By Kennedy Shelley
You might have more viruses on and in you than you do bacteria.
That might make you squirm a bit, but that’s the reality.
There has been a great deal of interest in the microbiome, which is the bacteria in the gut and helps digest food and regulates many hormones in the body.
(To learn more about your gut health and the microbiome, see this article in Freedom Health News)
But what has been ignored is the fascinating world of viruses and how they affect our health.
To most of us, viruses are negative things. They give us colds; the flu and we get vaccinated to try and avoid them.
But most viruses don’t cause any sickness at all.
Most don’t interact with us at all, but they do seem to work with other organisms to make you healthy.
When we think of microbiome, we automatically think of bacteria, but it is a catch all term that includes all the microorganisms that our body uses.
We could not survive without all these foreign microscopic organisms that live in and around us.
The cluster of important viruses in our body is known as the virome. We also have a collection of fungus known as the mycobiome.
Scientists have not paid much attention to the virome and mycobiome yet, but new research is suggesting that these microorganisms might be playing a bigger part in your health than we previously thought.
Viruses seem to thrive in the wet mucus parts of our body such as the nose and the gut lining.
These viruses don’t interact with us, but they seem to really care and interact with the bacteria in the microbiome.
The journal Medical Immunology started discussing these back in 2003 where Dr. Andrzej Gorski started to realize there were important interactions between the viruses and bacteria.
The reason this is so important is we often design medications to kill specific bacteria. So, we take antibiotics to stop an infection, but we don’t realize that we are also killing a host of viruses that are interacting with other bacteria at the same time.
What the total effect we are having on our system is not clear at the moment and that has scientists starting to dig deeper into this area.
We know that there is no such thing as a free lunch, but we often forget that taking medication for one problem might create unexpected complications in another.
Viruses will enter a bacterium, and start to control its DNA and cell structure, altering how they work with us.
Before antibiotics, scientists in the 1920s to the 1950s were using viruses to control infections, using them to stop bacteria from killing us or making us sick.
There are some real advantages to this type of therapy. It doesn’t kill helpful bacteria while it kills the bad.
With more and more bacteria becoming resistant to our most advanced antibiotics, there is renewed interest in this old technique to control disease.
While there is nothing that can be said definitively right now, be open to your doctor wanting to treat you with a virus to stop an infection down the road.