Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ten Parts Bacteria, One Part Human

"But the nuances of modern life, as well as widespread and indiscriminate use of antibiotics, are having drastic effects on this hidden microbial majority, the consequences of which, Blaser [Dr. Martin J. Blaser, chairman of the Department of Medicine and professor of microbiology at the New York University School of Medicine] says, are not just the creation and explosive growth of drug-resistant bacteria, or so-called superbugs, like methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus. They also include the increasing incidence of 'post-modern diseases, such as obesity, as well as allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, type I diabetes and gastroesophageal reflux, which have more than doubled in many populations,' he asserts.

'The microbes in the human body are not accidental, but have coevolved with humans over eons. But things have changed in the last century, our ancient microbes are disappearing and that is what is fueling many of our modern diseases,' Blaser adds."

CMAJ: Ten parts bacteria, one part human