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Inside The Microbiome: Why Good Gut Bacteria Is The Big Hope For Allergic Disease

By December 13, 2017No Comments

Microbes exist everywhere – in water, air, soil, plants and animals, and from the coldest regions of the Antarctic to the boiling hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the sea. According to microbiologist Brett Finlay, there are far more bacteria on Earth than there are stars in the sky, and despite their microscopic size, the Earth’s microbes weigh more than all plants and animals combined. They also predate all other life on Earth.

If you think you can escape microbes in your own life, think again: the human body contains trillions of bacterial cells  most of which reside in your gut. For every one of your human genes, there are roughly 100 bacterial genes; some estimates are as high as 500.

But researchers around the globe say these bugs aren’t something to be feared. In fact, they are finding striking evidence that these personal ecosystems may help to solve the mystery of the rapid rise of multiple diseases, including asthma and food allergies.

For almost three decades, a growing body of research has linked the sharp increases in asthma and allergy rates to “the hygiene hypothesis” – the idea that our urban living environments have become too sterile and germ-free, leading our immune systems to become misguided and reactive.

Now, in some of the biggest advances the field of allergy medicine has seen, scientists are beginning to zero in on exactly what’s happening – and they’re banking on those teeming, minuscule microbes to lead a health revolution that could prevent, and possibly even cure, allergies and asthma.