As a baby exits the womb and slides through the birth canal, he is coated with beneficial bacteria. These bacteria immediately colonize the newborn. Studies have shown that babies born cesarean section may be at a slight disadvantage since they miss out on mom’s good bacteria and instead are imprinted with the bacteria on the surface of skin2.
In the human body, bacteria outnumber our own cells 10 to 1. If you can imagine it, each one of us is a cloud of carefully organized bacteria!
These gut bacteria affect just about everything in the human body—from our mental well-being to our waist size!
Scientists refer to this population of bacteria as a microbiome, which is another way of describing the complex metropolis of bugs that inhabit the human body.
The microbiome in the digestive tract is particularly influential. So much so that doctors from the Department of Medicine at the National University of Ireland have described it as "the forgotten organ."3
As we transition from 2012 to 2013, the NIH (National Institutes of Health) just announced a new research project. The NIH is investing 3 million dollars into research on the human microbiome in order to gain new insight on health and disease4.
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