The human body is home to countless numbers of bacteria. In fact, scientists tell us that the number of bacteria living on and within us may actually outnumber our own cells.
But don’t let that freak you out. Despite their bad reputation among the general public, being host to bacteria doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get sick. Many species of bacteria happily share our bodies with us, causing no problems and in many cases serving a useful purpose.
Humans and bacteria have always had a symbiotic relationship, and over the millennia that relationship has become so entrenched that our bacterial brethren have become an integral part of the workings of our bodies. Bacteria–especially those living in our digestive systems, commonly referred to as our “gut bacteria”–play a role in everything from digestion to our immune systems.
The makeup of our bacterial colonies can influence whether we are fat or thin, happy or depressed, and more; it all depends on having the right number of “good” bacteria in relation to the “bad” ones. So how do you know if you have the right mix of microscopic critters, and what can you do to balance the scales in favor of health? The video below explains it all.