, literally meaning “before the nucleus.” Bacteria are unicellular microorganisms found practically everywhere on Earth. They live in soil, water, air and even in other organisms. Some species of bacteria can survive under some of the most extreme conditions. For example, they can live in temperatures above 100 Celsius or under cold, arctic ice where human blood would freeze. There is a specific group of bacteria that can even be exposed to radiation 1,000 times greater than the fatal dose for a human being.
Despite of their microscopic size and primitiveness, bacteria can do many fascinating things. They can eat just about anything, including starch, sulfur, iron and even oil.
Before scientists invented how to identify different bacteria, they didn’t know how many species of bacteria existed. They thought that all bacteria were very similar in many ways, and therefore that all bacteria were likely derived from the very same organism. It was proven later that there are about a billion different species existing on Earth. The first time bacteria were observed was in 1676 by Dutch tradesman and scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek. This scientist is also considered the first microbiologist. He created his own single-lens microscope and used it for observing bacteria, though he didn’t name these creatures as bacteria, but “animalcules.” The name “bacteria” appeared in 1838 and was introduced by Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg.
Even though the naked human eye can’t see bacteria, we interact with billions of them every day. Believe it or not, scientists have calculated that there are about five nonillion bacteria living around us and with us. One nonillion is one million of trillions of trillion, a number so big it’s nearly impossible to comprehend. It is also estimated that 92 to 94 percent of the bacteria on Earth are located beneath the surface within the soil. Most of us have never seen bacteria, of course, as they are microscopic, but we know about their existence.
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Usually people think of bacteria as germs that can get into human body and make a person sick. This is partially true as many bacteria are dangerous to people. Some germs cause such diseases like cholera, anthrax, syphilis and many others. Cholera killed millions of people in Europe in the Middle Ages before a cure was invented. Some bacteria, however, are not harmful at all. Scientists have discovered that the presence of certain kinds of bacteria is essential for the human body. There are many bacteria that live in the human intestines that contribute to proper digestion. These good bacteria don’t let in bad bacteria and help us digest food that we are unable to process on our own. These bacteria also help to get rid of toxins in our body. Good bacteria improve milk tolerance, cut down diarrhea or constipation, improve immune response, decrease food allergies, help normalize blood pressure, and lower lower-density protein level (LDL) cholesterol.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Natural Products18 Nov 2008|