Scientists have noticed the "bacterial inequality" of rich and poor

Scientists have noticed the "bacterial inequality" of rich and poor
Scientists have noticed the "bacterial inequality" of rich and poor

American biologists thought about the introduction of the "right to a healthy microflora", which should be endowed with people regardless of belonging to different social groups.


Our body is inhabited by myriads of bacteria. The number, composition and state of microflora have a huge impact on the state of the whole organism. The more fully we understand this influence, the more respect we regard our bacterial neighbors and symbionts. New methods of microflora normalization are used against diseases that were considered incurable until now.

Scientists and doctors urge to be more attentive to the microflora, stimulating the healthy development of microbes through proper nutrition, sleep, and so on. And a new article, published in the journal PLOS Biology, draws attention to another major factor affecting the state of the microflora, and at the same time the organism as a whole - social inequality.

University of Maine professor Suzanne Ishaq and her colleagues point out that lifestyle, including diet, home and work environment, access to good and timely health care, and more, has a huge impact on the bacterial population. Moreover, the microflora is transmitted to the infant from the mother, so it becomes - to a certain extent - "inherited".

Scientists conclude that as a result, some people automatically, by the very fact of their birth and development in a wealthy family, gain access to the "best microflora", and with it - to all its advantages. This gap is maintained in the future: poor quality care, lack of attention, and monotonous food among poor groups lead to the formation and maintenance of unhealthy microflora throughout their lives.

Professor Aishek drew attention to this "microbial inequality" about six months ago and has since been studying it with the support of a team of students who have become co-authors of the new work. They considered the problem from various angles, having come to the conclusion that it was necessary to introduce the “right to healthy microflora”. Such a right should be as clear and universally accessible to all as the right to clean water, air or public safety, regardless of income level. At least in theory.

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