By: Erica Favela
There are over one hundred trillion - yes, trillion - microorganisms living in our guts.
To put that into perspective, that’s more than the number of cells that make up our body. For that reason, some might say we’re actually more microbes than we are human.
But that number is not something to be afraid of! These bacteria aren’t the bad kind that we all try killing with hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes. Most of the bacteria in our bodies are good bacteria that have evolved with us and allowed us to thrive.
Most of these microbes live in our large intestine, and new research is uncovering just how important these bacteria are. The gut microbiota is responsible for:
Digesting and converting dietary fiber into healthful compounds
Aiding in the absorption of minerals
Supplying nutrients for cells that build strong intestinal lining
Keeping our immune system strong (70-80% of the body’s immune cells are in the gut!)