Micro-organisms – An Introduction


From Little Things….

There has been a lot of focus and interest of late around the world of microorganisms. My father in law has dubbed 2014, for the second year running, the year of the microbiology. I think that it is about time that we acknowledged the huge role that these tiny creatures play in our world.

Recent attention has been focused primarily around our digestive health and how important gut bacteria are for our health and wellbeing. However, the realm of the microbe does not stop there. We are surrounded by them and have contact with them on many different levels. Just as a healthy population are so important for our inner health, so are certain bacterial populations for the health of our skin and in protecting and maintaining balance in areas such as our nose and mouth. Recent research has shown that not only do bacterial populations change from person to person, there are also certain bacteria that love to inhabit particular areas of the body, our underarm or bellybutton for instance.

Some people say that through closely examining the smaller things in life you can see the greater. Looking outside of the human body, the earth functions much as we do. Hidden in the soils and so integral for life are epic populations and interactions between microbes of an incredible diversity. Vast networks of fungus connect and provide transport for nutrients within forests. Large bacterial populations, living in a symbiotic relationships around the roots of plants, help make minerals and nutrient available and facilitate absorption of these by their hosts. Organic matter is broken down by a diversity of microorganisms and incorporated into the soil leading to a richer and healthier environment. Much as our selves, without these busy little workers, we would not exist. Healthy soils leads to healthy food and healthy us.

Article by Damian Harrison, Naturopath from Chamomile Naturopathy , Bellingen.