How the gut works

Exploring the importance of the digestive tract

This collection of 100 trillion cells living inside us consists of several hundred species of non-human genes – at least 1,800 genera and up to 40,000 species of bacteria, together possessing 100 times the number of genes in the human genome. (Forsythe & Kunze, 2013) This vast amount of gut-dwelling organisms is not even manufactured by our own bodies! The majority of them are various bacteria, but there are also fungi, protozoa, viruses, yeasts and Archaea (single celled organisms characterized by their ability to tolerate extremes in temperature and acidity – Archaea are primitive life forms that appeared on earth billions of years ago but were only identified by scientists in the late 1970’s). (Wikipedia, 2013) (American Society for Microbiology, 2012).

And most shocking of all, it turns out we need these little aliens inside us and could not thrive – or even survive – without them. (Cryan & Dinan, 2012) (Forsythe & Kunze, 2013).

 

So, as a result of fairly recent advances in science,  we now are aware that humans are not really single organisms at all: We are actually complex eco-systems made up of a multitude of smaller, alien organisms working together among themselves and with our bodies to make us who we are. (Cryan & Dinan, 2012)

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Joan, your research on Gardasil is outstanding. Thank you for the
tremendous effort you have put into this article.

- Jayne Williams

This is an excellent treatment on the power and importance of the breath. I just linked to it in the post I put up on my blog today. I’d covered the subject much less extensively and your post really adds to our body of information.

- Shielagh Shusta-Hochberg

Your posts are always so thorough, informative, and yet also provide occasions for delight! Your dedication to uncovering and rediscovering natural ways of taking better care of ourselves constitutes a significant contribution to a healthier microbiome!

- Will Jackson

Let’s Get Healthy

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