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How does our microflora affect us

How does our microflora affect us

Sample Answer 

How does our microflora affect us

In the New York article (Zimmer, 2012), Dr. Segre along with 200 other scientists, published a survey on the human microbe. The project was based on the examination of more than 240 people who were tracked over a period of two years. The bacteria’s genetic material was sequenced after it was recovered from approximately 15 sites on the bodies of their subjects.  The scientists recovered over 5 million bacterial genes. The project and other similar studies reveal some of the ways that microbes shape human life from onset to death. Further, the article pointed out that several reports have shown how mothers positively impact their children’s health. Mothers shape their children’s microbe levels. A study that is referenced in the article describes how a pregnant mother’s microbes (vaginal) impact the health of a newborn and beyond. In the first pregnancy trimester, there is a significant change in the virginal bacteria. Species that were once abundant become rare, and those that were in plenty increase in numbers.

Consistently, in pregnant women, one microbe that increases in numbers is the Lactobacillus johnsonii. This bacterium is often found in the gut, where it produces enzymes necessary for the digestion of milk.  When a baby is delivered, it is usually coated in this microbe and even ingests a portion of the same. This type of inoculation of the baby with the mother’s vaginal bacteria prepares the baby for breastfeeding years. The bacteria continue to grow as the baby breastfeeds and grows as well. According to Pollan (2013), gut microbes play a significant role in the health of a human as it controls digestion and benefits the immune system as well as several other factors of one’s health. When a person has an imbalance of healthy and unhealthy microbes, such a person can develop complications such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and weight gain. To help in supporting the growth of healthy microbes, one needs to eat significant amounts of fermented foods, vegetables, whole grains, and fruits.


Pollan, M (2013).

Zimmer, C (2012).


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