What is the bacterial flora?
While humans consist of about 10 trillion cells, live on and in it to the 100 trillion bacteria of various kinds - it is estimated that they weigh a total of two kilos. On the skin, in the mouth and pharynx and in the vagina romps only a fraction of the bacteria, the largest part - between 400 and 1000 different kinds - is found in the small and large intestine. The substances produced by the bacteria are used by the intestinal cells. This bacterial flora is also referred to as normal flora and consists for the most part of non-pathogenic, symbiotic bacteria that are typical for their respective location.
The most important bacteria of our body
Important types of bacterial flora are staphylococci of the skin flora, enterococci, bifidobacteria and E. coli in the intestine and lactobacilli of the vaginal flora. The bacterial flora protects the respective organ against colonization with other, pathogenic germs and additionally often takes on additional functions.
The skin flora
The bacteria of the skin flora protect the skin from colonization with pathogenic germs, feed on the billions of dander that daily detach from the skin, and also split fats and bactericidal fatty acids, which reduce the growth of other bacteria. Certain skin regions are preferred by the bacteria: moist areas such as
- Armpits and
- Spaces between toes and fingers
offer most bacteria a better climate than dry or keratinized skin. A large part of the germs sits in the hair follicles, where they are well protected from external influences have excellent growth conditions. Typical bacteria of the skin flora are certain staphylococci and peptostreptococci as well as coryne and propionibacteria - too many of which causes acne.
The oral flora
The bacteria of the oral flora also protect against colonization with pathogenic germs, of which Streptococcus mutans, in particular, as caries-causing bacterium plays a major role. The bacteria like to live in the gum pockets and on the tongue - only a regular oral hygiene keeps their numbers within healthy limits.
The intestinal flora
Although the intestinal flora protects against colonization with pathogenic germs, but their main tasks are elsewhere: They regulate the located in the intestinal mucosa portions of the immune system, by exercising body defense permanently, and even produce antibiotic substances. They provide vitamins and vitamin precursors such as vitamin K. or B 12, thiamine or riboflavin, which are then taken up via the intestinal mucosa.
In the metabolic processes of the intestinal flora, substances that can be used by the intestinal cells for energy production accumulate, and the bacteria even provide a certain digestive power and thus help us in food processing.
Intestinal bacteria in the small intestine are enterococci and lactobacilli, in the colon are E.coli, Bacteroides, Bifidobacteria and many other species.
The vaginal flora
Also, the vaginal flora protects against colonization with pathogenic germs, it consists mainly of various lactobacilli, which are named after their discoverer Döderlein chopsticks. The bacteria are responsible with their metabolic products for the low ph value in the vagina, which affects many other germs - unfortunately not on fungi - growth-inhibiting.
It is possible to support the normal vaginal flora by using vaginal suppositories with lactobacilli, for example, after a fungal infection and not using any basic care products in the intimate area.