Microbes are the oldest form of life on earth
There are microbes everywhere. Your body contains 10 times more microbes than human cells. Each of us has a microbiome: our own community of trillions of single cell, living organisms. As we look after it, it looks after us. Most microbes are helpful and life enhancing; very few cause disease. In trying to kill the bad ones, we can strengthen them and make our environment and us sick.
Microbes complete the cycle of life through the process of fermentation and they are also powerful antioxidants. They break down organic waste in the cycle of life and use the remaining minerals and nutrients for regeneration.
Healthy biomes contain a huge variety of microbes doing thousands of different jobs, breaking down food in the gut, delivering calcium and vital nutrients to where they are needed, and generally boosting our health and that of our soils, plants and animals.
Lactobacilli are very good for gut health. They produce lactic acid, which may prevent harmful bacteria from colonizing the intestines. They also help the lining of the intestines to stay intact. There are lots of different species of lactobacilli which all do slightly different jobs.
Yeasts synthesise microbial and other useful substances needed for plant growth from the amino acids and sugars secreted by photosynthetic bacteria, organic matter and plant roots. Bioactive substances such as hormones and enzymes produced by yeasts promote active cell and root division and provide food for effective microbes such as lactobacilli.
Photosynthetic Bacteria are a group of independent, self-supporting microbes, synthesising amino acids, nucleic acids, bioactive substances and sugars, all of which support healthy human, plant and animal growth. They use sunlight and soil heat as sources of energy.
How Microbes Work
Microbes have been around for millions of years and successfully colonised every corner of the earth and every creature on it. Here are four fundamental principles that are the heart of their achievement.
In any environment only around 5% of microbes are beneficial or regenerative to life, and around 5% are detrimental or degenerative to life and the remaining majority are simply opportunistic. The opportunistic microbes support whichever microbes are dominant.
If the degenerative microbes become dominant, the opportunistic ones will gravitate towards them so there is a negative effect, for example a sudden bout of food poisoning, a tummy bug or a plant pest.
If the regenerative microbes are dominant then the opportunistic ones will support the positive effects. Using products that contain beneficial microbes boosts the numbers of regenerative microbes so that the detrimental ones do not have the chance to flourish.
The Cycle of Life
All natural environments have a cycle of life and death, and microbes are important at every step. They are the building blocks of life. They break down organic matter so it can be used again for regenerating life. Microbes are good at completing the cycle, a skill we humans have not mastered.
Find out more about the cycle of life here.
The healthy breakdown of organic matter is critical in the cycle of life process. This can happen in two ways: putrefaction or fermentation. In putrefaction matter is broken down, often without the presence of oxygen, producing a rotting smell due to toxic gases like methane and ammonia being released. In fermentation matter is broken down into its constituent parts, mostly carbohydrates, nitrates and phosphates, which are then readily available for other organisms to use. Fermentation can take place with or without oxygen.
The presence of free radicals, or unstable molecules, subjects our cells to continuous damage, known as oxidation. This process makes us age, converts healthy cells into cancerous ones, elevates the blood pressure, hardens the arteries, promotes inflammation in arthritis and asthma, and causes infertility. Oxidation is exacerbated by pollution and our increasing use of chemicals.
Antioxidants keep us healthy by delaying or preventing cell damage. Antioxidants are found in a variety of foods including Bio-Live and bring health benefits by neutralising free radicals and protecting cell stability.
Recently in the news
Researchers looking into the success of faecal transplants believe they have identified why the poo of certain donors produces better results than others – so called “super-donors”. A team at the University of Auckland examined results from previous studies on faecal transplants – when faeces, and the microbes it contains, are taken from a healthy gut and used to “re-set” the gut of the recipient – to understand why poo from certain donors resulted in a better success rate in treating certain conditions. Read more
Kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso and kefir – all fermented foods and drinks – have been around for centuries, but suddenly they are all the rage. The reason? They are supposedly packed full of gut-healthy microorganisms, and we are finally waking up to just how much the trillions of microorganisms that live in our guts (AKA the gut microbiome) contribute to our mental and physical health. Read more
Tests showed that the microbes reduced dangerous levels of ammonia and boosted survival rates in susceptible mice, while a small trial in healthy people found the bacteria worked as expected and were safe to take. Read more
Scientists are learning that children’s microbiomes are particularly sensitive to external influences, and crucial to their long-term risk of disease. Many believe that aspects of modern lifestyle – including the rise in Caesareans, reliance on antibiotics, over-cleanliness and processed foods – are distorting the microbes in children’s guts, thus driving health problems.Read more
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