Bacteria, and the human body.

There are 100,000 billion microbes in the human intestine, but there are only 37,200 billion cells in the human body:

  • There is about 3 lbs of bacteria in your gut.
  • 80% of the immune system is in the GI tract.
  • At death, these microbes will outlive us, and then break us down (unless we are cremated of course).

From age 2 to 50, our bacteria profile stays about the same.

Food will be in the stomach for about 2 hours.

90 minutes is the transit time of the small intestine:

  • Every 48 hours, the small intestine’s mucosal epithelium is replaced.
  • The surface area of the small intestine is the size of a tennis court.
  • 20-22 feet is the length of the small intestine.
  • And glutamine is the main energy source of the small intestine.

20 hours is the transit time of the colon:

  • Every 12 days the colon’s mucosal epithelium is replaced.
  • The colon is 4 feet in length.
  • Butyrate is the energy source of the colon (it is the fermentation of soluble fiber in the colon).

Our skin is covered with bacteria, just as our insides:

  • The skin is mostly colonized with staphylococci.
  • These microbes are considered foreign to the body, however, the body and bugs have an immune tolerance to each other.
  • This immune tolerance means that they don't fight each other, or try to kill each other off.
  • But, when this immune tolerance is changed, or lost, we can be at a higher risk of having allergies, or autoimmune diseases.

These have been some of the fun facts that were talked about this past weekend at The Human Microbiome conference given by Dr. Nigel Plummer, put on by Seroyal in Berkeley, California.