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How Commensals Bacteria Help Keep Our Bodies Healthy

How Commensals Bacteria Keep Our Bodies Healthy


There are good and bad bacteria that inhibit our bodies.  The good bacteria are more with about 85% of the total amount of bacteria in the body while the bad bacteria comprise the other 15%. Our bodies are dependent on bacteria for healthy living and digestive system. When the balance of good and bad bacteria in interfered with, the body reacts and we become ill or we develop allergies. Good bacteria benefit the body, enhance the immune system and fight the bad bacteria. Commensals is a good bacteria that lives in the body. It gets food and warmth from our bodies and it keeps the bad bacteria in check as it protects us from diseases. The following are ways in which the commensals keep us healthy.


Commensals in the Mouth and Respiratory System

The mouth has a very favorable environment for bacteria and to live in since it has low oxygen levels and the bacteria can feast on the food and skin. Commensals live in the tiny crevices of the gums and teeth. Commensals compete for food with the harmful bacteria and organisms in the mouth thus preventing illness.

Respiratory tract
Commensals inhibit the upper respiratory tract because it is close to the mouth and so that it can fight the organisms before they can proceed to the lower respiratory tract. The lower respiratory tract does not have any bacteria because all the organisms are trapped in the nasal hair or mucus in the upper respiratory tract.

Commensals in the Intestines and the Stomach

Large intestine
The large intestine contains a lot of commensals bacteria that are in many different types. These different types of commensals assist in the absorption of nutrients that are found in the food we eat, production of important vitamins as well as compete with the bad bacteria.

Small intestine
The duodenum which is a part of the small intestine contains few commensals since it is very close to the stomach which has high acid levels. The commensals are more at the ileum. The commensals help in absorption of nutrients and fighting with the harmful pathogens found in the small intestine.

There few bacteria in the stomach due to its high acidity levels. The bacteria found in the stomach are known as acid tolerant bacteria and they colonize the stomach wall.


Commensals in the Skin and Urogenital Tract

Urogenital tract

Apart from the urethra and the vagina, the urogenital tract is completely devoid of bacteria. A good and right bacteria balance is very essential in the vagina to prevent yeast infections from occuring.

The commensals are found on the moist, warm parts of the skin. Most bacteria live in the palms, armpits, toe webs and the perineum. The commesals on the skin fight the bad bacteria that may attack the skin to prevent skin infections.

Though the commensal bacteria are helpful to our bodies, they contain genes that make them resistant to the antibiotic. When exposed to the antibiotics, the genes spread to become more common. The commensals may end up transferring these genes to the harmful bacteria making them resistant to antibiotics as well. This usually makes the treatment of infections impossible.


By winnie mwihaki, published at 03/17/2012
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