Did you know that some bacteria are good for you? Come again? How can any bacteria be considered good for us? In a society trained from childhood to dread bacterial infections, it seems odd for someone to tell us that there is such a thing as good bacteria. The truth of the matter is there are good bacteria. Our bodies rely on these good bacteria to maintain our ph balance.
Good bacteria live in our digestive systems, skin and on our tongues. The good bacteria help us digest and break down our foods. Have you ever noticed after taking antibiotics that your tongue turns white? That white stuff on your tongue, referred to as thrush, is bad bacteria building up from food decay. Antibiotics are designed to destroy all bacteria including unfortunately our good bacteria. The good bacteria are the microorganisms that are on the tongue to help decompose left over food particles that did not make it down our throats. Without their existence, bad bacteria are able to move in and claim residence on our tongues.
Another way good bacteria help our bodies is by fighting off bad bacteria. Bad bacteria may enter our bodies through open cuts or by consumption of contaminated foods. The good bacteria can prevent bad bacteria from harming our bodies. When a body has the correct balance of good bacteria in it, its immune system is strong and able to heal quicker. For example, a scrape of the knee from falling off a bike could take a healthy person’s immune system only days to heal and close the wound, whereas a person with a weakened immune system could take several weeks to heal the same wound.
Good bacteria are also found in some of the foods we eat and may be referred to be health gurus as natural probiotics. Yogurt and fermented milk are perfect examples of natural probiotics and are often recommended to take while on antibiotics. These probiotics help replenish the body of its good bacteria that is removed by the antibiotics.
It is easy to think that all bacteria is bad for us, but the reality is our bodies depend on the good bacteria to survive. Good bacteria is all around us. It is in the soil to help decompose dead plants and animals. It is in the air to produce oxygen and make nitrogen for plants that we as humans use for essential nutrients. Most importantly good bacteria is there to help ward off the bad bacterial infections.
DeVault, Norma. “What Is the Difference Between Good Bacteria & Bad Bacteria?” Livestrong. August 16, 2013. Accessed November 2, 2014.