Our Common Bacteria
Tens of thousands of species of bacteria colonize your body. Some thrive in armpits, while others enjoy drier places such as the hands. Luckily, most of the little buggers help you stay healthy. “They can live in harmony on your body as long as there’s a diversity of bacteria to keep them in check” said the scientists of National Institutes of Health.
Here are some of the organisms that call your body their universe.
About 2000 species of bacteria live behind the ear – 10 times fewer than in the intestine. They have done a good job of outcompeting other species.
There’s a reason why armpits smell bad: The microorganisms living there break down sweat into stinky fatty acids. Different species of pathogens create distinct smells.
After swabbing 200 belly buttons, researchers in North Carolina counted nearly 4000 strains of bacteria, some completely new to science. Innies have more microbes than outties.
Bacteria such as Propionibacterium acnes, enemy of teenagers everywhere, feed on the skin’s oil.
Sufferers of chronic rhinosinusitis (inflamed sinuses) tend to have simpler bacterial ecosystems than those with healthy noses. Future treatments could diversify nasal bacterial populations.
A healthy human gut is a diverse area, hosting an estimated 30,000 species of bacteria. Some species help us absorb food and calories.