Farrah is a healthcare specialist who specializes in natural ways to improve health .
Did you know that there are five million trillion trillion bacteria on planet earth and most of these live within and around us?
A Few Things You Should Know About Bacteria
Did you know that, according to the University of Georgia, there's an estimated five million trillion trillion (a mouthful, isn't it) bacteria in the world? That's about 68,000 thousand bacteria for every of the 7.3 billion people present here on earth (enough to kill you and probably even the you in the afterlife).
Sadly, we can't do without bacteria as these guys are very useful for our day-to-day life.
Bacteria are classified into three categories:
- The good guys, needed for important functions like food digestion and body defence.
- The bad guys that cause mild health complications like halitosis and acne (pimple).
The really bad (or ugly) guys that can make you fall sick and even kill you if not properly eliminated.
Here are Some Other Important Facts About Bacteria You Should Know
1. Only about 1% of bacteria are harmful and make you sick.
2. Bacteria have been around for a really long time (around 3.5 billion years).
3. Most of us intentionally eat bacteria daily as some of the food we eat like kimchi, cheese, yogurt, pickles, miso, temple, and sauerkraut are made with bacteria.
4. There are approximately 37.2 trillion cells in the human body all performing different functions. Even with this huge figure, there are 10 times more bacteria than cells in the average human body.
5. There are more bacteria on your skin and in your gut than anywhere else in your body.
6. You need to wash your hands for 20 seconds, scrubbing both palms against each other to kill the bacteria on your hands.
7. Washing your hand for more than 20 second becomes counter-productive as it brings to the surface bacteria present underneath your skin.
8. Drying your hands with a hand towel after a wash is strongly discouraged as it increases the bacteria on your skin by as much as 200%. It is advised you use a paper towel instead.
9. Most animals heal their wounds by licking it, an act that introduces good bacteria unto the wound to fight off other harmful germs.
10. Some bacteria are highly resistant and can survive even the harshest conditions, including radiation.
How Bacteria Spread
There are bacteria on just about every surface around you; from the table to the floor, TV, chair, books bedsheet, pillow, air, water, even you soil you walk on.
Due to this, it is very easy to come in contact with these pathogens.
Bacteria spread easily when you touch any surface and could multiply if you don't try to eliminate them immediately. Bacteria also spread through human contact (when you shake hands, hug, or even kiss the next guy you are spreading and also receiving bacteria).
Eight Places You Can Find the Most Bacteria
There are some parts of your body and also your environment where finding bacteria won't come as much of a surprise to you. There are a few others however, that would shock you if you got to know these places are breeding houses for thousands of bacteria.
The following are nine of such places:
1. The Kitchen
The kitchen is supposed to be one of the cleanest places in the house, however, it is home to millions of bacteria.
There's a lot of food handling, food processing, cooking, and food disposal that go on here, and these processes that produce the myriad of bacteria that decide to make the kitchen their home.
Also, there are a few raw foods that contain a lot of bacteria, some more than others, and even after getting cooked or processed, some of these bacteria still find a way to stick around.
An example is when you wash your meat, fish, or shellfish prior to cooking and dispose of the water. Since these foods are known to host a lot of bacteria in their raw form, it's only reasonable to conclude some of the bacteria (in the water used for washing), will find their way around.
Other food with a really high amount of bacteria in their raw form include:
- Unpasteurized milk
- Vegetables and leafy greens
2. Your Mouth
There are upwards of 100,000 bacteria in everyone's mouth at each point in time. People who take care of their teeth have an estimated 300,000 at each given time, while people who don't could have up to a billion.
Luckily, not all bacteria in the mouth are bad. While the bad ones could cause bad breath, dental decay, and even gum disease, the good ones (which, thankfully are a lot more), work with your immune system to ensure other harmful bacteria don't pass through the mouth into your body.
3. Underneath Your Fingernails
Your nails might look pretty on the outside, but underneath there are a host of bacteria having a feast.
The most common type of bacteria you find here is the staphylococcus aureus, a strain of bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics and could get life a threatening once it gets into the body.
Common ways for this to happen is by touching food without washing your hands, biting your nails, or via open wounds.
4. Door Knobs
Door knobs are also a host to several species of bacteria. You're bound to find hundreds of bacteria on these knobs, especially the ones leading out of the toilet and bathroom.
More Places Where You Can Find Bacteria
Your phone surface is yet another place where you'll find different species of bacteria and these pathogens get there in any of two ways:
- When you handle your phone with a contaminated hand.
- If you take your phone into the toilet as a lot of people are fond of doing.
While you can't completely get rid of these bacteria, you can greatly reduce their number by practicing some good hygiene.
The towel is another place you can find tons of bacteria at any given time.
The bathroom is supposed to get you clean, but did you know that there are times you leave it with more bacteria than you took in? This happens when you don't disinfect your bathroom or bathtub often and you end up transferring these bacteria unto your towel.
7. Your Lady Bits
There are a few species of bacteria that live in your lady bits at any point in time. This isn't all bad news though as, just as with most other places where bacteria live, there are good as well as bad bacteria.
One of the good bacteria present is the Lactobacilli, a bacteria that produces lactic acid needed to maintain the pH level of that region and also fight off infection.
You should strive to maintain these good guys, which is why washing your lady bits with scented or antiseptic soap is strongly discouraged as it ends up killing these protective bacteria alongside the bad ones, leaving you prone to infections.
8. Your Manly Parts
Just as with a lady's private bits, a man's manly parts could also house hundreds of thousands of bacteria.
This is why women are encouraged to pee immediately after being intimate with their partner as a lot of these bacteria would have found their way into you.
How to Avoid or Limit the Spread of Bacteria Unto Your Person
There are actually lifestyle habits you can practice to reduce how much bacteria you come in contact with. These include:
1. Washing your hands often.
2. Making use of hand sanitizers when you get get a soap.
3. disinfecting your toilet and bathroom regularly.
4. Cleaning and disinfecting doorknobs often.
5. Cooking raw food properly.
6. Cleaning and disinfecting your kitchen often.
7. Taking out the trashcan and disinfecting it often.
8. Washing and sterilizing your towel often.
9. Practising good oral hygiene.
Although these bacteria live all around us, we can actually coexist with them without falling sick by practicing good hygiene.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Farrah Young
Farrah Young (author) from Lagos, Nigeria on April 02, 2019:
Yes, there definitely are, Alexander. Thanks for reading and commenting.
Alexander James Guckenberger from Maryland, United States of America on March 25, 2019:
There are a lot of microorganisms in the world.