In any human body there are around 30 trillion human cells, but our microbiome is an estimated 100 trillion microbial cells including bacteria, viruses and fungi that live on and in us. While we may think of bacteria as bad (making us sick), the fact is most of them are there to keep you alive. Three-quarters of your microbiome can be traced back to your mother. The womb is a sterile place, free of microbes. But when we exit via the birth canal, we’re bathed in vaginal microbes and when we are nursed we get even more.
We also ingest around a million microbes in every gram of food, and our diet has a direct impact on which species thrive in our gut microbiome. If we change diets, from meat-eater to vegetarian, for example, the gut bacteria changes accordingly.
Similarly, as we go through life, moving from one environment to another, we’re exposed to microbes from different people and places.
Every home has a distinctive microbiome that comes from the people who live in it. Just 24 hours after moving into a new home we’ve colonized it with our microbes. That takes moving in to an all new level!
Those who grow up in a household with pets are exposed to a far bigger array of microbes, which is actually beneficial. The more the merrier as we want a diverse microbiome!!!
Scientists suspect that a lot of common modern allergies are triggered by an immune system that didn’t learn to live with such microorganisms at an early age.
So I guess eating dirt, rolling around with dogs and licking hand rails isn't all bad! We are just adding more variety in the mix and diversifying our portfolio!!