With science and technology reaching new heights, new discoveries are being made every day. Researchers and scientists break myths and form new theories based on their experiments. Around the 1880s, it was found that contrary to popular belief, not all microorganisms are harmful to humans; there are some that help us live better and healthier. These germs are a collective term used for bacteria, fungi, and even protozoans .
What Is The Difference Between Good And Bad Germs And Bacteria?
There are many germs that live in, on and around us; the simple way of classifying them into either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ depends on the way they live inside us. Harmful bacteria are also called pathogens which, once having entered the human body, multiply in numbers, and cause a lot of destruction. This destruction can lead to organ malfunction and also result in death.
On the other hand, good bacteria, also known as the ‘Natural Microbiota,’ live peacefully inside their hosts without causing harm. These good germs make sure to fight off any harmful germs that might enter their territory and as a result help protect the body against these disease-causing pathogens .
How Do They Help Or Harm Our Immune Systems?
The bad bacteria can gain entry into the body through any superficial cut or wound and make their way inside the body. They multiply their number and attack the host’s defense cells. This immediately alarms the immune system causing the body to fight them off, which also results in the destruction of many healthy cells of the body. This not just makes the body weak, but it also has the potential to kill the individual if early interventions are not taken.
On the other hand, good bacteria act as probiotics and work by making the individual healthy. Good bacteria line the inside of the gut and help in the digestion of some complex molecules. They also have a key role in producing compounds that are necessary for the growth of cells and building the immune system of the body. Moreover, they do not have many pathogens to live off inside the body in case they somehow gain entry .
Is It Bad To Kill All Germs And Bacteria?
If all germs and bacteria are killed, there can be a lot of problems that every individual will have to encounter on a day-to-day basis. A quick example of it is seen in patients who undergo long antibiotic therapies. These antibiotics end up killing not just the pathogens harboring the body but also the good bacteria. This is why there is a strong association between weakened immunity after the use of antibiotics .
Killing off all the pathogens living in our environment can, however, really help lower the spread of infections, but it is impossible to separate the two; hence the use of probiotic-rich food and a healthy diet is often enough to stop the harmful bacteria from causing you any harm.
The human body is exposed to hundreds of thousands of microorganisms daily, among which some are good while others are bad for human health. Good bacteria are actually helpful for the body and play a key role in strengthening the immune system. Bad bacteria, also known as pathogens, can compromise immunity and cause various infections. Adopting healthy lifestyle habits can be helpful in the prevention of harmful bacteria.
Contact us at A-Z Primary Care and Walk-In in Spring, Texas for all your primary care needs and to speak with an expert Primary Care Physician about your hygiene practices and immune system concerns.
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- Venkova T, Yeo CC, Espinosa M. Editorial: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Multiple Roles of Bacteria in Human Life. Front Microbiol 2018;9:1–4. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2018.01702.
- Watson, S. (2017, February 9). Good vs. bad germs: Here’s what you should know. Healthline. Retrieved April 6, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-flu/good-bad-germs
- Yttri, J. (2017, March 28). Bacteria: The good, the bad, and the ugly. National Center for Health Research. Retrieved April 6, 2022, from https://www.center4research.org/bacteria-good-bad-ugly/#:~:text=Bacteria%20help%20protect%20the%20cells,to%20grow%20and%20cause%20disease
- Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. (n.d.). Human microbiome. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved April 6, 2022, from https://www.britannica.com/science/human-microbiome#ref302230