The Human Microbiome
Recent developments in microbial studies have found that the significant collection of bacteria living in and on the human body play an important role in the maturation of the human immune system. Humans are made up of 10 trillion human cells. In contrast, there are 100 trillion microbial cells living everywhere within humans – on the skin, in the gut, eyes, nose and genito-urinary tract. This huge collection of bacteria forms an important “organ” which helps humans fight bad bacteria, produce vitamins and improve digestion besides playing a monumental role in the maturation of the immune system.
The term “microbiome” refers to the combined collection of genetic microbial material in a particular environment. The entire collection of microbes within humans is known as the human microbiome. The increasing prevalence of immune threats and allergic diseases seen today bears an important connection to the way humans are influencing the microbiome they are harboring.
Scientists have now discovered that there are three key human insults to the microbiome namely C-section delivery, antibiotic use and formula feeding. When bacteria in the body are disrupted by these factors, different immune disorders (eczema, allergic rhinitis, sinusitis) can result.